Service Dogs are great animals that are trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. This work includes guiding people who are blind, alerting people, pulling a wheelchair, reminding a person to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an attack, and other duties.
The history of service dogs goes back to World War I. Service dogs have helped many individuals with disabilities gain a safer and better quality of life. In 2011, a revision to the American with Disabilities Act excludes animals whose sole service is to provide comfort or emotional support. While these comfort dogs are special and are providing great relief for people they do not qualify as service dogs. A legitimate service dog must be trained to perform a specific task related to a person’s disability.
Does a professional have to train a service dog? No, as long as a dog is trained to perform a specific task, is not a nuisance and realizes the handler is in control at all times then a canine can qualify to become a service dog. Some of the specific behaviors of a qualified service dog include: command obedience, remaining calm and under control when exiting a vehicle, remaining in a heal position, and not let noise distractions keep them from perform their duties.
There are many companies out there that will certify your dog as a service dog. When choosing a company to certify your service dog one needs to look for a few things. First, you would want to find a company that has been in business for a long time. These companies have a greater understanding of the laws and can give you advice and direction. They will also be able to tell you if you dog does indeed qualify to be a service dog. The company should list the requirements of service dogs. They should state that by proceeding to purchase a service dog kit you, the handler, assure that your dog fulfills the requirements to become a service dog. Next, you would want to look for a company who has a phone number and will support you and your canine should you need anything. When looking to get a service dog certified you need to do your research and choose a company who has experience. Some negative comments about reputable companies are from people who have tried to make a service dog out of a pet and they blame the company when they are exposed.
Service Dogs have benefited countless lives over the years. When certifying your canine to be a service dog make sure you do your research and be sure there is true need for you to have a service dog.