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How to Make a Dog a Service Dog

Published on September 22nd, 2021

There are two main types of support animals available to people with disabilities: emotional support animals (ESAs) and service animals. ESAs are typically not permitted in public facilities or private businesses. However, service animals are allowed to accompany you in almost any setting.

Currently, in the United States, dogs are the only animals that are recognized as service animals. If you’re interested in having a service animal, you can either adopt an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) certified service dog that has already been trained, or you can train your dog to be your service animal. Read below to learn more about the training process.

How to Train Your Dog to be a Service Dog

Your dog must be trained, however, there is no specific training program that is required for your dog to be a service animal. You may take your dog to a professional dog training facility or a dog school in your area. While you’re legally allowed to train your own service dog, it can be extremely time-consuming. Most people adopt a dog that has already been trained or hire someone to train their dog for them.

At a minimum, your dog must be trained to assist you with your disability in some way. This assistance cannot be limited to mere comfort. The dog must be trained to perform some task or work that helps you in your daily life.

Your service dog must also be well-behaved. It must be house-broken, non-disruptive, and under your control at all times.

Service Dog Certification

Many websites and organizations offer ADA service dog certification, but you should know that none of these certifications are recognized by the ADA. The ADA does not require official certification for service dogs.

As long as your dog is not disruptive and helps you with your disability, it can be considered a service dog. In fact, local and state governments, business owners, and others are not allowed to ask you for documentation proving you need a service dog. They may ask you questions about the use of your service animal, but they can’t demand you provide certification.

While your dog doesn’t need special certification, you still need to follow local registration and vaccination requirements for owning a dog.

Service Dog Vests

Many people choose to outfit their service dogs with vests or tags that identify them as service animals. While this may be helpful to you, it’s not legally required. Your dog simply needs to be under your control, either by a leash or harness.

Social Security Disability in Chicago, Illinois

In many cases, Social Security disability benefits can make it easier to obtain a service animal. These funds may be used to purchase or even care for the animal in question. They can also provide crucial assistance for those who are unable to work or earn a living.

Unfortunately, people with disabilities often face difficulties “proving” their condition to get the assistance they need. If you have a condition that makes it hard to work or perform tasks, you’re not alone. Let the social security disability lawyers at Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates take the stress out of applying for benefits.

Our attorneys take the time to get to know you and your case and make sure you’re never left in the dark about the status of your claim. Contact our attorneys today for a free case evaluation.

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