Some trainers provide handlers with identification cards or test and certify dogs trained in this capacity. However, disabled people do not require certification for a service dog under either non-discrimination laws or the Americans With Disabilities Act.
- Check state laws
Obtain information about any service dog requirements from the attorney general’s office in your state. The ADA defines a disabled person as one with a documented mental or physical impairment that limits activities.
- Choose a good service dog
Not all dogs make good service dogs. A service dog must know basic commands: wait, stay, down, leave it and down stay. The dog also learns how to pull, retrieve, brace and go under. Service dogs are calm, obedient and not subject to distraction.
- Locate a service dog trainer
Locate a dog trainer knowledgeable in service dog requirements or participate in dog training classes yourself. You can also purchase instructional books on service dog training. Service dog training fees depend on the facility you use.
- Maintain control of the dog
Keep your service dog under control and on a leash at all times. The dog must not display aggressive tendencies, must perform tasks related to the owner's disability and the owner must keep the dog quiet and clean.