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I Meet An Effective Service Dog, Simply Trained — 11 Comments

  1. I really appreciated your thoughts about this, Denise, as well as the sites to check for more information. Thanks for writing.
    Joni

  2. Having had my own brushes with PTSD, I remember that I pretty much always *seemed* “normal.” But I do think there is greater pyschological awareness in society now than there was in my long-ago youth!

  3. Joni… Yes, again you are right.  The airlines have different rules that apply to flying with a service dog.  They don’t fall under the ADA, but some other initial thing, don’t remember.  And it’s a LOT more work to prove and show to fly with a PSD, than say, a guide dog for the blind.  **shakin head**

  4. WOW, Denise, what a great reply, and Joni thanks for your further thoughts too.

    You know, I go along here blogging about whatever comes into my life or mind, and every now I then it feels really worthwhile. This is one of those times!

  5. Joni:
    Hello…I am Denise and I use a Service Dog also. His name is proZac, and he is what is called a psyactric service dog. He helps me with my mental issues. I am happy to hope to help you and address some of the concerns that you list in your post above.

    1) in order for any dog to be designated as a ‘service dog’, the handler must be DISABLED.  Then, the dog must be specifically trained to do tasks, or work, to mitigate that person’s disability.  It is a good idea if the dog can pass behavior tests, CGC, and/or PAT, for public access manners, but is not required by law.  This is why most service dogs that you run across will be far more well mannered that most “pets”.

    2) There is NO “certification, ID, or license” that the Federal Law of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requires. The ADA is the Federal Law that governs Service Dogs. Actually, it’s not even legal to ask to see it from gatekeepers.  People who do show a ‘certification’ or “documentation” of some sort probably got it from one of two ways.

    a) If the dog was programed trained, (trained by a school for service dogs), then that particular school might offer a certificate for completing their course.  Much like a diploma.  However, under the ADA Federal Law, it is useless to prove that the dog is legally ‘certified’ to be a service dog.  Legal certification just does not exist.

    or
    b) they went online or to a friend, or themselves, and made a “certificate” looking official, with the dog’s picture.. and whatever else.  These too, are useless under the law.  It’s sad, but there are many, many websites offering to create a certificate for the dog, and have the nerve to charge for it.

    Many service dog handlers won’t show a certificate of any kind when asked by gatekeepers.  I myself am one of them.  The reason for this is a human/service dog team setting a presidence for teams following them. 

    For example:  Let’s say that Joe goes to XYZ restaurant on Monday with his service dog.  He is asked for, and shows, a certificate that satisfies the person asking for it, and let’s the team in.  Now, *I* go to the same exact XYZ restaurant on Tuesday.  Now the restaurant thinks they can legally ask for “documentation” for the service dog, because Joe showed them one.  *I* refuse to show any paperwork, because 1) it’s illegal for the gatekeeper to ask for it,and 2) the Federal Law does not require that I show it.  Had Joe of educated the restaurant on Monday on the ADA laws, then *I* would not have been asked on Tuesday, and would not be discriminated against.

    Legal information that you asked for can be found at: ADA.com.  Good information about Psych Dogs in general is at: Psychdog.org. 

    You are correct in that these wonderful dogs that are trained to help so many people with so many different disabilities are a wonderful thing indeed.  Dogs can be trained to alert to seizures, diabetes, assist with moblilty issues either walking or using a weelchair… open & close doors, remind handler to take meds at a regular time each day,open the front door for medical help personnel, …retrieve dropped items for someone who can’t bend, get meds and get something to drink them with from the fridge… call 911… and the list goes on and on.

    I am glad that you posted your thought and questions.  I hope that you can find the information here helpful.

    Denise
    ~Service Dogs save lives~

  6. Thanks, Rosana. I checked on  ‘service dog certification’ and found that “certification” for canines, no matter how they are being utilized, as a guide for the blind, fetching medications, reassuring those with panic disorders, or simply as a friend, is not very well-defined in fact or in law. Having a doctor’s description of the individual’s disability, plus a recognized trainer’s sworn statement that the dog has been tested for obediance and friendliness, is what the airline companies use to decide if a handicapped person’s dog may accompany them on board their planes. It looks rather as if we are allowing the airline companies to determine policies about service dogs that might be better regulated by those who have insight into the use of service dogs and the handicapped, as opposed to lawyers working for large corporations mainly concerned about their liability. 
    I appreciated your response.
    Joni

  7. The best information regarding psychiatric service dogs is found at psychdog.org

  8. Joni, I wish I had thought to ask this man about what certification — if any — he had. As for finding other sites, I haven’t done that but would start by googling something like

    service dogs ptsd

    or

    service dog certification

  9. I am interested in learning about the type of training required in order for a dog to be designated as a ‘service dog’. Dogs that help to calm and reassure people with PTSD, Agoraphobia, Panic Attacks, and other stress- related difficulties and allow those folks to become independent are a blessing. I am curious about the ‘certification’ required and how it is determined that the dog has received the proper training to help these folks. If you could direct me to a website where I could learn more, I would be grateful.
    Thanks for your time. I always enjoy reading your posts.
    Joni

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