Find out how a Service Dog can benefit you!
Since you found your way to this page of our website it appears that you have an interest in getting a puppy from Happy Doodle Farm and would like it to be trained for a specific task to fulfill a medical need for an individual. If these do not apply to you then check out our Emotional Support, Turnkey, Custom Training or Basic Puppy Training Options
That may seem like an awkward way to word that and it really is, but the two questions, and only two questions that must be answered about having a service dog are provided in this quote from the ADA:
“In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific 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 are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.”
In fact, if you are serious about making the investment in having an expertly trained service dog you should read through the Frequently Asked Questions about Service Dogs page on the ADA website. It provides a wealth of knowledge on the subject and the Americans with Disabilities Act is what provides the protection that comes along with public access that having a service dog allows.
After reading through that list you will notice that service dogs do not require a certain amount of training, or a service dog vest or an identification paper or any other documentation. Most of that has to do with every individual having a right to privacy about their medical conditions. That’s why the only two questions that can be asked are “Is this animal required due to a disability?” and “What task has this dog been trained to perform?” You are free to give as much additional information as you want or put your dog in a vest or buy a nice little ID badge, but none of those things are required.
So if you can just train the dog on your own why do you need us?
The fact that few questions can be asked and that there are low barriers to having a service dog is great, but it also makes life more difficult for those of us who really need a service dog. Many people are skeptical when they see a service dog, because we have all seen misbehaving dogs being passed off as service animals. At Happy Doodle Farm our standards go above and beyond the requirements of the ADA. We do not want any animal trained by us to leave a shred of doubt about the legitimacy. We want people to see you with your dog and have no doubts.
Happy Doodle Farm believes that your service dog has a job to do. In order for your dog to do that job for you in the best way possible they must know all the rules and expectations. Think of a service dog as like a Doctoral Degree. They have to attend more school to learn the additional tasks needed to assist with your individual needs, but they also need to have their sharper skills in every area. A service dog will be able to do everything that a therapy dog can do, but they are also specialized to accommodate your individual needs.
You can expect your Service Dog to:
- Be reliably house trained and crate trained
- Be further socialized in public with a variety of people and other dogs in a variety of locations and will be expected to maintain appropriate behavior during outings
- Exhibit appropriate car riding etiquette (If big enough will enter and exit car on command)
- Follow the verbal commands “sit, look, down, implied stay (20 feet), heel, in your bed, no, come, up (car), Free!, “Leave it”, and go potty” (some commands have associated hand signals as well)
- Know 2 role specific commands such as “Fist bump” or “Say hi!” for therapy work or “kiss/hug/cuddle/love me” for emotional support type work as examples
- Know a specific medical related task required by you
- Present their learned commands with normal distractions such as other dogs, people, and background noise
- Present appropriate reactions to wheelchairs, walkers, and other hospital equipment as well as normal facility noises and smells
- Exhibit appropriate behavior to their trainers and strangers including not jumping up or play biting
- Stand for grooming and be comfortable with all methods of handling and care
- Use stairs and enter doors appropriately
- Go to nursing homes, hospitals, hotels, restaurants and any specific places that you frequent to be knowledgeable of proper behavior
- Wearing a service vest while working for distinction between work and free time
Service Dog Skills:
It is important to understand that a service dog is only protected under the ADA when in support of his handler who is using the dog for a disability. Most states also provide access to handlers who are actively training. Every trained dog will need to use their skills and have training sessions regularly once they leave our care. It is very important for the future handler to be as educated as possible about handling their future Service Dog. A dog is only as successful as their handler is in understanding how to use them and testing them and re-teaching them regularly. There will be a minimal 14 day acclimation period for you and your dog prior to being prepared for public interactions with individuals outside of their main handler. We respect your privacy and do not require you to divulge any medical information about your need for a service dog it is your responsibility to talk to your doctor and consult the ADA requirements to determine if you qualify.