Everything you need to know about getting a service dog certification

Service dogs are dogs that are specially trained to aid individuals with disabilities in performing certain tasks. For instance, service dogs help people with visual and hearing impairment in navigation, help people suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) to calm down during anxiety attack and protecting a person having a seizure attack. Service dogs are categorized as working animals. Some of the dog breeds that are suitable for working as service dogs include Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds due to their temperaments.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you are entitled to get a service dog if you have a disability or a mental illness that prevents you from performing major activities. The ADA ensures that certified service dogs are not denied access to public areas such as restaurants, air travel, hotels or housing complexes as long as they are well behaved and housebroken. Under the law, any dog can become a service dog, as long as it is trained to be a working animal and not a pet.

By certifying your service dog, you will get the required documentation to allow you and you service dog, access to public places without questioning. Certified service dogs are required to wear a vest or a tag for identification, so that the public are aware of their role. Especially during air travel, airline companies look for the identification tag and vest to confirm if a dog is a service dog.

When you do an online search for registering your service dog, you will find a number of service animal registries. You need to be extremely careful while making a choice as some companies charge exorbitantly, while others just cheat you off your money. It is always advisable to conduct a thorough research to ensure a company is legitimate. The US Dog Registry has a three-step registration that is easy and secure. You just have to pick one service dog kit that best suits your needs, provide all the necessary information and submit the form for it to get processed.

Note that your service dog must pass the Public Access Test to get a certification. This test is taken to ensure that the certified animal is well-behaved and stable around the public. It is taken to demonstrate that the handler has a control over his/her service dog and that it doesn’t harm others.