What is a Service Dog
Who can have a Service Dog
Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.
Only dogs can be service animals -- no other species have rights as service animals.
Service dogs must be:
- Trained -- Under control, on-leash, and housebroken;
- Trained -- to do work or perform tasks that mitigate a disability.
Training Time: If your dog has an appropriate temperament, expect to spend at least 1-2 years training a dog to certification. Training a dog requires a lot of time and patience, and you must be willing to commit to working with your dog on a daily basis. Eligibility Requirements
Your dog is NOT a service dog:
- Just because you have a disability. The dog must be trained to do something that is directly related to your disability (for example -- you cannot take your Chihuahua into the grocery store because you have difficulty walking);
- Because he makes you feel good, provides emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship. These are not trained tasks. This is an Emotional Support Dog. Emotional Support Dogs do not have public access rights.
- Because you have a letter from your doctor stating that you would benefit from having a dog. In order to be a Service Dog, the dog must be trained and appropriate for service work;
- If he is a protection or guard dog. Even if you have PTSD, anxiety, or feel vulnerable because of your disability, service dogs cannot be trained for protection. Service dogs must be quiet, tolerant, and mild-mannered. If you have been diagnosed with PTSD, call us about the service tasks that your dog can be trained to do for you.
Be aware that you are responsible and legally liable for any damage or injury that your dog causes.
Most people cannot recognize the signs of stress and fear in their dogs. Stressed dogs can bite. Don't risk medical expenses and a lawsuit -- leave your dog at home unless it has been assessed and trained.