jwsince1997 asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Does anyone have any info about Service Animals?

Under the ADA I qualify for a service animal and I am looking for more info about using my dog-who calms me GREATLY and prevents or reduces my panic attacks. We don't know where to start so any help would be great. We live in MI. I know there is no certification required and all he has to do is have a tag or patch that says "Medical Alert Dog" or "Service Animal" but I'd REALLY like more information. Thank you for any and all help


Under Federal Law the dogs DON"T have to be certified but it is RECOMMENDED that they be certified. The reason they don't have to be certified is there are so many disabilities and the animals do so many different thing that it is IMPOSSIBLE to regulate them all.

Yes it is illegeal to say your dog is a service dog when it isn't. If you do this, you face federal jail time and your dog being taken by animal control.

6 Answers

  • Gems
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    under the ADA service dogs do NOT need to have official certification as to services.

    However the rest realy depends on what your looking for.

    firstly for most acess to private places (ie your job or school) you will need medical documentation fo your disability (whatever it is) for their files.

    public places by law CANNOT ask for proof or details of your disability.

    second part is finding a dog.

    for this you can go one of 3 ways.

    since your dog will be an emotinal support dog there is realy no official place to buy a "pretrained" service dog from.

    You could try going through a service dog organization where they will provide you with a dog pretrained in specific behaviours that would benefit you. due to the nature of your disability im not sure this would be the best choice of action for you.

    your second choice is to find a breed your interested in, emotional support dogs can be ANY breed but i suggest something small-medium sized for ease of acess.

    you then find a good breeder, look for breeders with dogs trained in Canine good citizen or has their therapy dog lisencing, these folks tend to understand better how to pick good candidates for service dogs from their litters.

    your third choice would be to head to your local shelter and find a dog that seems to bond with you.

    older dogs make wonderfull emotinal support dogs as they are past the hyper crazy puppy stage and ready to work.

    you want a calm dog who has a strong focus on you. they need to be very well socilized around a veritey of things as they will be in the public eye 24/7.

    once you have yoru dog start basic obedience and LOTS of socilization, especially with a puppy the first 8months to 1 year are simply you and the dog bonding and learning. your goal in your training is to work to the canine good citizen test, if your dog passes this test its "worthy" of being called a service dog, while the CGC test is not NEEDED to be a service dog, its definatly a plus for those who "self train" their service dogs.

    during this training time you also will need to teach the dog behaviours that assist you with your disability.

    for an emotional support dog, "kiss" (lick on command) forward (the dog stands infront of you, good in social situations that might make you uncomfortable) hug, shake wait ect, anything that would help you overcome your fears.

    after that point you decide if and when your dog is a "service dog"

    personally my 8 month old service dog is in training, shes passed the CGC, shes fully trained however shes still a puppy and makes the occasional mistake so i keep the "in training" patch on her and probably will untill shes about 2 yrs of age.

    a service dog is 100% expected to be on their best behaviour at all times and should be "seen and not heard" a service dog should only be there when it NEEDS to be, when not it shoudl be quiet and essentially unobtrusive.

    id also suggest printing out copies of the ADA to take with you as unfortunatly many places do not know "the rules" and you WILL encounted some problems with acess laws.


    this is a GREAT link.

    Source(s): have a seizure alert and responce dog who also acts as a psychiatric support dog for my social and general anziety disorders.
  • 1 decade ago

    You need to look into your state laws. Some states require that the animals need to be certified and some do not. Here in Indiana they do not require the animals to be certified. I myself do have a boy that is also used as a personal assistance dog (service dog). He has a vest and can go basically anywhere with me. He does have an obedience title.

    I placed a girl about 4 years ago that is used as a service dog. This woman has panic attacks, ect... I actually received a prescription from her Psychiatrist when she got the dog from me.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I just got news that the BCC (Blind Community Center), here in San Diego is going national to prevent any animal other than a "dog", from being a service animal. All interested in opposing this Amendment, please contact me ASAP. They have already put the law before the national commitee on Service Animals and congress to make it a law. They state that other animals other than those trained by them and for them is a attack animal and should be looked at as such. They are very powerful people and think they are going to get this law approved without any opposition from anyone. One because no one knows they have done it but them. This will greatly affect many that have other disabilities other than blindness. Please forward all help this matter to me ASAP. This Friday is the deadline, they think.

    Source(s): Vice President of the BCC (Blind Community Center)
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    The issue is that dogs are poor generalizers - it's not that the dog is "sneaky, greedy" etc, but that they have no intrinsic sense of morality or "rightness" and so only think something is "bad" if it has bad consequences. If it has never had bad consequences except with a human in the room, then how on earth are they to know that the rules still apply with the human out of the room? You need to train in such a way that corrections and rewards occur when the dog does not think you are present - i.e. hiding around the corner. Read here https://tr.im/OlhCJ

    I personally owned a Labrador Retriever (read: chow hound) that could be left 6" from a hot dog in a sit-stay for half an hour and not touch it - the word was "mine" and it meant that you don't touch that, even if I am not in the room, even if whatever, you DO NOT touch that. You could leave a plate of food on the floor for hours and not only would she not touch it, she would also keep the other animals (dogs and cats) from touching it.

    In all probability, these dogs studied were just not properly trained/proofed before the experiment. With "proofing" to set them up and catch them in the act to give

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Since you mentioned the ADA, I will base my answer on US laws. A summary of the ADA is available here http://www.deltasociety.org/ServiceAccessLaw.htm. I suggest you print the wallet card that is on this site and carry it with you. State laws are available here http://www.servicedogssavelives.org/statelaws.html...

    You can train your dog yourself. US law does not recognize any service dog certification. A lot of companies will "certify" your dog. You send them money, usually $35 to $50, and they send you a laminated ID card and a paper certificate. If you want an ID card, you can make you own. A no-heat laminated ID card kit costs $1.50 at most business supply stores. The ADA does not require your dog to wear a vest or bandana with "service dog" written on it. I strongly advise you to get one. This make things easier for store owners who have to explain why they let you take your dog into the store but other people can't bring their dogs. In addition, most service dogs know that, when they wear a vest, they are expected to behave.

    Buy a vest with an "in training" badge on it. The ADA does not grant access rights to service dogs in training, but most store owners allow you to take your dog in while he is in training. A few states grant access rights to service dogs in training, but I don't remember which ones.

    Your dog will need two types of training, service training, and public access training. Start the public access training with obedience training. Most kennel clubs offer obedience and the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizenship training http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/index.cfm. This training is essential. Service dogs can go anywhere you can go, including restaurants and places with big, noisy crowds. Your dog's behaviour must be perfect at all times.

    Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is an organization comprised of organizations that train service dogs. It sets standards for training and testing service dogs. These standards are not required by law, but I suggest you use their tests to decide when your dog is trained. ADI has two tests, a public access test http://www.adionline.org/publicaccess.html, and a service dog test http://www.adionline.org/service.html, http://www.adionline.org/Standards/ServiceDogStand... (They also have test and standards for guide and hearing dogs, but these do not apply to you.)

    Training a dog on you own is difficult. Two things helped me succeed. First, I kept, and still use, a daily training log. I listed all of the tasks I wanted my dog to learn, decided what order to teach them, and made up a form. My training log is just a table with the tasks. It has the date, the list of tasks, and details about public access practice (where we went and how long we were out). When we do a task, I put a check mark beside it on the form. At the end of the day, I count the check marks. This lets me prove my dog was trained, and it helps me ensure we practice as much as we need to. The other thing that helped was joining a couple of Yahoo groups for owner-trained service dogs. Other group members offered advice and helped when I had problems.

    Good luck. Training your own service dog is a lot of work, but it is worth it. You can e-mail me if you have any questions about what I said or about training your dog. I don't know about training for your situation, but I know someone who does.

  • 1 decade ago

    Service dogs DO need to be certified, and that's done mostly through TDI (Therapy Dogs International) or Delta Society. I believe it's illegal to put a sign on your dog saying it's a service dog when it is not certified.



Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.