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How to Tell if a Service Dog is Real or Fake

Paul Thrasher  |  Apr 30th 2010


I think most people would agree a ‘fake’ service dog is a pet that the owner claims service dog status for so that the dog has public access. They have no task training or other skills that make SDs special. Also, the owner isn’t disabled. Pretty much the same answer for ‘fake Service Dogs in Training’ If you have a SDIT, no one expects their behavior to be as good as an actual SD, and SDs are usually 18 months old or older. If you have a new puppy you want to take to the mall, he would be difficult to pass off as a SD! A ‘fake’ SDIT isn’t much different then a ‘fake’ SD. Neither is trained (or being trained) as a service dog. I would think if one needed to ask if they were disabled, they weren’t. A disability is supposed to impact life activities, such as eating, bathing, dressing, breathing. You can always ask you doctor. In my opinion, pretty much everyone qualifies as disabled by ADA standards. These standards weren’t developed with SDs in mind. They were written the way they were to stop discrimination in the job market, housing, physical access of public places, etc. There are three parts to the definition of disability in the ADA. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t meet at least one of those parts. I’m especially fond of the ‘history of a disability’ one myself. If you have a history of deafness – just as an example – but have surgery to correct it and can now hear, you are still considered disabled under the ADA.