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Old 01-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #1
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Service Dog?

A few weeks ago I was watching some show on TV. This lady had a little chihuahua that she was carrying around in a purse-like dog carrier. She said she suffered from severe panic attacks even with medication but she had noticed that she never had a panic attack if her dog was with her. So, she had the dog declared a service dog and was able to take her everywhere. And she says she was able to stop taking medication because she had not had a single panic attack while her dog was with her.

I thought this was awesome and was wondering what you have to do in order to have a dog declared a service dog? I thought they had to pass extensive tests and such. But this dog was only 8 mos old and didn't do anything but sit in it's lil purse carrier. LOL

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Old 01-19-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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That's interesting. I would have thought the dog would have to pass tests as well.

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Old 01-19-2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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OK my friend has a service dog that is a Chinese Crested and it lets her know about her sugar--she is a diabetic and has a hard time regulating it. And she has the card and everything. Not sure if she had to be certified someway but I will ask her and let you guys know. Anyway she carries her around in a bag too and at her job she has a bed for her and all the employees just love her to death....................


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Old 01-19-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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There are no rigorous tests required for service animals (in the US- no clue about elsewhere,) though certainly it is best IMO for you to cover your bases and have your dog go through training and certification. The ADA itself says:

2. Q: What is a service animal?

A: The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
Unless you go through a few of the schools or go through something like what is outlined here, most places that will "certify" a service dog are actually just scams that take your money and give you a piece of paper that you don't really need. I dislike this practice only because people are now using dogs and such that may not have the right temperament or training, and that could hurt people that really need and value their service animals...

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Old 09-30-2012, 12:41 PM   #5
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companion vs service dog

The difference is a "companion" dog vs a service dog such as a "seeing eye dog".

A doctor's note is required for a dog to stay with the owner for their "panic" or anxiety attacks. I used to work with a nurse that traveled back and forth between RI and Texas, and had her doctor write a note saying she needed the do for anxiety-this way she was able to have her dog travel in the cabin with her!

A service dog (or therapy dog) does require additional training for their "job'. Some organizations, such as the Windwalker Humane Coalition, Therapy Dogs International, Delta Dogs require both theoretical training and some some obedience training, such as Canine Good Citizen Training, temperance testing and/or their own behavior training and/or internship.

Most canine companions are a pet that is being "authorized" to accompany their guardian, they they do not have the same training requirements that other programs require. I do personally feel that all dogs should be able to pass a Canine Good Citizen program if they are going to be "in public" as it is essentially good manners....

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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A doctor's note is required for a dog to stay with the owner for their "panic" or anxiety attacks
That's not entirely true. In the USA there is a designation called "Emotional Support Animal" this requires a letter from a doctor saying the dog is needed. HOWEVER an ESA is NOT a service dog. ESAs do NOT have public access rights. They are allowed on planes like a service dog and they cannot be excluded from housing similar a service dog but they have zero rights to be in public places like restaurants.

Service dog handlers (seeing eye, hearing ear, psychological service dog, mobility sd, medical alert, etc) do not have to have a doctors note--just having the 'disorder' does not mean one is disabled per the language of the ADA (for example, someone who is diagnosed with depression does not necessarily meet the criteria required by the ADA to be considered disabled). They must meet the ADA's definition of "disabled" in order to have a service dog (this is often helped by having a doctor on board with the dog with a note but is not technically required). In order for a dog to be considered a service dog, it MUST be trained to do a minimum of three different tasks that mitigate the handler's disability. If the dog does not have specific tasks to mitigate the disability, it is not a service dog and should not have public access (it may be an ESA but not a service dog).

Service dogs SHOULD pass a public access test but it is technically not required per the ADA (though, there may be some local ordinances that require some sort of testing). Like Star said, most places taht will just 'certify' your dog are scams and if the access is challenged, the certification won't hold up.

The dog written about in the original post is likely NOT a service dog but an ESA and should NOT have access to public places except planes and housing (and certainly should not be constantly in a purse because it inhibits a dog's ability to work--small service dogs sometimes carried is one thing but they are not purse pets, they are working dogs). The person could get into quite a lot of trouble if they are ever "called out" for faking a dog being a service dog. The dog MUST do specific tasks to mitigate the disability of the person--simply being there is not a task (but it would certainly count as an ESA). If the dog was trained to ground the handler, or lick her face if she started to ahve an anxiety attack, or trained to fetch a phone if she were having an attack, she could certainly be called a service dog (as in size doesn't matter).
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:07 AM   #7
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How much chocolate is bad for a dog

Any amount is bad for the dog because it contains theobromine which affects the dogs central nervous system and heart muscles.

There is no certain amount of chocolate that will kill a dog- it depends on the individual dog- an older or unfit dog will react worse to a small amount of chocolate than a young and healthy dog. Since your dog is only 12 pounds then it would take about half a pound of regular milk chocolate for your dog to die; however, it depends if your dog is otherwise healthy. An easier way to understand this is it would take 2 to 3 milk chocolate bars to kill a 10 pound dog so your dog should be fine; however, it's always best to contact a vet to make sure. If it was baking chocolate then it would take much less to kill the dog since it contains more theobromine.

Call your vet just to make sure.
If your dog begins breathing heavily, having seizures, or vomiting then it's time for the emergency vet.

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Old 11-18-2012, 11:24 AM   #8
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Companion and emotional support dog are interchangeable terms. Federal laws require a mental health professional provide documentation for a dog to fly under this classification.

For a service dog (which is different), ID, vest, or other proof is considered to be adequate identification. State laws regarding allowing animals into restaurants and other public places varies, and companion animals may be restricted to public transportation, but not be authorized to go into other public places,,, such as a restaurant, which is not the case with a service dog. For a service dog, the individual which the dog is working with must be considered disabled under the American's with Disabilities Act.

Publicly presenting your dog as a service dog, when they do not meet the criteria of having been trained for specific tasks and do not qualify as a "service dog" can be harsh. In this state the laws includes fines, imprisonment, and confiscation of your pet., so falsely presenting your dog as a service dog, when it does not meet legal criteria, is a serious decision.

So, be sure you now your state and federal laws if you are planning on having your dog accompany you in this capacity......

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:26 AM   #9
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As what I've known, comfort dogs or those that make the owner may feel calmer when he or she is near the pet are excluded from the classification of service dogs.


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