FAQ

These are some of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) we get and hopefully, this will provide some answers.

*Recently, our support team has received a high volume of enquiries regarding the new rules of flying with Psychiatric Service Dog and Emotional Support Dog in the United States. Our school vision is to focus on helping people with mental disabilities to train their own dog to become a qualified service dog to assist their daily life. We don’t sell certificates or provide registrations to the handlers or dogs who are not trained by us.

  • Who We Are?

    We are focused on helping people with physical and mental disabilities to train their own dog to become a qualified service dog to assist in their daily life.

    With a team of highly qualified and certified trainers, SDTSI’s compassionate training approach facilitates the deepest possible bond between our clients and their dogs. We use force free training methods only. We strictly abide by the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) guidelines. At the same time, we provide our unique training techniques to simplify the service dog training process, and set our clients and their dogs up for success throughout their learning process.

    SDTSI teams are located in Hong Kong, Ireland, Germany and Bulgaria. Our service is not limited to the locality. In 2019 we built a service dog distance training portal where our clients can access the courses online and easily train their own dogs with the help from our individual trainers in order to better meet their needs without time and place limits. We’ve also supported people on social assistance suffering from PTSD. They are denied assistance by non-profit service dog training organisations who only support veterans and help them train their dogs to become a service dog. 10% of our income goes directly to fund the work of the Psychiatric Service Dog Association in helping people with mental illness and sick, injured & cruelly treated animals.

    We are not a member of ADI, as their members have to be charities or non-profit organizations. However, we strictly abide by their guidelines as we believe in following established standards.

  • What is a Service Dog?

    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.

  • Does a Service Dog In Training have the public access?

    In the US, some states grant them full access as if they were full-fledged service dogs, some specifically mention that they’re welcome only with the permission of the business owner, and others don’t mention them at all. Federal law does not mention service dogs in training, so state law should always be checked.

    In Europe & UK, a Service Dog In Training has the same public access as the trained service dog. But a Service Dog In Training has to wear the service dog in training coat when he is working as a service dog. It also has to be micro-clipped and has the routine vaccinations up to date.

  • What is the difference between a service dog and an ESA?

    Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks and are essentially allowed to go anywhere their handlers go. Emotional support animals are not specifically trained for anything. ESA qualifications are based on the owner needing the animal for comfort. Since the animal isn’t trained for specific tasks, they can still be turned away from public places (ie restaurants, shopping centers, hotels etc). However, once people find out that your animal is an Emotional Support Animal, they are much more likely to allow your pet to stay.

  • Do I qualify for a service dog?

    If you have a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities then you are entitled to a service dog that performs tasks for you. No person or business is ever allowed to ask about your disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the service dog. In addition, you are never required to disclose what your disability is to anyone.

  • Does my dog qualify as a serviced dog?

    According to the ADA, a service dog is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. The ADA does not restrict the type of dog breeds that can be service animals. They only have to be trained, either professionally or by the owner, to perform a specific task.

  • Do I need to register my service dog?

    Once you and your dog have completed the online service dog training course with us, you already have rights under the ADA. On successful completion of the service dog training course, you will receive a Service Dog Certificate issued by Service Dog Training School International. Your dog will be certified as a service dog with all the training records by Service Dog Training School International. Your dog will also receive a registration photo ID card with an explantation of the law and your rights to present to anyone or any organisation who inquires about your service dog.

  • What does it mean to be certified?

    It means your dog has been trained to perform the work or task as a service dog.

    The primary purpose of certification is to ensure that your dogs are fully trained as a service dog and their handlers understand how to lead their Service Dog through everyday situations, such as going to a shop, a park, a hospital, a care home or any other public places.

  • What is the ADA?

    The ADA requires State and local government agencies, businesses, and nonprofit organizations (covered entities) that provide goods or services to the public to make a "reasonable accommodation" in their policies, practices, or procedures when necessary to accommodate people with disabilities.

  • Can I take my service dog anywhere?

    The ADA does not require covered entities to modify policies, practices, or procedures if it would "fundamentally alter" the nature of the goods, services, programs, or activities provided to the public. Nor does it overrule legitimate safety requirements. If admitting service animal would fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program, service animals may be prohibited. In addition, if a particular service animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or if it is not housebroken, that animal may be excluded.

  • Does my service dog have to be on a leash?

    Yes. Service dog must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered while in public places.

  • Can I be asked to leave if my service dog is being disruptive?

    Yes. If a service animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, staff may request that the animal be removed from the premises.

  • How is “service animal” defined in the US?

    Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to perform work or 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.

  • What are the requirements for a psychiatric service dog?

    A psychiatric dog can be any dog as long as they are healthy. In some EU countries, service dogs have to be neutered, microchipped and fully vaccinated. You can find more info under
    Service Dog Legalities

  • I suffer from panic attacks. Am I qualified to own a service dog?

    Yes, you are qualified to own a psychiatric service dog. For more info please check our
    Certified Psychiatric Service Dog course

  • My dog is very territorial, he barks and attacks other dogs. Can he be trained as a psychiatric dog?

    Usually dogs bark or attack other dogs because they are scared. Some small dog breeds have that problem. But once you figure out the reason why they are barking or attacking other dogs, you can find the right way to correct their bad behaviour. Any dog under the age of 6 can be trained as a psychiatric service dog. You just need to find the right way and be patient.

  • Do I need to microchip my dog to be certified?

    In theory, the answer is Yes. All service dogs have to be microchipped and fully vaccinated in the EU. But in the United States the law is different. The ADA doesn’t require it.

  • How do I get certified to own a service dog?

    Generally, to own a service dog you will need medical records showing your mental or physical disabilities. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety disorders, depression, or PTSD, you can still have a service dog. It is not necessary to get certified to own a service dog. For example, according to the ADA in the US, people cannot ask what your disability is. As long as the dog is trained to perform a function for your disability and maintain a well mannered demeanor in public places, he is a qualified service dog.

  • If I get my dog certified, can I make him my service dog if I qualify?

    According to the ADA in the US “…a service animal is a dog that is individually trained to perform work or tasks for a person with a disability.” If your dog can perform tasks that support you, then you can have him as a service dog. In the EU, the law also stipulates that your dog must be microchipped and fully vaccinated to be an assistance dog (service dog). In Australia and New Zealand, a service dog must pass the local government’s public access test.

  • Will airlines accept the SDTSI certification?

    From January 2021 there will be new rules for flying with service animals in the United States. You can find the latest information here: https://www.servicedogtrainingschool.org/flying-service-dogs

    To travel with your service dog or assistant dog, all you need to do is provide the documents requested by the airline, which usually include  (1) a DOT form attesting the animal’s health, behavior and training, and (2) a DOT form confirming that the animal is either unable to relieve itself or that this is done in a sanitary manner if the animal is on a flight of 8 hours or more.

    As soon as you have finished the SDTSI service dog training course with a passed grade, you will receive a certificate stating the type of training and the tasks that the dog has successfully completed. We will also provide you with the information you need to fill out the required forms.

  • Is there a final test? What happens if my dog does not pass? Does he still get a certificate?

    Our aim is to keep the training of a service dog as simple as possible, whereby the training is joyous for both the handler and the dog. Our tutors will do their best to help you pass the training.

    You will need to finish the assignment of each lesson, and then your tutor will give you specific feedback to help you perfect your technique. If you have any questions, you have direct access to your tutor visa the live chat or the contact form. Once you have completed the course with a passing grade, you will receive a Service Dog Certificate.

  • Registering an assistance dog in the UK

    In the UK there is no assistance dog register so it is not possible to register a dog as an assistance dog, regardless of where it has been trained.

    Dogs that have been trained by our school are issued an SDTSI Identification Booklet. Once you complete our service dog training program, we will also register your dog in our school's databse. We cannot register or issue dogs that have not been trained by us with identification or branded dog gear.

    Assistance dog owners are not required by law to carry identification.

  • What is an assistance dog?

    Assistance dogs are trained to help people with hearing difficulties, epilepsy, diabetes, physical mobility problems and more. Assistance dogs carry out a variety of practical tasks for people as well as supporting their independence and confidence.

    Assistance dogs are highly trained which means they are well-behaved in public places. Most are instantly recognisable by a harness or jacket. However, the law does not require the dog to wear a harness or jacket to identify it as an assistance dog. Because disabled people who use assistance dogs quite often experience discrimination by business owners refusing the public access for the disable people with their assistance dogs. A trained assistance dog ID book or a certificate will help protect your privacy by eliminating the need to answer questions about your disability to strangers, helping take the stress out of being in public.

    Some, but not all assistance dog users, will carry an ID book giving information about the assistance dog and the training organisation together with other useful information. Again, this is not a legal requirement and assistance dog users should not be refused a service simply because they do not possess an ID book. Assistance dogs can also be owner trained and the owner selects their own dog to fit their own requirements.

    If assistance dog owners who are trained by organisations, that are members of Assistance Dogs UK, will have been issued with an Assistance Dog (UK) branded ID book. The ID book contains information about the owner and their dog and details of the training organisation who trained the dog and its owner.

    If assistance dogs are trained outside of AD(UK) member organisations, for example by a dog school or a certified dog trainer, as long as the dogs are well cared, well behaved, finished public access training, and can preform tasks to assistant their handlers, they have the same qualifications as the assistant dogs trained by the AD member organisations.

  • Do the regulations for service dogs apply to service dogs in training as well?

    ADA does not specifically address service animals in-training. In the US, some states grant them full access as if they were full-fledged service dogs, some specifically mention that they’re welcome only with the permission of the business owner, and others don’t mention them at all. Federal law does not mention service dogs in training, so state law should always be checked.

  • In which cases service dogs may be required to leave a public space or fees may have been charged?

    Dog handlers should be aware of the fact that they are responsible for the supervision and the behavior of their animals. If a service dog is not well-behaved (if he/she barks, causes damages or is a direct threat to the safety and the health of others) the handler and the dog may be asked to leave. There are some examples listed by the US Department of Justice in regard to the prohibition of service dogs. They are not allowed in specific areas of a dorm at boarding school, reserved for students with allergies to dogs, however the dogs should not be restricted from the rest of the entity. The presence of service dogs may be also prohibited in some areas of the zoo in that the animal that has been exhibited is a natural prey or a natural predator of dogs and the presence of a dog may become disturbing.

    No additional fees may be charged for service animals. However, if the service animal causes damages, the owner may be required to pay for them, if the charge for the same type of damages is a part of their policy or regular practice for non-disabled clients.

  • ADA regulations vs local regulations and “no pets” policy

    In case that an entity does operate a “no pets” policy, it is important to know that this is irrelevant for service dogs. The presence of service animals should be allowed, as they are not considered “pets”. According to ADA this policy should be modified so that

    It may occur a situation in that a local or state regulation conflicts with an ADA regulation, i.e.: according to a health department the presence only of guide dogs may be allowed. In this case the prohibition of service animals of different type is considered a violation of ADA rules, which have grater protection for people with disabilities and have priority over the local regulations. However, we have to mention that if a city requires all dogs to be vaccinated, registered or licensed, these regulations apply as well as to the service dogs.

  • What if a handler needs two service dogs

    Some people that have two different disabilities may use two service dogs, as each of them performs a different task, i.e.: seizure/ allergy/ diabetic alert dog and a dog whose task is to guide the owner in case of visually/ motor impairment. However, if the conditions do not allow the presence of both dogs (i.e. the entity is too small and/or crowded) the handler may be asked to leave one of the dogs outside.

    Although people with service dogs have undisputed rights when entering public premises, business is not required to provide care or food or supervision for service animals.

    We would recommend an open conversation with the business owner, as people tend to be more understanding when they are familiar with the situation and the needs of their customers.

  • First Steps on Your Way to Training Your Own Service Dog

    Once you enroll into any of our courses available here You will find your lessons and training advice in the Learning Centre. Please note that you will have to be logged into your account on our site. You can access the login page from the top right corner of the site and here.

    All courses you have purchased with your account will be available in the Learning Centre.

    The lessons are numbered and provide pictures as well as videos. You should go through the provided lesson carefully and then move to the assignment. The aim of the assignment/test is to check if you and your furry friend have attained the necessary knowledge and training properly. Please, watch the video below so you can navigate the Learning Centre confidently:

  • How can I enrol the course or register my dog with you?

    You can enrol the course through our website

    Enrol Now

No Breed, Size or Weight Restriction

Trained to perform work or task

Behave in public and under control of handler

Animal must be up to date with all vaccinations