How do i Certify my dog as a Service Dog ?

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

Pitufo -San

Barked: Sun May 3, '09 9:07am PST 
Hello to all,

I have been looking for information on how to make my dog become a certified Service Dog. But i have found conflicting information, some sites say they certify your dog, some non profit organizations have dogs for people and provide somenthing called a Public Access test that has to be administered by a specific person according to the Asistance Dog's international ( http://www.assistancedogsinternational.org/)
I want to know if any of you has gotten documentation proving that your dog is a type of working dog ( service Dog, wheather is a therapy dog or a seeing dog etc..)

I really appreciate any information you can give me on this matter. We live in TX just in case! thanks.

Luisa Fernanda

Yeah, I can do- that, but I- won't!

Barked: Sun May 3, '09 9:15am PST 
There is no certification - only some organizations certify that their dogs fulfill the expectations of their trainings standard.
No paperwork required.
No tests to be done - but, here comes the but.. I recommend for you to do public access training and maybe even do a test. You can have a friend evaluate you, take a camera and check how you did, a trainer, a policeman... your choice. It will help you to feel more confident in public and it is a great feeling to know - my dog can do it.
Also as to the task training - see what you need for your dog to mitigate your disability and train this task. It is useless to have a SD without task training (in my eyes)
Most counties give you a SD license. You will safe the taxes and it is for statistical reasons so they know how many SD they have in the community. Always important for all sorts of future decisions the county makes.

In order to get access in public places, you don't need any of the above but have to be disabled.
Check out my flyer on my webpage - on the right hand side there are albums and one says flyers. Also check this:
Warm wishes, sonja

I just checked your web page - you might not even need a SD but an ESD, Emotional Support Dog. Depending on the county, they won't have access rights, but you have the right to have the dog live with you in any kind of housing. Here you need for your Dr to fill out paperwork and give it to the landlord. They cannot charge you extra for the dog and you can have him live in non-pet housing with you. It is always good to train your ESD as well but you don't have to, since it is not a SD.
For an ESD you have to have a disabling condition, though. Not to the point that it disables you to function in your daily life, but there needs to be a record of you having challenges to get through your day without this dog. Even if having the ESD means for you to get out the house.
Hope it helped, sonja

Edited by author Sun May 3, '09 9:19am PST

Odin - SD

I've never met a- cheese I didn't- like.
Barked: Sun May 3, '09 11:46am PST 
To be a service dog, you have to be limited to the point of a disability. That you would have to talk over with your docs. if the docs say yes, you are limited that much, then you have to train your dog to do something to mitigate that disability. Unfortunately him standing there looking cute and well behaved waiting for you to snuggle him which might help you isn't enough. He needs to do a task or work that helps with your disability. You might want to check out psychdog.org for lots more info. There's also an Emotional Support Animal, which needs no special training, but also doesn't have public access rights. They can get into no pets housing and on airplanes. You do not have to be fully disabled to have an ESA.
As for certifications, legally there is no official certification. I would recommend your dog can pass a basic public access test before saying service dog. You can put him in a training status as soon as your doc says yes to the disability question. People are usually forgiving of little SDit (in training) mistakes, but remember to keep your dog under control at all times. Also be sure to look up your states laws regarding SDit while in that status. Some places don't' offer any protections to a SDit unless it's being trained by a recognized school. You aren't covered by the ADA until you have a regular SD.


Wag more, bark- less!
Barked: Sat May 9, '09 12:52pm PST 
I am part of a small program in Texas that is beginning to train PSDs and AADs- in the past, we have certified owner-trained dogs. PM me for more info.

Destry and his mom are one of our teams. smile

Cait - Dogstar Assistance Dogs