In order to consider a dog to be legal, service dog protected under the ADA, it should be trained to perform specific chores and jobs that are precise to the disability of the handler. This type of dog is quite different from a pet, even if the pet knows various tricks and is quite well behaved.

The basic tricks such as shake, speak, heel, roll over, stay, sit etc don’t count as chores or jobs under the ADA, even if the pet has undergone different types of obedience classes. The type of chores that service dogs perform include alerting their handler with low blood sugar, guiding the blind, pulling a wheelchair, bringing in groceries, picking up dropped objects, keeping their handler from danger, etc.

It takes almost a couple of years of training for a dog to become a service dog and may cost their handlers thousands of dollars. They are mainly trained to assist in enriching people’s lives that have different kinds of disabilities. While the handler do consider these dogs pets when they are not on duty, as soon as the dog is out there in public, working and performing chores, it isn’t considered a pet. Rather they are just like medical equipment necessary due to a disability, just as wheelchair is considered a necessity of people not able to walk.

Moreover, it is not necessary for the handler to show any type of service dog ID to show that their dog is a service dog necessary due to their disability. Many people who get certification are doing that to pass their pet off as a fake service dog. This is definitely illegal and punishable by law.

Can a disabled person train a service dog?

Honestly, probably not. It takes ample training to register emotional support dog. It’s possible to teach your dog some tricks such as picking dropped items, and closing doors to assist you out around the house, but if you’re in requirement of more help than that and you want a dog to take with you in the public, then you’ll require an actual working dog.

Most of the training programs breed dogs with the intention of training them into service dogs and they commence the training when they’re a puppy. It may take a couple of years of training until the dog is ready.

Once you’ve applied for a dog under service dog laws, you’ll be put on a waiting list and the program will try to get the best match for you. Once they get the right match, both you and the dog will undergo 3-4 weeks of training together to teach you how to work with your dog and to create a bond that will be unbreakable. These are the things to be kept in mind regarding service dogs.

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