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Training 2

  /  Training 2

Some people are surprised to learn that there are no legally-mandated training standards for Service Dogs.  Furthermore, it is illegal for anyone to ask for proof of training or certification. This is important because otherwise disabled individuals who use Service Dogs could be stopped and forced to show paperwork everywhere they go. Most individuals who use a Service Dog purchase vests, special harnesses or other gear which, while helpful, leave little accountability. Our purpose is to add a layer of personal accountability by tying training and behavior standards for both a person and their dog into an online registration that can be revoked if they do not continue to meet those standards. Please remember that owning and using a Service or Assistance Dog is a privilege, covered under the law, for disabled individuals who use a dog to help them complete specific physical tasks they would otherwise have difficulty performing on their own. It also comes with great responsibility. Service and Assistance Dogs teams have been granted their rights based on their excellent behavior, politeness, public conduct and the necessary, beneficial and functional tasks the dogs perform for their disabled owners. Certain types of Service Dogs, such as Psychiatric Service Dogs, will require a doctor’s prescription for airline travel and access to other public areas. Simply registering with us does not qualify an animal or an individual as a Service or Assistance Dog Team or provide any special rights, legal or otherwise. Registration is for personal identification purposes only, similar to an online resume or providing a vest for your dog. Under the ADA, Service and Assistance Dog teams are not required to provide identification materials of any type in most circumstances, including badges, ID cards, dog vests or capes. Registration or membership with any organization is also not required. Please note that misrepresenting an animal as a Service or Assistance Dog for any reason is not only unethical, but illegal and may be punishable as a misdemeanor. It is also in direct violation of our Terms and Conditions. Training Training may be completed by yourself, a friend, family member or professional trainer or training organization. It takes about six months to a year (120+ hours) to properly train a Service or Assistance Dog. A full-time professional trainer may be able to train a dog more quickly. Be prepared to spend at least 30 hours of training in a controlled public setting so that the

Becoming a dog trainer (or Service Dog trainer) can be very rewarding, but it is also a lot of work. Having a love animals is just the beginning — the most experienced dog trainers understand that often the most difficult part is working with people! You may be surprised to learn that there are no legally-mandated standards or certification for Service Dog trainers — or pet dog trainers. Anyone can decide to train dogs and start their own business or training organization. Most trainers are self-taught or have learned techniques through other trainers, books, online courses, videos or short seminars. Some of the best trainers do not have formal training themselves. That being said, if you are interested in becoming a trainer we highly suggest some kind of formal training. There are a few dozen schools around the country that train Service Dog trainers. Most are small and began with experienced dog trainers (some began with training Military Working Dogs, Police Dogs or other working dogs) who moved into training Service Dogs for disabled individuals and then decided to help train trainers too. One of the best places to learn how to become a Service Dog trainer in the country (and possibly the world) is Bergin University. If you’re really looking for the finest Service Dog training education possible, Bergin is the hands-down go-to school. Two more great resources are the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). About Service Dogs and the ADA The ADA is written to allow disabled individuals to use their Service Dogs in public with as few barriers as possible. If access were not as open, every building, restaurant and dry cleaner in the country could stop disabled individuals with their Service Dogs and demand proof of training. The ADA specifically states that if someone says their dog is a Service Dog they are to be taken at their word, regardless if it has been certified by a state or other authority. See below: The ADA states in section § 35.136 Service animals part (f) “A public entity shall not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal.” You can view the full ADA law here: The ADA is also designed so that disabled individuals may train their own Service Dogs. Program-trained Service Dogs can be very expensive and out of many disabled individual’s