Minimum Standards for Training Service Dogs
1) Recommended standards are that the dog accomplished the certificate of Canine Good Citizen, Therapy Dog or be tested for temperament by a Society that requires training of the Handler for basic knowledge as well as educational support of many varied disabilities.
2) The Handler or Disabled Partner should provide adequate housing, Veterinary Care, Grooming, Nutrition and continued training through out the life of the dog. Proof of Vaccination should be kept for yearly records.
3) The dog should demonstrate reliable basic obedience commands such as Sit, Stay, Down, Come, Heel, Walk or Forward in addition to any commands relative to skills required to perform the Service for Disabled individual.
4) When exiting or entering a vehicle, the dog should wait until you give a command before they proceed.
5) When walking in public the dog must not be distracted by outside influences, noises animals or people.
6)The Service Dog should be trained to perform Tasks used to mitigate the disability. Although many groups suggest three as the "Magic" number, ONE task that mitigates a disability may be what is needed to help the handler live an independent life.
*The ADA law does not specify the number of tasks that they need to perform to be recognized as a Service Dog, nor does the Law specify the Service Animal have to be trained or obtained by a Specific or Government Agency.
* There is NO ADA accredited program in the US. Schools, programs, organizations or Non- Profits as of NOW set their own Service Dog Training Guidelines or criteria. They may be governed by separate boards whose members decide on Training criteria, Tasks that they perform and specifications based on their trainers knowledge of what may be needed for specific types of "Service or Assistance Dogs". WAGS, LA has an IACP listed trainer on the board who helps with decisions of other liscensed trainers on the criteria we select and use. Because the Working Animal Guide Society of Louisiana aka WAGS, LA works with SDs in training or Service Dogs for a variety of disabilities, we tailor tasks to meet an individual teams needs. We accept each individual team based on skills that are accessed through evaluations (Testing of Atitude, Aptitude & Access) at different times during the teams training period. In order to continue to be members, teams must attend "Task Support Sessions" and periodically be evaluated on the three As.
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