Are you looking to get a service dog? Service dogs are different than emotional support animals and you must be suffering from a physical disability to qualify for a service dog. Generally, people suffering from vision and hearing impairment and those who are in wheelchairs need assistance to move around.
For them, a service dog is a must but, before getting excited, make sure that you qualify for it and know about the steps that are involved in acquiring one. One more thing that you must consider is that unlike an ESA that has a long list of animals, currently, only dogs and miniature horses are considered as service animals.
Want to know more about what you need to do to get your service dog? Read the entire blog.
A service dog is a skilled dog that is specifically trained to perform a specific kind of job or task. Usually, people who suffer from some kind of physical deformity or limitation like hearing disability, blindness or visually impaired, seizures and panic attacks.
Recordedly, a service dog can perform a lot of functions like steering the wheelchair, alerting a person before the possible seizure attack, reminding a mentally disbled person to take the medication and calming someone from a panic attack. Similarly, diabetic alert dogs are trained to alert their owner of low or high blood sugar events that they monitor through the specific scent in the owner's breath.
A service dog could be of a great help for the people who need it and this is why Americans who are suffering from several kinds of physical disabilities are moving towards having them. Besides service dogs, miniature service horses are also quite famous but since they are larger than dogs, people still prefer dogs more than them.
A service dog is different than an emotional support dog and where an ESA dog is there to provide comfort and support only, a service dog is here to do some form of ‘service'. This is where the difference between emotional support animal vs. service animal lies and they are equally different in purposes also.
So, what are the prerequisites of qualifying a dog as a service animal? There are many and getting a service dog could be even costlier than an emotional support animal or dog. Where an ESA is not expected to perform any specific duties, a service dog or animal is different and it needs to be sufficiently trained before qualifying.
Following are the basic steps that you need to follow to get your dog qualified as a service dog.
Once you have decided that you need a service dog for your help, you must decide the kind and breed of dog that you want as your service animal. Generally, dogs like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd, Huskies, Great Dane and Labrador Retriever are used as service dogs. These dogs are trained to help people who are visually imapired and need assistance with everyday activities.
Besides, people send their dog for specific service dog training program to help them detect blog sugar also.
However, there are no laws that limit your ability to choose a dog for yourself. But, we suggest that you get the dog thoroughly examined to know about its health and if it is to be a service dog. Besides health, the animal must also fit the mood and personality of the owner to form a successful companionship.
While many people like to go for professional training for their service dogs, these dogs could successfully be trained at home also. There are no policies in the Americans with Disabilities Act that say that you need to get your dog professionally trained. However, as a general rule, the service dog must be disciplined and able to perform the desired task satisfactorily.
Working with a service dog is like educating a child. You need to invest effort, time and money to get the desired results. While there is no minimum training time and duration that is required to qualify as a service dog, it is important that you spend ample time in training your future service dog.
As per the international standards, a dog must have at least 120 hours and six months of training while as per the law in the United States, there is no particular law. Still, the dog must go through 30 hours of training process and time spent in public.
Mainly, your dog must be trained to perform tasks successfully while being adequately trained in staying under control and disciplined in public. The tasks vary from person to person but some of them include giving warning to the person before the seizure attack and getting the needed help.
While your dog does not need to be professionally trained, it needs to pass the Public Access Examination to qualify as a service dog. Following is the criteria that it must fulfil to be an official service dog.
This criteria is also available in a downloadable format that you can get from the ADI.
Luckily, like an emotional support animal, you do not need any legal letter or certificate to prove your service dog's legitimacy. Your dog just needs to sufficiently trained to work for you and this is enough. In case someone asks you to provide the papers to prove the legal status of your service dog, documents stating that the dog has proper and complete training to be a service dog is quite enough and acceptable.
Presenting the case verbally and showing the training certificate is enough for you to continue living and traveling with your service dog.
What is the eligibility criteria for a service dog? Just like emotional support animals, a service dog also has some criteria that you need to fulfil in order to be eligible for a service dog. Below are some of the requirements and conditions that qualify a person for a service dog.
Since the handler will be handling the dog himself, he must be capable to command and tell it what to do and control it in public places.
To get a service dog, the applicant needs to procure and present some documents that are necessary to qualify and get a service dog. Following are the documents that you will need to obtain a service dog.
Once all the documentation is complete, you will be on your way of getting your service dog. Service dog organizations have tough criteria so that only a disabled person or the people who are in need of assistance may benefit from them.
Before getting your service dog, it is important to decide the type of dog that you want. This largely depends on you condition and the kind of assistance you need. Generally, the following kinds of dogs are used for various assistance purposes.
Make sure that you are confirmed about the kind of dog that you need and your diagnosis is clear about it. A good thing about service dogs is that you will not need an ESA letter for it but, you will still need to train your dog before applying for the service dog certification.
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