service dog qualification requirements
In Short: A well-behaved Service dog is unobtrusive, realizes that you are in control, and as a team you do not pose a public threat.
Dismissal: The Americans with Disabilities Act enables people with physical and psychological needs the relief they require through the use of Service Dogs by assisting them with their daily activities. Any dog that displays bad behavior, acts aggressively (growling, biting, showing teeth) may not be considered and will not qualify as a Service Dog. Keep in mind that even a well-trained Service Dog is not perfect and muzzling is an option.
Commands: Commands may be administered to your Service Dog using verbal orders, hand signals or a combination of the two.
Vehicle Unloading: The dog must remain calm and under control while departing the vehicle. He/ she must wait until released before exiting. Once out of the vehicle the dog must wait quietly until such time as you command, while under no circumstances should the dog be off lead. A quick and efficient exit will ensure your canine helpers safety.
Approaching a Structure: The dog must remain in a heel position* at all times. Traffic, loud noises and other distractions should not gain the attention of the dog. As a team you should project a relaxed attitude.
Controlled Entry Though a Opening: The dog must remain in a heel position at all times. Soliciting of attention should not be tolerated.
Command Obedience: The dog must be obedient to your commands i.e.: sit, come, stay, lay, heel, etc.
Noise Distraction: The dog may acknowledge noise, but in no way should the dog show aggression or fear. Some reaction is normal however; a properly trained Service Dog once commanded, should not cower, shake, or act as though they are unable to perform their usual duties.
Restaurant Conduct: While seated the dog should sit under the table if permissible. If not, as close as possible will suffice. Dropped food retrieval should not be permitted under any circumstances.
Off Lead Retrieval: If lead is dropped at any time the dog must remain in the heel position, unless otherwise commanded.
Load into Vehicle: Load into vehicle should be conducted quickly and efficiently with either the dog or the handler entering first. The dog must not wander but patiently wait for instructions. The dog’s safety is always the main concern when walking to or from your vehicle in a parking lot, necessitating command obedience.
*Heel Position: When you are standing still or walking, the neck/shoulder region of the forward-facing dog is lined up with your right or left leg, and close alongside you
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