|Barked: Mon Oct 1, '12 7:39pm PST |
|Hello Toby and first off welcome to the forums.
Now to address your questions, yes it is the legal right of a disabled person in the US to train their own service dog, however that is a very long journey and generally takes close to 2 years which is often less than the actual wait time on a service organization. The cost is not actually any less when you break it down and there is a high chance of washout. These are things you will want to know on the onset.
Second while you can get a rescue dog your chances of having a dog successful for service work will go down unless you have some one that is Extremely familiar with evaluating dogs with you. There's still a chance of failure with this but it's less if the person evaluating has done so for service dogs before.
Third concerning public access. It looks like you are in Kansas and it looks like no you wouldn't have public access rights with a service dog in training (which is covered at a state rather than federal level with in training dogs)
The actual part of the law reads as follows :
39-1109. Use of assistance dog while training.
"Any professional trainer, from a recognized training center, of an assistance dog, while engaged in the training of such dog, shall have the right to be accompanied by such dog in or upon any of the places listed in K.S.A. 39-1101, and amendments thereto, without being required to pay an extra charge for such dog. Such trainer shall be liable for any damage done to the premises of facilities by such dog."
Now where to start, the first step I recommend is to sit down with your psychiatrist and create a realistic list of your symptoms and triggers, you want to list everything you can think of because it will become useful later.
Second find a trainer that is familiar with service dogs and the training of them. You will need this person several times in the process
Using the list of symptoms and triggers you need to make up a unique list of tasks that you feel will help "You" with your disability. IAADP has a good starting point for this but remember that just because the there is a list of tasks for one thing or another doesn't mean it will help You.
I recommend you read over IAADP's minimum training standards for public access Here. As well as visit the ADI's website for standards of assistance dog partners. I no longer recommend Psychdog.org as strongly due to some issues that I won't drag around on the board, but they do have some information on choosing a dog and on the standards that a service dog should meet that are worth reading.
At this point you need to look at your list of tasks and create a list of requirements for your service dog based on that task list. Things like if you are planning on mobility work you need a dog large enough to do that work, or if you need a dog to retrieve or pull things for you to look for a breed that has a desire for that type of work. Then make a list of traits that you would like, and a list of traits that you absolutely can't live with as a dog. This is what you're going to use to start narrowing down a breed or breed mix.
Then you will need to find a breeder either for a puppy or older adult dog, or a rescue all preferably with the help of the trainer you found earlier. ... that's a basic idea to get you started, if you need more help or have questions feel free to post or even message me if you'd like.
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