Truth About Service Dog Laws
Most people are wrong in what they think makes a service dog legit!
Before I get started I just want to say I do not agree 100% with how the American Disabilities Act (ADA) was written and I would not have done it this way but this is how congress passed it so this is how it is till they change it!
To also get this out of the way the 2 biggest lies that people are told and I am asked all the time:
1. That their dog needs be “certified”. Simply put there just is no such thing as a certified service dog! Trainers will try to sell you this by saying they certify service dogs, people sell service dog ids online, there are even service dog registrations online. All of these are fake and just people trying to make money. Off Leash K9 Training, Georgia train service dog tasks all the time but there is no such thing as a certified service dog it is a made up thing that trainers say to charge a higher price and rip people off. A service dog does NOT have to have any formal training.
2. Your dog is NOT required to wear a vest unless it is required to perform the dogs task and there is also no ID or identification you need for the dog.
So what makes a service dog legit?
If you say it is your service dog, you have a disability, the dog does a task that is at least difficult for you to preform, and the pup is not a disturbance to others then it is a Service Dog according to the ADA.
Little Longer Answer:
First and for most your dog is required to be under the full control of owner, well behaved and mannered “as in not jumping, barking, pulling, or being a a nuisance in any way” or you can and should be asked to leave any establishment. Note: This should apply to all dogs in areas that allow dogs!
I tell everyone that asks me about Service Dogs that they should be more well mannered than most peoples kids or don’t be hostel when asked to leave:-)
After the above is true the pup needs to preform a task that is at least difficult for you to do AND related to your disability. The task needs to be something the dog does, comforting you just by being there is not a service dog “task” and if that is all the pup does for you it is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and does not have the same access rights as a service dog.
The ADA leaves wide open what these tasks can be to your own imagination…
Link to .gov site breaking this all down.