Service Dog Legislation

The U.S. Department of Justice changed the Service Dog Laws associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) effective March 15, 2011. The updated law now reads that dogs who provide, “crime deterrent effects with their presence, emotional support, well-being, comfort, and/or companionship”, are NO LONGER included in the definition laid out by ADA. While this doesn’t prohibit Speak Dog from being able to train dogs for these purposes it does stop these animals from being legally recognized as service dogs. Dogs trained at this level will no longer be able to receive public access privileges. Service dogs are defined as those trained to perform tasks related to their handlers disability(ies).  The team at Speak Dog is available to train dogs for both service use or for improved behavior in your home.

If you are looking to train a service dog that meets the criteria for the ADA please click here to read our article, Training a Service Dog with Public Access Privileges.  I have trained numerous service dogs for varied purposes.  I prefer to work with appropriately selected puppies that have passed health and temperament screenings.  It is possible, in some circumstances, for us to work with dogs that are already members of the household. Before training starts the dog must be approved as an appropriate service dog candidate.

Please do not be discouraged if the dog you already have is not necessarily appropriate for being a service dog, they can most likely still be a good companion. Service dogs are like the Navy SEALs , Special Forces, or Army Rangers, etc. of dogs; we are not all cut out for that level of work.

There are many options for training your dog to meet your needs in a service capacity.  Please contact us for more details and timelines involving training dogs for service.

For more information you can review the ADA rules on the Federal Registry by clicking here