Two SDs OK?

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.

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Member Since
Barked: Wed Oct 10, '12 3:57pm PST 
I have dear friend with traumatic brain injury that manifests with PTSD and vertigo. He already had a non-SD dog when the injury occurred. He registered the dog online as an SD and takes him everywhere. He recently acquired a second dog (pup) and refers to her as "SD in training." These dogs do not do different tasks. This person is a friend. I wonder if this is really OK, or is my friend pushing the envelope and potentially giving other people with SDs a bad name?

Edited by author Wed Oct 10, '12 3:58pm PST


Queen Shmoopy
Barked: Wed Oct 10, '12 4:44pm PST 
I'm not sure how he could register either of them...? There is no registry or official certification in the United States for service dogs. I don't want to fling mud but he certainly sounds like he's pulling a fast one.

The Boy Wonder
Barked: Wed Oct 10, '12 4:54pm PST 
Two dogs is a messy issue but let me start with trying to explain what a service dog Is.

A service dog is a dog individually trained to assist with a person with a disability. There is no national registry and no federally recognized certification program. However to qualify as a service dog there are points that must be adheared to. 1) The handler must have a disability per the ADA's definition, 2) the dog must be housebroken and public access trained for basic safety, 3) the dog Must be task trained in task(s) directly relating to the persons disability.

Service dogs in training are not covered under federal law and one must look at state law for guidelines, different states have different laws pertaining to public access rights with a dog in training.

If the first dog isn't task trained then it is not a service dog under any federal or state law. Penalties for faking a service dog can be very high and beyond that by having an untrained dog in public the person hurts all legitimate service dog teams.

As to having multiple dogs, it is possible to have different dogs trained to different tasks, though as a rule a business is only required 'reasonable' accommodation so you're walking on a slippery slope with that. I know a few people who have a guide dog and a dog for another type of work like medical alert. This is sometimes needed because some program trained dogs can not be trained in other tasks and some tasks require different things from a dog that are sometimes incompatible. Saying you can't have two dogs as a blanket statement is like saying a person can't have a wheelchair And oxygen. They are two different things for different purposes.

A service dog is a serious commitment. You might have him look at ADI or IAADP's minimum training standards and help him find a trainer that specializes in service dogs. The online registry is a scam, plain and simple.

H, my angel- in heaven.

Barked: Wed Oct 10, '12 7:43pm PST 
Sounds fishy to me. If the first dog wasn't an SD how did it suddenly become when after your friend "registered" it? Service dogs go through a ton of public training and task training. Registering it somewhere means nothing, plus they are all scams anyway.

Edited by author Wed Oct 10, '12 7:44pm PST


Razzle Dazzle-
Barked: Thu Oct 11, '12 6:01pm PST 
I have a service dog-in-training...simply put she has never been professionally trained, but I have personally trained her for the 7 years of her life...and regardless of training and the fact I am still waiting for SSD approval, I am disabled and she is a service dog. I do have a certified disability trainer in my area that I am working with, but without having an income I can not afford the training at the moment. I am, however, determined disabled by my doctors and therapist and have proven to be required my service companion at any government or private dwelling for my health and wellbeing. I am interested in this issue to because I recently bred my service dog and intended to keep a pup, until the pup was illegally sold.

Member Since
Barked: Thu Oct 11, '12 10:11pm PST 
I know a person who uses two SDs; each are trained to do completely separate jobs, nothing whatsoever in common. Guide dog and alert dog.

Having two dogs do the same thing is ridiculous. There are some people I've seen online who do this. They say it's so they can switch back and forth between dogs, claim to be giving one a "break", but they end up bringing both everywhere with them to "train" together. Again, ridiculous. It's just an excuse to take two dogs everywhere.
Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
Barked: Sat Oct 13, '12 9:32pm PST 
I am not sure either how one reg. either other doing it through the town for a license that is all I would say there. The places on line are not leagal is what I am told here and for the most part.
As far as I am told that two SDs can be used tandumly for two different some of the same tasks.
I have known some people doing so too.

Barked: Fri Oct 19, '12 12:02pm PST 
As there is not an official SD registry, what an online certification is, is basically saying that you verified to THEM that you have 1) a legitimate condition that would benefit from a SD and 2) trained the SD to perform tasks to assist you. They basically back you on that claim. Many require Dr. prescriptions for the SD.

Now, just because he may have a condition that may benefit, doesn't mean that person actually trained his animals. He just claimed he has or is. THIS is against the law, but it's no risk to the company that certified him as he verified to them that he did. Make sense?

As for the two service dogs - if both dogs can perform a task that assists him, it is completely legitimate. It doesn't matter if he doesn't exactly need two. He could just be trying to socialize both of them at the same time - so that he can switch between them later on. He can have as many service animals as he wishes legally (maybe not taking them all out at once unless necessary, of course), as long as the animal performs a task that assists him.

Work hard; Play- harder.
Barked: Fri Oct 19, '12 1:46pm PST 
Matilda, there are NO online registries that are legitimate. They are all scams and I've yet to see one that actually requires documentation from a physician. They generally work on the honor system which means that anyone can sign up.

microscopic mutt
Barked: Fri Oct 19, '12 2:18pm PST 
Personally I think the ADA is quite clear on this matter. It says

Generally, a public accommodation shall modify policies, practices,
or procedures to permit the use of a service animal
by an individual with a disability.

Again, the pertinent phrase here is

a service animal
Now, I don't know how people get from "a service animal" (which means one animal, singular) to "two or more service animals". If the intent was to make multiple animals acceptable, the phrase "service animals" would be used in place of "a service animal", don't you think?
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