Posts Tagged ‘service dog rights’

Service Dogs are protected by the Federal Government under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Information about the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Service Dogs are not pets and they are not emotional support animals.

Explain why a Service Dog is not the same as an Emotional Support Animal.

A service dog is a medical tool and as such have public access rights.

Service Dogs are permitted public access as they allow their handler to live a full life despite their disabilities.

Places Service Dogs have access to include: Restaurants Grocery Stores Office or any place of work Beaches National Parks Coffee Shops Farmers Markets No-pet apartments Hotels Movie Theaters Rideshare and taxis How to Prevent Service Dog Discrimination

Education is the most important tool to prevent Service Dog discrimination. Once you are aware of the guidelines the ADA has set out for Service Dogs, you can communicate with a Service Dog handler without accidental discrimination.

Questions that you can ask about a Service Dog – Is that a Service Dog? What Services does your Service Dog provide? Questions you are not permitted to ask about a Service Dog – Can you have your Service Dog perform the task? What disability do you have? You are permitted to request a Service Dog leave the property if – Service Dog is causing a disturbance and will not stop Service Dog is threatening others You are not permitted to deny a Service Dog access, even if – Someone is scared of dogs or uncomfortable with the dog’s breed You have a no-pet policy If you are a Service Dog handler and need to report Service Dog discrimination –

To report discrimination, you may contact the US Department of Justice directly. Contact the ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (voice) or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY) to schedule an appointment.

The ADA might take up to 2 weeks to get back to you so this is not to be used for causes of immediate emergency. If you or your Service Dog is being threatened, remove yourself from the premises.

To learn more about Service Dog requirements, you may find the post below helpful.

Service Dog Requirements

No, a landlord cannot refuse access to your certified Service Dog.

Understanding Service Dog rights will help you be better equipped to stand up for yourself. The media can often portray people without a visible and physical disability as taking advantage of the system. But if you are suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, or any other invisible disability you know this is far from the truth. We will go through 5 steps you can take to make your dog a Service Dog. Once you have completed these steps, you will be able to live with your Service Dog without worry.

Step #1 – Know Your Rights Step #2 – Train Your Dog Step #3 – Certify your Service Dog Step #4 – Inform your Landlord Step #5 – Live Life Step #1 – Understanding your rights as a Service Dog Handler

A landlord must grant access to a certified Service Dog. Below are items they cannot do –

They cannot charge a pet deposit or monthly fee for a Service Dog They cannot deny access based on breed (such as a Pitbull or Doberman) They cannot deny access based on weight They can deny access if your Service Dog has caused harm to others

A dog trained to perform tasks to aid a person’s disability is considered a Service Dog. A Service Dog and their handler are protected by the Department of Justice and the Americans with Disability Act. 

Step #2 – Train your Service Dog There are multiple levels of service dog training.

The first one is basic training. This will include teaching your dog standard good citizen behavior. This includes the tasks below –

– Sit (on demand and must maintain sit until handler releases them) – Stay (on demand and does not move until handler releases them) – Come (immediately comes to handler and ignores distractions) – Heel (walks with the handler without pulling the leash) – Place (immediately goes to a spot and sits until handler releases them)

The second step is to train your service dog to perform specific tasks for your disability. This section is more complicated and personal. Examples of Service Dog Tasks are deep pressure therapy during an anxiety attack or mobility assistance such as picking up a dropped item or retrieving medicine. To read more about service dog training – you may read this helpful guide. 

Step #3 – Order your Service Dog Vest and Service Dog Certification

Once your service is trained, you may choose to register them with Service Dog Certifications. You will order a custom Service Dog license showing you are traveling with a trained and legitimate service dog.

It is also recommended that your service dog wear a vest. This is not required by the ADA but many handlers find it convenient. Unfortunately, people in the service industry are not well versed in Service Dog Regulations and may attempt to hassle you without a service dog vest.

Step #4 – Informing your landlord you have a Service Dog

Before you inform your landlord that you have a service dog, make sure you understand your rights. Landlords cannot charge a service dog handler a monthly “pet fee” or a special “pet deposit”. They cannot discriminate against you due to your dog’s weight or breed. In addition, your landlord cannot ask you to disclose your disability or force your service dog to “perform” for them. Your landlord may request to see your certification or demand your Service Dog wear a vest. Although you do not need to comply with this, we recommend doing so for your personal convenience.

In the rare case that your landlord is hostile to your service dog after seeing your certification, document everything. We recommend only communicating via email. This will help you in the case that you need to bring a discrimination case against your landlord.

Please do note, your landlord will have a right to deny access to your Service Dog if they can show your dog poses a harm to others.

Step #5 – Live a happier and more fulfilled life

Beyond living with you, a legitimate and certified service dog can travel with you to almost all public places. For a helpful guide on how to travel with your service dog and communicate with others, please read this guide to Service Dog Laws.

If you suffer from an emotional or physical disability you may be wondering what qualifies a dog to be a service dog. In this post, we will answer that question and give you some facts you will want to know when getting a canine for the purpose of service.

Can My Dog Be a Service Dog?

Many people ask the question of whether their current dog can be a service dog? The answer to this question is dependant on what you need your service dog to do for you. If you have a dog for emotional support or to help you with stress and/or anxiety, then there are no restrictions on the canine companion. In fact, an emotional support animal (ESA) can be anything from a snake to a horse but know there are restrictions on this type of “service” animal.

However, if you require a dog to do more than just offer comfort, then you will need the canine to be properly trained to do the tasks required. For example, if the dog has to pull a wheelchair, then a Chihuahua will not be considered a service dog as it simply would not have the strength to complete this task.

Obedience Training

Whether you train your dog yourself or enlist the help of an agency or professional trainer, your service dog must be obedience trained. This entails the basic commands of sit, stay, come, down, drop, heel and leave. Depending on the breed of dog you have chosen or already have this can take weeks to months to accomplish.

Socialization Skills

Another important quality your service dog must possess is socialization skills. A skittish, hyperactive or unruly dog will not do well as a service dog. Your dog must be quiet, calm, relaxed, alert, and of course, friendly.

Work Tasks

To qualify as a service dog your canine must be able to demonstrate the ability to do the work tasks that you cannot do for yourself. This can include fetching medicine bottles, opening drawers, or even alerting you to a drop in your blood sugars or of an oncoming seizure.

Public Access Training

How your dog acts in public areas is crucial to having a service dog. These working dogs must not respond to any of the noise, commotion, chaos, food smells or people when out with its handler. This type of training may take several months before your dog is desensitized to hustle-and-bustle of being in a public place. Some dogs may never have the ability for this type of public access training and therefore would not be considered a service dog.

Service Dog Rules

Because a service dog is there to help the handler there are rules your dog must follow when out in public. These include;

No sniffing of people or merchandise No barking at people or other animals No begging for food or table scraps No jumping onto people or objects No lunging at passing people or other animals No overexcited or hyperactive behavior No eliminating in an inappropriate area. Dogs must learn to relieve themselves on command. Handler’s Behavior

There are a lot of rules for a service dog to follow, but what about the handler? Some agencies may have you sign a form that both you and your service dog will behave accordingly when out in public. This can include;

Being prepared to answer the questions of “is the dog a service dog and what task does it perform for you?” Being polite, confident and courteous even if the people you are dealing with are not familiar with the American Disability Act and service dogs.

Although it is not required by law, a service dog vest and/or badge is helpful when taking your working dog out into the public. You may also register your service dog with a reputable organization. This informs people at a glance that your dog is there to provide you with a service and not just a pet you are trying to “break the rules” with.

Service Dog Qualification Is a Process

Having a properly trained and accredited service dog is a process that takes time. Even though you can take an ordinary dog and turn it into a service dog, it will have to exhibit the qualities it takes to do this important work. It is also highly recommended to start your service dog training when your dog is just a puppy. Teaching an “old dog new tricks” will be much tougher, and he may not be able to accomplish all the tasks and training required to be a full-fledged service dog.