Dalmation Dog

How can I get my dog certified as a service dog?

I have a dog whos around the age of 9 in dog years………Shes a st.Bernard,Pointer,Dalmation,Hound mutt….So shes pretty big, how do I get her certified as a service dog?
I have severe anxiety & my dog seems to calm me when shes around,is anxiety a disability? cause my anxiety keeps me from going outside of my house & i cant go someplace unless my dog comes.


6 Responses to “How can I get my dog certified as a service dog?”

  1. ?BindiĀ§ on June 9th, 2010 3:22 am

    You need to have a disability and the dog needs to know a few behaviors that can help you with that disability.

    Service dogs don’t need to be certified.

  2. ?willow? on June 9th, 2010 3:36 am

    Service dogs do in fact need to be certified. But with most service dogs, they are trained and then given to a needy family. So unless you have an illness or disability, you dont really need a service dog.

    On the other hand, I’m trying to get my dog therapy dog certified. Then we as a team can go to hospitals, schools, nursing homes, VA clinics, etc. and visit people as a therapy dog. He would still be my dog and the certification would be for us as a team.

  3. just me on June 9th, 2010 4:13 am

    TDI (Therapy Dogs International) certify dogs to become therapy dogs. If what you are looking to do is to be able to take your dog to hospitals, nursing homes etc. to visit patients, the dog has to have the certification to visit.
    A Service dog is a dog who is trained to help someone that is disabled. Someone who is blind, deaf or has some disability. Service dogs are specially trained for a specific need or ability, and then given to the individual who needs them. So, if trained as a Service Dog, the dog would not be yours anymore.
    Your questions sounds like you are interested in a Therapy Certification. There are many websites and groups that will help you get your dog trained and pass their tests to become a Therapy dog.

    Both Therapy and Service dogs need to be certified.

  4. mariahleadme on June 9th, 2010 4:15 am

    There is no certification or licensing for any type of service dog that is required by Federal law.

    However, there are qualifications that need to be met. To have and use a service dog in the US, there are two requirements:

    1. The person must be considered “disabled” as set forth by the US Department Of Justice under the terms of the Americans With Disabilities Act, AND
    2. The dog must be individually trained in work or tasks that mitigate the effects of the life limiting disability.

    If the person has not been qualified as disabled and/or the dog has not been individually trained in work or tasks that mitigate the effects of the disability, then it is not a service dog.

    What you think is a disability, and what is actually qualifying as a disability can be vastly different. The legal definition of a disability is clearly spelled out by the US Department Of Justice under the Americans With Disabilities Act. A “doctors note” or being able to recieve SSI/SSDI is not qualification enough to be legally considered “disabled”. The determination of “disability” under the terms set forth in the ADA is not one of a medical issue, but a legal one. I am not trying to minimize your circumstances, or make light of your situation, just attempting to clarify that the determination of a disability is a legal, not a medical concern, under the law.

    If you are thinking of a dog that visits hospitals, nursing homes, libraries and such, that is known as a “Therapy dog”. The handlers of therapy dogs do not have public access rights with the dog as a service dog handler does, but they still do very important jobs. If this is what you were thinking of, I suggest you check out the following therapy dog registries:

    Therapy Dogs International
    The Delta Society
    Therapy Dogs Incorporated

    Just do a search using the names, and the homepage will come up. They all have different requirements for their programs, but all are nationally recognized organizations that do vital visit work.

  5. BYB's breed nothing but crap on June 9th, 2010 5:14 am

    You first need to have an actual disability. Your disability needs to affect your ability to function with daily life skills.

    Your dog then needs to be evaluated to determine that it has the proper temperment and drive for being a service dog. If your dog has any fear, anxiety or aggression issues, he’s not service dog material. If your dog is easily distracted and cannot focus on training, he’s not service dog material – as a service dog has to focus on his task and ignore distractions.

    The dog then has to be trained to perform tasks or functions to assist you with your disability.

    If you’re just simply wanting “certification” so you can drag your dog in public – forget it.. that is illegal and fraudulant.

  6. Jeannette W on June 9th, 2010 5:29 am

    If you have disabling anxiety, than you might be able to have her trained (or train her yourself) as a psychiatric service dog.

    You must be disabled and your dog must have been individually trained to perform tasks that ameliorate the effects of your disability in order for her to be legally considered a service dog.

    Keeping you calm or grounded in public just by being around is not a trained task. Here is a link to some information on psychiatric service dogs:

    Your dog should be able to pass the ADI Public Access Test. This is the minimum standard of behavior expected of a service dog in public.


    If your dog can’t pass this test, there is a good chance that you could be legally asked to leave places of business because your dog would be deemed disruptive. Taking a dog that is not prepared for public access work out in public other than on carefully planned access training outings (where the dog can be removed from the public setting immediately if need be) is both cruel and irresponsible. It stresses the dog, and endangers the safety (due to aggression from badly behaved animals) and access rights of legitimate, well-trained service dog teams.

    Although “any dog” can become a service dog, in that there are no breed limitations or restrictions on who may train the dog, most dogs are not suited for service dog work, and trying to force an unsuitable dog into a service dog career is a very bad idea. Most service dog programs end up washing out over half of their candidates. So don’t expect that just because you love your dog, you can automatically train HER to be your service dog, even if you would legally qualify to use an SD.

    I hope this information is helpful.