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Old 04-05-2011, 23:00   #21
draggar
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A service dog is a dog trained to perform duties outside of the real of what a dog would normally do to help a person with a disability.

My wife has problems walking so she uses Zorro for mobility assistance (as well as stability and item retrieval). I don't know if a pack dog (for the lack of a better term) would qualify (but I'm sure it won't be long before people do use them for that - for carrying medical equipment).

The training is specific towards what the dog is going to be used for. Mobility assistance mainly need to stay next to the handler and be able to support them.
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Old 04-05-2011, 23:29   #22
yukidomari
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Vaiva - the 'requirements' in the USA are:

1) Person is disabled and the disability affects their everyday living so as to require help. Not all people who are 'disabled' are disabled to a degree which they qualify for a SD.

2) Dog can do at least 1 specific task. A "task" meaning it's specifically trained for.. not just to be there and comfort a human. So for different disabilities there are different tasks. If a person has balance issues, the dog can be task trained to pick up objects for the person, turn light switches, etc, or help to balance a human if it's the appropriate size, weight, and health. If a person has a psychological disability like say panic attacks perhaps the dog can be trained to lead the person away from situations when the person starts to have a break down, etc.


These are the only requirements there are, although to some it may seem ridiculously lax. There are no formal tests or certifications you need in the USA to have a dog be called a SD. And any facilities or business that claim to 'certify' a dog is a scam.

Although some users prefer to pass the PAT (public access) training test so they have confidence in their dogs' behavior. Many also like to pass the CGC (canine good citizen) examination. But neither are required at all.

A well behaved dog which is potty-trained will provide you with an SD that has access rights. An ill-behaved SD that disrupts business can be asked to leave.

In the US, a SD does not need to be vested nor carry any identification that it is a SD generally.

According to law, generally in public the only questions that a business or facility can ask about you or an SD is A) if it is a SD B) what kind of tasks is it trained for.

They cannot ask you about your disability nor do you have to tell them about your disability.

But because of these relatively lax standard, it is very easy to fake a SD unfortunately. And most people are not aware that there is a difference between different types of 'helping' dogs. Even doctors.
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Old 04-05-2011, 23:41   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukidomari View Post
A well behaved dog which is potty-trained will provide you with an SD that has access rights. An ill-behaved SD that disrupts business can be asked to leave.
An establishment can also refuse access to a service dog if they feel there is a genuine and legitimate concern for the health and safety for the SD. While an amusement park cannot refuse entry for a SD and their handler, the attendant managing a roller coaster can refuse entry since it would not be safe for the SD. In situations like this, it is up to the handler to secure the SD (with a friend, etc..) before they can access the ride.

Quote:
But because of these relatively lax standard, it is very easy to fake a SD unfortunately. And most people are not aware that there is a difference between different types of 'helping' dogs. Even doctors.
It is easy to fake but it is illegal and can land you in jail in most states. Public education is the best tool in this. The mostly abused is "emotional support dogs" which are NOT service dogs (Psychiatric Support Animals are - but they do require documentation). Since all a ESD only needs to be a good pet (for emotional support) then the realm of their training is not outside the real of what a dog would naturally do (therefore it is not a service dog).
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Old 04-05-2011, 23:44   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draggar View Post
An establishment can also refuse access to a service dog if they feel there is a genuine and legitimate concern for the health and safety for the SD. While an amusement park cannot refuse entry for a SD and their handler, the attendant managing a roller coaster can refuse entry since it would not be safe for the SD. In situations like this, it is up to the handler to secure the SD (with a friend, etc..) before they can access the ride.
Right, and also if they think it would interfere with business operations - like you need to have surgery in a sterile environment.. you can't bring your dog. Or, you're going to the open-air butterfly park. Your SD may not be able to enter because it may negatively affect the butterflies.



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It is easy to fake but it is illegal and can land you in jail in most states.
That is what it is technically - but I have known 0 cases where a person has actually gone to jail for faking a SD. Do you?
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