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What is a Service Dog?

Common Types, Proper Identification, Traveling Tips & More...

What is a Service Dog?

According to the American Disabilities Act (federal) any dog assisting a person with a disability is considered a service dog with no breed, size or age restriction. A Service Dog and its handler enjoys special protection. The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (Federal) enables people with physical and psychological needs the relief they require using Service Dogs by assisting them with their daily activities. The handler and Service Dog are protected under this Federal Act which gives them equal access to anywhere the general public is allowed such as restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, taxis, and aircraft, as well as providing protection for handlers living in places “pets” are not generally allowed when the requirements and qualifications are met. Service Dog Certification of America’s online Service Dog registration will guide you and your canine helper to a very happy conclusion.

Common types of Service Dogs

Alarm Alert
Allergy Detection 
Alzheimer’s Assistance Dog
Asthma Asst Dog
Autism Asst Dog
Balance Asst Dog
Balance Spt Dog
Brace/Mobility Support Dog

Crowd Control 
Dementia Asst
Diabetes Alert 
Emergency Phone Retriever Dog Guide Dog
Hearing Alert Dog
K-9 Rescue Dog
Medical Asst Dog

Medication Aid 
Migraine Alert 
Mobility Aid Dog
Narcolepsy Alert
Narcolepsy Resp 
Panic Attack Dog
(deep pressure therapy)
Panic Prevention 

Parkinson Asst 
Psy Service Dog
Ptsd  Service Dog
Security Alert
Security Asst Dog
Sedation Alert 
Seizure Alert Dog
Seizure Response Dog

Severe Allergy Alert Dog
Speech Impairment Tasks
Speech Impairment- Asst 
Smoke Alert Dog
Visual Asst Dog
Wheelchair Assistance Dog

identify your service dog

The need for Service Dogs has increased dramatically over the last few years. These service animals provide people with an increased quality of life through their assistance in your day-to-day activities. By properly identifying your service dog, you will be assured that your caninehelper can accompany you whenever and wherever you may wish to go. A handler is protected under Federal law and cannot be charge any fee for an accompanying Service Dog, at any time and in all circumstances under Federal Law ie. pet rent at apartments, air fair, hotel fees etc. Our goal is to provide you with the all of the necessary tools to properly identify your canine as a Service Dog in all circumstances without any issues, along with 24hr. verification and Service Dog Law expertise.

registration / verification

At Service Dog Certification of America we provide Service Dog and Emotional Support Dog registration. At the end of this registration process your dog will have a profile that can easily be accessed by providing the requesting party with your registration number and our website address. This can also be accomplished by scanning the QR code on your dog’s identification card. Your dog’s registration will always be easily accessible for verification. This service is included with all packages offered. View a sample profile…

Service Dog vs. Emotional Support

The difference between an Emotional Support Dog and a Service Dog is training. Has the dog been trained to perform a specific task or job directly related to the person’s disability? For example, alerting a hearing-impaired person to an alarm or guiding a visually impaired person around an obstacle are jobs performed by service dogs. Some dogs perform naturally, and one can learn to recognize it and modify it through training if needed. Per Federal Law no one can ask you to make your Service Dog perform on call and depending on your State Law a Service Dog in training receives all the privileges as one that is a fully trained Service Dog.

traveling with your service or emotional support dog (uS department of transportation)

how do airlines determine whether an animal is a service animal?​

Airlines can determine whether an animal is a service animal or pet by:

traveling with your service dog

  • The credible verbal assurances of an individual with a disability using the animal;
  • Looking for physical indicators such as the presence of a harness or tags;
  • Requiring documentation for psychiatric support animals and emotional support animals; and
  • Observing the behavior of animals.
  • Emotional Support and Psychiatric Service Animals –  Airlines can request specific documentation and/or 48-hours advanced notice for service animals that are emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals. Find Out More…

frequent questions concerning Assistance dogs answered by the dOJ

Q:Does the ADA require service animals to be professionally trained?

A: No. People with disabilities have the right to train the dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog training program.

Q: What happens if a person thinks a covered entity’s staff has discriminated against him or her?

A: Individuals who believe that they have been illegally denied access or service because they use service animals may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice. Individuals also have the right to file a private lawsuit in Federal court charging the entity with discrimination under the ADA.

Q: Does a hospital have to allow an in-patient with a disability to keep a service animal in his or her room?
A: Generally, yes. Service animals must be allowed in patient rooms and anywhere else in the hospital the public and patients are allowed to go. They cannot be excluded on the grounds that staff can provide the same services.

Q: Can service animals be any breed of dog?
A: Yes. The ADA does not restrict the type of dog breeds that can be service animals.

Q: My city requires all dogs to be vaccinated. Does this apply to my service animal?
A: Yes. Individuals who have service animals are not exempt from local animal control or public health requirements. Find Out More…