Service dog training at Scheurman's K9 Academy:
When training your service dog with us, we start your puppy as early as 12 weeks old in basic obedience classes, or the American Kennel Club S.T.A.R. Puppy Classes to work on Socialization Skills should your puppy need it. After the puppy graduates our basic obedience program, he/she will go on to our intermediate obedience classes. Once the dog completes our intermediate obedience he/she will have obtained his or her American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizens, American Kennel Club Canine Community Good Citizens and American Kennel Club Canine Urban Good Citizens certificate/titles. The dog or puppy continues on to the advance program for service dog training for Public Access and Disability Specific Task training. We evaluate your progress in the obedience training programs at the end of the Basic Obedience Class. We test students progress in the Intermediate Obedience program when we feel the student can pass or we need to evaluate the students development. The Public Access Test and Disability Specific Task Training is given at the completion of the 7 week 28 hour training program.
For testing a dog that is totally trained when you come to us, he/she has to be between the ages of 6 months - 4 years and have passed the Canine Good Citizen (CGC, CGC A, CGC U) test. You will be required to pass our Basic Obedience program test, and our Intermediate Obedience program test.
The Certification Program consists of giving organizational support to people who have already trained their own Assistance Service Dogs & wish to have them certified for Public Access. We offer this program to those teams that are qualified & are prepared to accept the responsibility of having an Assistance Service Dog. These dogs must have successfully completed or tested and passed OUR Basic Obedience program, OUR Intermediate Obedience program& passed the Canine Good Citizen tests (CGC, CGC A, and the CGC U) before the Public Access Disability Specific Task Test is given.
Dog must be between 6 months - 4 years old for the testing
• Application for the program
Letter from your doctor stating that you are disabled
• Letter from your vet that the dog is physically & mentally able to do the job of an Assistance Dog (this includes that the hips, elbows, heart, eyes, etc are sound)
• Essay from you as to why you want your dog to become your Assistance Dog & what the 2 or 3 tasks are that your dog does for you as an Assistance Dog.
If your dog does not pass the test (s), then group classes or private lessons will be suggested.
Cost of service dog training:
If you choose group training we have several payment options for you.
The pay once option $5,750.00 this includes Basic Obedience $169.00, lifetime Intermediate obedience $3,650.00 and service dog training $2,100.00. Save $169.00! Its like getting Basic obedience class for free!
We have several other ways to pay for your service dog training.
We also have a barter system, depending on the object bartered could lead to no out of pocket cost to you. For information on our barter system click here.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice revised the regulations governing the Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements for Service Animals. The information on this page may assist you to better understand the ADA's revised service animal rules. You may also contact Disability Rights Florida at 1-800-342-0823 if you have problems
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 2010 Regulations define a service animal as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition." C.F.R. § 35.104 and § 36.104 (2010).
If they meet this definition, dogs are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the ADA also has a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Miniature horses generally range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.
Florida law defines a “service animal” differently. In Florida, it means an animal that is trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability including, but not limited to, guiding a person who is visually impaired or blind, alerting a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, assisting with mobility or balance, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, retrieving objects, or performing other special tasks.
Person with a Disability
Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such an individual; a record of such an impairment; or be regarded as having such an impairment.
Work and Tasks
According to the § 35.104 and § 36.104 (2010), examples of work and tasks performed by service animals include, but are not limited to:
• guiding people who are blind or have low vision
• alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing
• providing non-violent protection or rescue work
• pulling a wheelchair
• assisting an individual during a seizure
• alerting individuals to the presence of allergens
• retrieving items
• providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities
• helping persons with psychiatric or neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors
• reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, or
• calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack.
Crime deterrence or provision of comfort or emotional support do not constitute "work or tasks" under the ADA.
A new law could put someone in jail for using a fake service dog.
If caught, someone could face up to 60 days in jail, along with a $500 fine. To figure out if the dog is real or fake, business owners can only ask two questions.
The only questions that can really be asked of them are: is this a service animal and if so, what is this service animal trained to do? Once the person asserts this is a service animal, there’s really no way for a business owner to verify whether or not this is true.
Hard, but not impossible.
Probably the way this would come up is if the animal were to destroy property, attack someone or to be some type of incident, and it would be investigated.
While law will deter some liars, but how do you spot a fake service dog. If it’s very calm, and docile, and follows the commands it’s given, then it’s probably a trained service dog. If it’s barking, jumping around, shows signs of aggression, urinates or defacates in the business, then it’s probably not trained as a service dog.
The law was signed by Governor Rick Scott on June 11 and will go into effect on July 1. It will also make it a second degree misdemeanor for business owners to prevent a disabled person from bringing a service dog inside.
If you have any concerns, call the local ADA office at 239- 260-4575.
Florida Lawmakers Want To Punish People Who Use Fake Service Dogs
By Chris Morran December 16, 2014
While there are many Americans with legitimate needs for service animals, and who are legally allowed to take those animals into restaurants and stores where they would normally be banned, there are some people who exploit the service animal label without any bona fide medical or therapeutic need. Now some Florida legislators are looking to penalize these fakers with fines and possible jail time.
Florida HB 71 , introduced earlier this month, would amend the existing state law, which currently defines an individual with a disability as someone who is “deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or otherwise physically disabled.” The proposed bill opens up this definition to be more in line with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act define a disabled individual as one with “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” And “major life activities” would include “caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.”
It also expands on the definition of service animal to include work like “alerting an individual to the presence of allergens, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a mobility disability, helping an individual with a psychiatric or neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors, reminding an individual with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming an individual with post-traumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack, or doing other specific work.”
At the same time, the bill contains new restrictions that aren’t in the current statute, like the requirement for the animal to be leashed, harnessed or otherwise controlled by the handler.
And then there is the penalty for pretending that your furry friend is a service animal.
“A person who knowingly and willfully misrepresents herself or himself, through conduct or verbal or written notice, as using a service animal and being qualified to use a service animal or as a trainer of a service animal commits a misdemeanor of the second degree,” and could be punished with fines, community service, or even jail time.
WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach spoke to a local woman with cerebral palsy who uses a service animal and applauds the move to outlaw fakers.
“It is a prevalent problem,” she explains. “It makes it that much harder for us to travel or go into businesses with our legitimate service dogs when we’re constantly questioned.”
One roadblock to actually enforcing the law is actually contained within its text — and can’t really be changed as it’s in keeping with the rules set out in the ADA.
“Documentation that the service animal is trained is not a precondition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal,” reads the bill. “A public accommodation may not ask about the nature or extent of an individual’s disability.” An accommodation can ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what tasks that animal is trained to perform. So if you’re a restaurant manager and a customer comes in with what he claims is a service animal but which you think is just a pet, you can’t simply ask him to leave or remove the dog (unless it is misbehaving or out of control).
And if the customer says the dog is trained to assist him with an unseen medical need — for example, detecting potential allergens — you can’t ask him to demonstrate the dog’s training or show some sort of documentation.
Thus, it may be difficult for operators of places like restaurants and stores to call out fakers who do a good job of pretending. Landlord and hotel/time-share operators would presumably have more time to determine if a person is faking to use a service animal. In any case, the police would ultimately need to be involved before any charges are filed, and some people won’t be willing to go that far to bust someone for pretending that their puppy provides a legitimate service.
Places of Public Accommodation (covered by the ADA)
They can ask two questions if the Service Dog's use is not obvious.
1. Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
• If a person with a disability chooses not to answer they can be denied access with the dog. (Costco v Grill)
Places of employment can ask for a verification of need for reasonable accommodation as well as some assurance that the dog is trained so as not to be disruptive in the work place.
They can ask for a letter from a health care provider both for Service Dog and Emotional Support Animal that there is a need for the dog.
They can ask for 48 hr. notice as well as a letter written within the year for Service Dog for person with psychiatric disabilities as well as Emotional support animals.
They can ask for proof of disability if a person requests reasonable accommodations to be accompanied by a Service Dog.
A Service Dog is individually trained to perform tasks that mitigate the disability of his owner. Training typically takes 18-24 months. Because of his advanced training, a Service Dog is considered medical equipment and is permitted to accompany his disabled owner to many places where pets are not permitted.
An Emotional Support Animal belongs to a person who is disabled. The person's doctor has determined that the presence of the animal is necessary for the disabled person's mental health and written a prescription stating the pet is necessary in the person's home, despite any "no pets" regulation of the landlord, for the person's health. Little or no training is required. The owner of an Emotional Support Animal has no more right than any other pet owner to take their Emotional Support Animal with them other to keep one in a home where pets are not permitted or to fly with one in a cabin when pets are not permitted.
A Therapy Dog is a pet that has been trained, tested, registered, and insured to accompany his owner to visit patients and residents of facilities like hospitals and nursing homes to cheer up the people living there. A well-behaved pet can typically complete training in about 8 weeks. A Therapy Dog is legally a pet. It is not permitted to go anywhere that pets aren't without permission from the facility owner. The objective of registration is to show facility managers that this dog is well behaved, safe around people, and insured against liability. It is not a license to walk into a hospital or nursing home without permission.
In short: a Service Dog works to help the owner perform tasks he cannot perform on his own because of his disability, an Emotional Support Animal works to improve the health of his owner who is disabled, and the Therapy Dog works with his owner to improve the health of others.
Emotional Support Animals and Therapy Dogs are not Service Dogs
What is a Service Animal?
Service Animal Booklet:
http://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet From the Department of Justice
Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.