There is an alternative to waiting many years to get a dog, and to getting a dog that may not be trained to your needs. You can train your own service dog with the help of a professional dog trainer. Even if you've trained dogs before, I still STRONGLY suggest the help of a professional dog trainer, or a program that helps you train your own dog.
1. No waiting list. If you have your own dog, you can begin to train it immediately.
2. May be cheaper than getting a program trained dog. You won't have to pay for a hotel, meals, or airfare to the facility to receive your dog.
3. Has the same access rights as any dog from a program.
1. The dog must be trained before it can be taken out into public. There is no such thing as the "MAGIC" dog. You have to train the dog.
2. If you're training a puppy, you must wait for it to finish growing before teaching tasks such as wheelchair pulling and bracing (Mobility Service (Assistance) Dogs Only)
A fair word of warning. It isn't easy to train your own Service (Assistance) Dog. If you never have trained a dog before, please look into a program trained dog, or the services of a dog trainer to help you. If, however, you've trained dogs before and know of a good dog trainer to help you, train your own dog and have fun doing it!
Dressing Your Dog:
The ADA doesn't require a Service Dog to be dressed in any way, but depending on what you use your dog for, you may need specific equipment on your dog to do his job. Even if you don't need anything on the dog (your dog is a Hearing Dog for example), you should dress your dog so that by just looking at your dog, someone will know he/she is a Service (Assistance) Dog. This cuts down on confrontations and does work.
How Do I Tell If My Dog is a Service Dog?
If you are disabled as defined by the ADA, that is, if you have a condition that substantially limits a life function, and your dog does one thing for you, like picking up dropped items, or helping you walk by supporting you or responding to a medical condition in a manner that you trained, then your dog IS a service dog. If you are unsure if your dog is a service dog, please call me, and I'll give you my expert opinion on the matter.
What is a Service Animal?
"Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.
Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purpose of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler's disability. Examples of work or tasks performed include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting an individual to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purpose of this definition."
Service Dog Categories:
Service dog which assists an individual who has a mobility impairment with tasks including, but not limited to, providing balance and stability, retrieving items and pulling wheelchairs.
Dog Guide which assists an individual who is blind or visually impaired with tasks such as, but not limited to, aiding in navigation and alerting the individual to dangers such as moving cars.
Hearing Dog which assists an individual who is deaf or hearing impaired by alerting the individual to the presence of sounds or people.
Alert/Response Dog which alerts an individual to a seizure or other medical condition.
Psychiatric Service Dog which aids an individual with a cognitive, psychiatric or neurological disability.
Therapy dogs, emotional support dog's and companion dogs are NOT service dogs under the ADA.
What Is the Difference Between a Service Dog and Therapy, Emotional Support or Companion Dog?
A service dog must be individually trained to perform work or tasks directly related to the handler's disability.
A therapy and emotional support dog provides comfort to an individual in some fashion. Therapy dogs are often the pets of the therapist or psychiatric personnel of the particular institution or hospital where they bring comfort. Therapy and emotional support dogs are allowed in housing under the Fair Housing Act but are not permitted in public places as are service dogs.
Companion dog is just another name for a pet dog.
Is It a Service Animal? ... or What questions can be asked?
A service dog is not required to wear something identifying it as such. However, most service dogs wear a vest/cape or harness identifying it as a service dog or dog guide. Service dogs may be of any size. A vest or another identifying clothing is not required.
One may ask if the handler has a disability, but may NOT ask what that disability is.
Service Animal Behavior(standards as set forth by ADI)
Under the ADA, a service dog may be removed from a public place for disruptive behavior.
A service dog must be under the control of the handler at all times.
A service dog must be on a leash at all times (some allowances are made under certain circumstances)
A service dog must not show aggression towards people or other animals.
A service dog doesn't bark, growl or whine. (However, a service dog may be trained to bark in the case of an emergency affecting the handler)
A service dog does not solicit attention, food or other items from the general public, nor annoy any member of the general public.
A service dog's work does not disrupt the normal course of business.
The dog is clean, well-groomed, does not have an offensive odor and does not urinate or defecate in inappropriate locations.
Service Dog Etiquette:
Because these are friendly dogs, they enjoy attention, however, such distraction may interrupt the dog's work and could cause injury to the dog's handler. Keep this in mind when tempted to pet or speak to a service dog.
DON'T pet, talk to, make eye contact or distract the dog in any way.
DO allow the dog to work without distraction.
DON'T speak to the dog when greeting a service dog team, speak only to the handler.
DO ask for permission to pet the dog. Under certain circumstances, the handler may permit it.
DON'T be insulted if your request to pet the dog is denied.
DO realize that allowing the dog to greet you may distract the dog from its work.
Service Dog Training:
ADI (Assistance Dog International) requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:
The dog is to be specifically trained to perform 3 or more tasks to mitigate aspects of the client's disability.
Dog demonstrates basic obedience skills by responding to voice and/or hand signals for sitting, staying in place, lying down, walking in a controlled position near the handler and coming to the handler when called.
Dog works calmly and quietly on harness, leash or tether.
Dog is able to perform its tasks in public.
Dog must be able to lie quietly beside the handler without blocking aisles, doorways when possible.
NOTE: Crystal’s Dog Training N Boarding does not provide a dog for you, you will have to find your own dog, but I can and will help you pick out an appropriate dog.
Service Dog Training Wisconsin
Psychiatric Service Dog
Emotional Support Dog
Therapy Dog Services
Doggy Boot Camp
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