Posts Tagged ‘register service dog’

A service dog can significantly improve a person’s quality of life. Not only do they fulfill specific tasks for individuals with physical or mental disabilities, they also provide companionship and security. A service dog’s presence can be the difference between a safe and a dangerous environment. That’s why registering a service dog may be the best option to ensure these essential animals can do their jobs. The following are guidelines to help you register your service dog. 

Determine Your Need for a Service Dog

First, decide if a service dog is right for you. People who require service dogs typically have a diagnosed physical or mental disability, such as difficulty walking, a debilitating chronic illness, or psychological disorder. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person with a disability as: 

“[…] a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.”

However, the ADA does not go into detail as to which impairments are explicitly covered. If you have a physical or mental impairment and feel that a specially trained dog could help accomplish a particular life activity, a service dog may benefit you. 

Choose the Breed that Fits Your Need

When looking for a service dog, choose a dog that can perform your required task(s) well and safely. For instance, if you’d need a service dog to assist you with remaining upright when walking, then a 15-pound chihuahua may not be the best choice for you. As adorable as a particular dog breed may be, that type of breed may not meet your needs.

Choose a breed that can complete the job rather than one you find most appealing. 

Train Your Dog for Your Disability

There are a variety of ways to train your service dog:

You can purchase a dog that has already received training to meet your type of needs. You select a dog and then find a professional dog trainer to do the training. The most cost-effective—but most involved—choice is to train your service dog yourself.

Once trained, it may be time to register your service dog. 

A service dog can be registered after its training is complete. Register Your Service Dog

Traveling or going out in public with your service dog can lead to fewer problems if they’re registered. Other people are more likely to trust a service dog who is registered and certified. Registering your service dog includes their information into a comprehensive database and provides information on your dog’s status without having you divulge private medical information to strangers. Registering your dog is a quick and easy process that can save you from obstacles when out in public places. 

How to Register Your Dog as a Service Dog  Input the name of the service dog handler. The handler would be the name of the person who the dog performs tasks for and answers to. The handler also provides care for the dog, such as grooming, feeding, and toileting.  Input the name of your service dog. This name would be the name a service dog typically responds to. Provide your email address. Some sites may need you to verify your email address afterward.  Upload a picture of your service dog. Choose a photo that is clear and provides an accurate representation of your dog.  Select the format of the registration. Include the registration as a paper certificate, collar tags, leash covers, and other tools. Why Should I Register My Dog as a Service Dog? 

Although the ADA doesn’t make certification or registration of a service dog mandatory, it’s still good practice. Despite having protection under the ADA, the public may not understand the rights of service dogs and their handlers. Due to the recent rash of fraudulent service and therapy dogs, the public may be wary of allowing legitimate service dogs into their establishments. By registering your service dog, you can provide immediate notice of its status—bypassing any disagreements. 

Registering your service dog maintains your privacy. Because you can provide immediate and tangible information of your service dog’s status, others are less likely to question your dog’s presence. Registration allows you—and your service dog—to go about your daily tasks with less interruption and discussions. Your disability, and your dog’s services, can remain your own business. 

Service Dogs and Public Trust

Fraudulent service and therapy dog claims erode the public’s trust in legitimate service dogs. Registration re-builds the public’s trust and, in the end, allows service dogs to do their jobs in peace. 

Any dog lover will tell you that the benefits of sharing your life with a canine companion are far too numerous to name. For people afflicted with certain disabilities and conditions, those benefits reach even further. Thanks to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, service dogs are so much more than just pets. These faithful companions provide the support needed by many individuals to live independently. From seeing eye dogs that are trained to guide the blind, dogs that can detect seizures before they strike and warn their owners, and canines that can sense their handlers’ blood sugar levels to highly trained dogs that help their owners perform numerous day-to-day tasks and those that aid soldiers who have returned from war, there is no limit to the types of roles these incredible dogs can fill.

How exactly does one go about registering a service dog? Let’s take a closer look at service dog registration requirements. 

Understand what a service dog is and what it does. Train the dog to provide a service for the handler/owner. Register your dog with a reputable organization. Get your service dog ID card and vest. Know your rights.

What Is a Service Dog?

A service dog is a dog that has been specifically trained to perform certain tasks or do work for someone with a disability. Some of the most common tasks including guiding the blind, alerting deaf people, protecting someone who is having a seizure, pulling a wheelchair, and reminding someone to take prescribed medications. Under the ADA, in order for a dog to qualify as a service animal, it must undergo extensive training to meet the specific needs of a person who is disabled. They are classified as working animals rather than pets, and they are afforded several protections under the law.

Training Requirements

Training is what distinguishes a pet from a service animal. Whether you have your dog professionally trained or choose to do the training yourself, you can register him or her as a service dog upon completion. The United States does not have guidelines in place for how much time you need to spend training a service dog, however, international standards recommend roughly 120 over the course of six months. Many dogs spend one to two years in training, and at least 30 hours should be spent training in public to help the dog learn how to work in distracting situations.

Once you feel that the dog has been thoroughly trained, you need to put him to the test. The Public Access Test provides evaluation criteria for service dogs. In order to pass, the service animal must not show aggressive behavior or beg for food or affection while being tested. The animal must also remain calm and avoid hyperactivity while in public and respond to basic obedience cues.

Registration and Equipment

In the United States, service dog registration is not required by law. However, registering your dog makes it much easier to ensure that your rights will be respected by businesses, landlords, etc. Registering your service dog online is easy and takes just a few minutes. Simply enter your name, your dog’s name, your email address and the type of service your dog performs.

Once your dog has been registered, it is a good idea to invest in certain equipment. While service dog identification is not required by law in the US, carrying a service dog ID card for your service animal could help you avoid some sticky situations. Service dog vests are also a good idea as they clearly show that your dog is working.

Service Dog Rights

Trained service dogs are afforded several rights under the ADA. They are allowed to enter public places where pets are not allowed, such as restaurants, malls, and hotels. Service dogs are also permitted to accompany their handlers on airplanes. Businesses may ask if a dog is a service dog and what tasks the dog performs. They may not, however, ask about the handler’s disability, require special identification for the dog or refuse admittance. Businesses that prepare or serve food must allow service dogs in public areas. The ADA supersedes local and state health codes.

If a service animal is out of the owner’s control and posting a direct threat to the safety and health of others, the business owner does reserve the right to ask the owner to remove the animal from the premises.

Once a service dog has been properly trained, registration is easy. Service dogs are largely self-regulated in the United States, and while federal law protects them and their owners, the requirements are much less rigid than many people would imagine. While identification and vests are not required by federal law, these things are recommended because they may make dealing with the public easier when you have a service animal.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dog owners have special legal rights. The ADA allows service dogs to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where the public is allowed to go. This includes businesses such as stores and restaurants, and public areas such as parks, beaches and libraries

Under the ADA, a disability is defined as someone who has “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” or “a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.”

Owners of service dogs use their animals to help with a wide variety of disabilities. Generally, the disability can be –

A physical one such as – mobility issues, blindness, and hearing impairment. A psychiatric condition such as – panic disorder, severe depression, and PTSD.

Regardless of the type of disability the owner has, the service dog must be trained to work or perform tasks that are related to the disability. In the article, we will address four specific topics.

#1 – A Service Dog Must Have Special Training #2 – Registrations, IDs, vests and other accessories are frequently used and helpful, but optional  #3 – Service dogs have special rights for housing #4 – Service dogs can travel with their handlers, even on flights #1 – A Service Dog Must Have Special Training

By definition, a service dog must be individually trained to work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. The task that the service dog is trained to perform must be directly related to the owner’s disability.

For example, a service dog can be trained to assist a visually impaired person walk around in public environments, or to pull a wheelchair for someone with limited mobility. Service dogs also help people with psychiatric conditions by performing tasks such as reminding their owners to take medication or providing pressure therapy during panic or anxiety attacks. 

In addition to the special training a service dog needs to help with a person’s disability, it’s also important for the service dog to master basic obedience training. Under ADA rules, a service dog must always be under the control of its handler. Service dogs must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered (unless it prevents the service dog from effectively performing its tasks). If the use of a harness, leash or tether is unsuitable, the owner must maintain control of their service dog through voice, signal or other means. 

A good service dog should be able to maintain discipline and focus on its owner in public areas, especially those that are busy and filled with potentially distracting stimuli. It can be useful to subject the service dog to a public access test to ensure that is ready to enter public environments filled with people, animals and other distractions. 

A service dog can be trained by a professional or by the handler. There is no requirement to hire a professional or to take any particular course – if the handler is capable, they can train their service dog all on their own. Training a dog to perform tasks reliably for a disability takes time, patience and know-how. 

If you have limited knowledge and experience in training a canine, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer. A dog trainer can be helpful even if you plan to do most of the training yourself – they can give you a framework for training and useful tips. 

#2 – Registrations, IDs, vests and other accessories are frequently used and helpful, but optional 

When you see a service dog owner out in public you will often see the dog wearing a vest and the handler will have an identification card that likely contains a registration number.

Service dog handlers commonly use Service Dog IDs and vest primarily for a couple of reasons:

They help indicate to others in the public that their dog is a working service animal that should not be bothered They help maintain privacy by curbing unwanted and intrusive inquiries about the service dog.

One common misconception regarding service dogs is that there is a legal requirement for them to be registered or to wear a vest. Some people also think that an identification card is mandatory for service dog owners. Contrary to these beliefs, service dog owners are not required to register their dogs, carry IDs or have their service dogs wear vests.

Service dog owners use these items voluntarily because they are useful. A staff person at a public establishment however cannot demand that a service dog owner show an ID card or put a vest on their dog in order to be granted accommodation on the premises. Many service dog owners find ID cards and vests essential for being out in public. Most people are unaware of the specific details regarding ADA rules, and these tools provide an easy shortcut for service dog handlers to indicate that their dog is not a normal pet. If you’re interested in registering your service dog in a database, you can get started by clicking on the link below.

Once your dog is registered, you can order a service dog ID card, service dog certification, and even order a service dog vest. Again, while these items are optional, many service dog owners find them incredibly helpful. 

All service dog owners should understand they have a right to privacy when they are out in public. If it is obvious what service the service dog provides, staff at a public establishment are not allowed to make any inquiries regarding your service dog. If it is not obvious what service the dog provides, staff can only ask two questions: 1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability and if so, 2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform. They can’t ask a service dog owner for further details regarding their disability or require that the handler demonstrate that the dog can perform the task it has been trained for. 

#3 – Service dogs have special rights for housing

Service dogs have special housing rights that are not granted to normal pets. If you are a service dog owner, you are permitted under Fair Housing rules to live with your service dog, even if your building has a strict policy that bans all pets. For purposes of Fair Housing laws, service dogs are not considered pets, and any policy that may apply to pets are inapplicable. 

For example, if the building allows pets but not dogs over 50 pounds, or the building bans certain breeds such as Pitbulls or Great Danes, those rules do not apply to service dogs. A housing provider cannot prevent a tenant from keeping a service dog in their home because the dog is a certain breed or weight. 

A landlord can only deny accommodation of a service dog in limited circumstances, such as if they determine that the service dog poses a safety or health threat to others. As with all service dogs, landlords can only verify a disabled person’s need for a service dog by asking the two questions discussed in the previous section. Unlike an emotional support animal which requires a letter of recommendation from a licensed healthcare professional, a service dog does not need any type of documented credentials. 

#4 – Service dogs can travel with their handlers, even on flights

Service dogs are also allowed to travel and fly with their handler. This means they can ride on public transportation such as trains and buses, and also in taxis. Under the Air Carrier Access Act, service dogs are allowed to accompany their owners in the airplane cabin as well.

Travelling can be a stressful experience for any dog. It’s important that a service dog has been trained to handle situations such as crowded airports, trains and airplane cabins. A service can be denied accommodation if it is being disruptive and not under the control of its handler. Service dogs intended to be used for travel should be exposed to a wide variety of situations so they remain calm when faced with novel environments. It’s important to properly acclimate a service dog for the type of journey you’re taking. For example, it’s recommended to start with shorter trips on a plane or the bus so your service dog can learn to maintain their composure when flying with you through turbulence on longer trips or on a bus or train when it is crowded and bumpy.

If you are ready to register your service dog, click on the image below.