Service Dogs

Did you know that your own best friend may be able to be trained and registered as a Service Dog? That’s right! There are no restrictions when it comes to size or breed. Depending on the level of help or support that you need, your dog may be the helper that you’ve been dreaming of. Not all dogs can be Service Dogs, but with an evaluation, Sierra Canine can help determine if your dog has the necessary qualities to become a Service Dog.

Service Dogs are trained to perform a variety of specific tasks for their owners/handlers. The tasks that the dogs are trained for can vary depending on the owner/handlers needs. Some dogs are trained to stand and support their handlers for balance, pull them out of a chair or lead their handler to a car. These dogs can greatly assist individuals who suffer from such conditions as multiple sclerosis, PTSD, autism/aspergers or muscular dystrophy to name a few. Aside from training the dogs to perform these tasks or jobs, each dog must be proficient in basic obedience commands and perform them consistently in various public environments.

If you’re reading this page you have probably done some research on how one acquires a Service Dog. You have probably also noticed that there are companies out there that offer fully trained Service Dogs for sale. The problem being that the average person can not possibly afford one as the price usually starts above $20,000.00. In an effort to make the cost of acquiring a trained Service Dog financially more affordable, Sierra Canine offers private training programs that you and your dog can attend. These weekly lessons last either a half hour or an hour in duration depending on the goal. The handler or owner must be physically and mentally capable of following instructions and working with their dog daily.

Service Dog training can be the most fun and rewarding experience that you will ever do with your dog. The time that you invest in training and conditioning your dog will create a genuine friendship and bond that will last a life time.

Living With Your Service Dog

Under the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) an individual who meets the proper criteria is entitled to a Service Dog to assist them with their life. The FHAA and ADA law gives individuals the right to live with their Service Dog regardless of any building or residences with “no pet” policies. A Service Dog is not considered a pet and is required for daily life functions and activities. Building neither managers nor landlords can refuse your Service Dog, nor may they require you to submit any pet deposits or fees for your Service Dog. Hotels fall under the same policy as well. They are not permitted to deny access to you or your Service Dog and may not charge any extra fees or collect any deposits. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an individual with a disability is entitled to a Service Dog to help them live normal lives. The ADA protects disabled individuals by allowing them to bring their Service Dog with them to most places that the public is permitted. These places include restaurants, hotels, stores and housing complexes.

Your Disability and Public Knowledge

You are not allowed to be asked by an owner, manager or other representative of a business what your disability is that allows you to have a Service Dog. That information is private and you do not have to disclose it to anyone if you are asked. They cannot ask for you to demonstrate the type of work it is trained to do. By law, there are only two questions that can be asked and they are:

Is the animal required because of a disability?

What work or task(s) has the animal been trained to perform?

  • This video demonstrates a Service Dog performing a “blocking task” when the stranger approaches. Notice how the dog makes himself a barrier between he and his handler.
  • I trained this Service Dog to provide “mobility assistance” and “stationary support” for his 10 year old handler.