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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Service dogs

How does service dog certification work?

After searching on the web, I've gatherd there is no fed/state regulated certification.. just random websites that you can "register" with and they'll print you out a neat card and send you a service dog vest. Oh and they charge $200+

Sounds to me, like a scam. I could just get on my girlfriends MacBook and create my own certification/ID card and buy a vest online

I was thinking of making him into a service dog because of my bad knee. Hard for me to bend down/over to pick up objects off the ground - Plus it'd be nice to take him into stores quickly altho CO is a dog friendly state thankfully
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 01:15 AM
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you might start with a CGC and TDI certification, for every person that misuses (not saying you are) the right to bring service dogs in public places it makes it that much more difficult for disabled persons to do so with their dogs

-Brandi


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Understood. Sometimes I walk with a cane depending on my knee so I know esp with my cane, no one will question me I don't think.. though I don't expect my knee to be like this for long, but it has been 5 months and still hurts enough to make me not want to bend it and wear my knee brace....
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Plus it'll be good when I move to Seattle for my new job at the end of this summer. I'll be moving from a home to a townhome (apartment) and most apartment commnunities have restrictions on GS along with other breeds - Making it much harder to find a nice place to live

I'll be sure to get my doctors note for that one
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 03:16 AM
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
I was thinking of making him into a service dog because of my bad knee. Hard for me to bend down/over to pick up objects off the ground - Plus it'd be nice to take him into stores quickly ...
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Sometimes I walk with a cane depending on my knee so I know esp with my cane, no one will question me I don't think.. though I don't expect my knee to be like this for long
For Public Access Rights under Title III of the ADA you must meet certain criteria. Do you feel that if you are ordered to appear, that you can go before a judge and prove to him that you are legally disabled as per the requirements of the ADA/Dept. of Justice? This is not always the same as being medically disabled per your doctor.

If called into court, you would also have to be able to present training documention and then demonstrate to a judge's satisfaction that your dog has been trained tasks to mitigate your legal disability. Your dog would also have to behave in a manner that satisfies the judge that your dog is a Service Dog.

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I'll be moving from a home to a townhome (apartment) and most apartment commnunities have restrictions on GS along with other breeds - Making it much harder to find a nice place to live

I'll be sure to get my doctors note for that one
Is your doctor willing to write an official statement (not just a note) that in his/her professional opinion that you meet the definition of being disabled under the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. 3601, et seq.)? Are you willing to go through the legal system if your landlord does not accept a letter of request for accommodation from you?

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 11:44 AM
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The websites that are selling Service Dog "certifications" or offer "registration" of Service Dogs are absolutely 100% a scam, bar none.

Now, in order for your dog to be considered a Service Dog under the law, two requirements must be met: (1) You must be considered disabled under the ADA, and (2) the dog must be individually trained to do specific tasks that mitigate your disability.

The way you describe your knee issues, I do not believe that you would be considered to be disabled under the ADA and would therefore not qualify for a Service Dog. You might get a doctor's note considering your dog an emotional support animal for housing purposes (which is completely different than public access), though. Of course, you could always do what the rest of us do, which is to look for dog-friendly housing.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 12:01 PM
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ILGHAUS had a great post. Id like to add that if the answer is no to any of the questions she asked you should NOT train your dog to be a service dog. When you go out in public with a service dog you are representing all SD teams. If something happens, you may make it difficult for the next person with a SD to enter that store.

Training a service dog typically takes about 2 years. The training is broken up into public access work, obedience, and service dog tasks (that are specific to mitigate your disability.) You mentioned your knee won't be bad for too long, if you are not going to be considered disabled 2 years from now I would not work towards having a SD.

I also agree with AbbyK9 that it sounds as if you would not be considered disabled. However I understand there may be other issues that you did not mention here. But in your situation I would work towards your dog being a companion dog rather than a service dog. What I mean here is a dog that would perform service tasks for you in the home, but would not accompany you into public when dogs are not allowed. If you go this route, you could also get a statement from your Dr about the assistance your dog provides in the home to persuade a landlord. But again I agree with AbbyK9 and think you should just look for dog friendly housing! I have a service dog, but I have a second dog as well so I still have to find dog friendly housing.

Also, I wanted to add using a SD in public is not all enjoyable. Many people say they would love to be able to bring their dog with them everywhere but a lot of work is involved. Training is something that never ends, your dog can pick up a bad habit much faster than a good habit so you must be vigilant. Going out with a SD causes people to stare at you. Sometimes people want to pet your dog, which should not be done because a SD needs to remain completely focused on you. Some people can be rude when you explain no your dog cannot be petted; or some people will try to sneak up and pet your dog without asking. People think its ok to ask you what your disability is and why you have a service dog. And I'm not just referring to say managers or store owners but regular employees as well as shoppers. Legally a store owner or manager is not allowed to ask you what your disability is but can ask what kind of service dog you have and what the dog does for you.

Last edited by Lin; 04-21-2010 at 12:06 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 01:11 PM
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I have two legally disabled sons. My oldest son as mild cerebral palsy and my youngest son has acquired hydrocephalus with associated cognitive issues. Iíve thought about having Mikka trained as a service dog but decided against it for a couple of reasons. First, neither one of them really needs a service dog. And second, the training is really expensive. Sure it would be ďcoolĒ to own a service dog but what would we train Mikka to do? Turn off the lights; pick something up off the floor; fetch a soda from the frig? There is really nothing my boys canít do for themselves, unless of course, they are too lazy.

Now, since my youngest had his accident there has been a chance of him having seizures. So far that has not happened and itís been almost 8 years so I donít think it will Ė but itís possible. A service dog would help with that but I donít know if the expense to train her to detect seizures is worth it, as so far (knocking on wood) it has not happened.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 01:32 PM
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I have trained 3 dogs as my service dogs, but I never took them out in public as service dogs. They were trained to help me up from the bed or chair, to pick up things that i had dropped, etc. Tag even helped me with the laundry. As I get older and my health deteriates further, I may need a public access dog. The new puppy will probably be that dog.

A seizure dog is not trained to detect seizures -- some dogs are just born with the ability. An friend of mine has a Dachshund that can detect migraines before they happen. What is trained is the appropriate response to the seizure.
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