The K9 Training Academy - Miami
Dade (786)387-3323 / Broward (954)900-4370 / Arizona (coming soon)
The term "Service Dog" encompasses a broad range of assistance animals that have been trained to assist their handlers with physical, or psychiatric disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires public and privately owned establishments serving the public, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, taxicabs, airplanes, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities, to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed.
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.
Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.
Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. For example, in a hospital it would be inappropriate to exclude a service animal from areas such as patient rooms, clinics, cafeterias, or examination rooms. However, it may be appropriate to exclude a service animal from operating rooms or burn units where the animal’s presence may compromise a sterile environment.
Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom or at a homeless shelter, they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.
A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal’s presence.
Establishments that sell or prepare food must allow service animals in public areas even if state or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises.
People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals. In addition, if a business requires a deposit or fee to be paid by patrons with pets, it must waive the charge for service animals.
If a business such as a hotel normally charges guests for damage that they cause, a customer with a disability may also be charged for damage caused by himself or his service animal.
Staff are not required to provide care or food for a service animal.
The ADA defines "disability” very broadly and does not limit the type of disability for which a service animal can be used. In addition, there is great flexibility with respect to the nature and severity of a person’s physical, mental, or emotional issue (disability). The essence of the law states that if you have any condition that makes it difficult to perform or limits an important life activity (that other people can perform easily), you are qualified. You are not required to have a doctor’s excuse or formal diagnosis. In addition, the activity might only be a problem during certain times, like dizziness (leading to balance problems), low blood sugar, a seizure, panic attacks, stress, or depression, to name a few examples.
Partial List of Qualified Disabilities:
Asthma (or other breathing problems)
Blindness (& partial blindness)
Deafness (& partial deafness)
General Hearing Difficulty
Seizures Emotional/Mental Problem
Age-Related Cognitive Decline
Any Psychiatric Condition (see exclusions below)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
SERVICE DOG CERTIFICATION COURSE
All Service Dogs are considered on leash only, but they are trained for on and off leash :
Commands: The commands are given to the dog verbally and via hand signals.
LOAD AND UNLOAD OUT OF A CAR : The service dog is trained to wait until released before coming out of the vehicle. When the dog is outside, it must wait quietly unless otherwise instructed by the handler. The service dog can not run around off lead, or ignore commands.
CORRECTLY APPROACHING A BUILDING: After unloading, the service dog is to stay in a heel position and not walk ahead or lag behind. The service dog should not show fear of cars or traffic noises. The dog must be in a relaxed attitude. When the handler stops for any reason, the dog should also stop.
DOORWAY ENTRY: When entering a building, the dog should not wander off or seek attention from other people or dogs. The service dog should wait quietly until you are fully inside while still maintaining the heel position. The service dog cannot pull against the lead or try to push its way past the handler.The service dog should wait patiently while entry is completed.
HEELING INSIDE A BUILDING: Once inside a building, you and your service animal should be able to walk through the area in a controlled manner. The service dog or other animal should always be within touching distance where applicable or no greater than a foot away from you. The service dog or other animal should not seek public attention or strain against the lead (except in cases where the service dog or other animal may be pulling your wheelchair, if applicable). The service animal should readily adjust to speed changes, turn corners promptly, and travel through a crowded area without interacting with the public. In tight quarters, such as store aisles, the service dog or other animal must be able to get out of the way of obstacles and not destroy merchandise by knocking it over or by playing with it.
RECALL ON LEAD: You should be able to sit your dog or other animal, leave it, travel six feet, then turn and call the service dog or other animal to you. The service animal should respond promptly and not stop to solicit attention from the public or ignore the command. The service animal should come close enough to you to be readily touched. The recall should be smooth and deliberate without your animal trudging to you or taking any detours along the way.
SITS ON COMMAND: Your service dog or other animal must respond promptly each time you give it a sit command, with no more than two commands with no extraordinary gestures.
DOWNS ON COMMAND: After your service animal follows the down command, food should be dropped on the floor. Your service animal should not break the down to go for the food or sniff at the food. You may give verbal and physical corrections to maintain the down, but without any extraordinary gestures. The second down will be executed, and then an adult and child should approach your dog. The service dog or other animal should maintain the down and not solicit attention. If the child pets the animal, the service animal must behave appropriately and not break the stay. The individual may give verbal and physical corrections if the service dog or other animal begins to break the stay.
NOISE DISTRACTION: Your service dog or other animal may acknowledge nearby noises, but may not in any way show aggression or fear. A normal startle reaction is fine (the service dog or other animal may jump and or turn), but the service dog or other animal should quickly recover and continue along on the heel. The service dog or other animal should not become aggressive, begin shaking, etc.
RESTAURANT: While seated at a dining table (restaurant or other suitably alternative location), your service dog or other animal should go under the table or, if size prevents that, stay close by the individual. If the service animal is a very small breed and is placed on the seat beside you, it must lie down. The service dog or other animal must sit or lie down and may move a bit for comfort during the meal, but should not be up and down a lot or need a lot of correction or reminding.
OFF LEAD: While your service animal is on the leash, drop the leash while moving so it is apparent to the animal. You should be able to maintain control of the service animal and get the leash back in its appropriate position. This exercise will vary greatly depending on your disability. The main concern is that the service animal be aware that the leash is dropped and that the person is able to maintain control of the animal and get the leash back into proper position.
CONTROLLED UNIT: When you leave a building with your service dog or other animal on leash, the animal should be in appropriate heel position and not display any fear of vehicle or traffic sounds.
SERVICE DOG COURSE OUTLINE:
3. Basic Obedience
4. Advanced Obedience
5. Potty Training
$300.00 additional for Service Dog test and Documents
Service dog vest and I.D.