- Increase in patience, impulse control, emotional regulation
- Improved ability to display affect, decrease in emotional numbness
- Improved sleep
- Decreased depression, increase in positive sense of purpose
- Decrease in startle responses
- Reduce anxiety & lower blood pressure
- Decrease in pain medications
- Increased sense of belonging/acceptance
- Lowered stress levels, increased sense of calm
From Service Dog Training Program for Treatmentof Post Traumatic Stress in Service Members - Yount, Olmert, Lee published: US Army Medical Department Journal 2012
*Recently, our support team has received a high volume of enquiries regarding the new rules of flying with service dogs and emotional support animals in the United States and in Canada. Please note, that our school helps people self-train their own service dog and there are many laws and regulations that need to be considered across states/provinces. We encourage you to check your local legislation, as well as the airline’s service dog policy, if you intend to enroll and potentially travel with your SDTSI-certified dog. We want to affirm that our certificates are accepted by most airlines in North America as well as in the EU and the UK. Our school is ready to provide a verification letter for your course completion as well as for your dog-in-training when necessary. Please note that during the training process you will be provided with assistance, advice and study materials by certified dog trainers.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that defines service dogs, provides access rights for team members, and protects the rights of both. In addition to the ADA, there are also state laws that provide specific rights to service dog teams. As a general rule, the more comprehensive law (federal or state) will take precedence over any other legislation in the event of a conflict.
The ADA defines a service dog as “a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability” (ADA 2010). This means that only dogs who have been specifically trained to help people with disabilities are considered service dogs. Some common tasks that service dogs may perform include guiding people who are blind or visually impaired, alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing, pulling wheelchairs, providing balance and stability for people with mobility issues, retrieving dropped items, and assisting with medication administration.
Service dog handlers have the legal right to take their service dog into any public place where members of the public are allowed. This includes businesses such as restaurants, stores, hotels, and transportation systems. Service dogs must be allowed to accompany their handlers in all areas of these places where the public is allowed to go. Team access should not be denied because of a fear of allergies or pet dander.
In addition to having access to all public places, service dog handlers also have the right to be accompanied by their service dog in any place where they are receiving services. This includes doctor’s offices, hospitals, and mental health facilities. Service dogs must be allowed to accompany their handlers into all areas of these places where the public is allowed to go.
If a service dog is denied access to any public or private place, the handler can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. The DOJ will investigate the complaint and work to resolve the situation.
Service dogs and their handlers are also protected by the Federal Fair Housing Act. This law states that it is illegal to discriminate against someone because they have a disability and that includes refusing them housing because they have a service dog.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the federal law that provides access rights for service dog teams. This law supersedes any state law that may provide lesser rights or protections. For more information on the ADA, please visit ada.gov.
Service dog laws in Canada are similar to, but not exactly the same as, American rules. On a national level, service dogs are protected in Canada. However, on the provincial level, service dogs' access rights are more strictly regulated. Some provinces, such as Ontario, demand that teams carry organization-provided identification cards, and others require dogs to come from an Assistance Dog International-accredited organization (ADI). Provincial governments also have the power to prohibit service dog teams from entering public places, such as restaurants, that would otherwise be open to them.
Despite these differences, service dogs in Canada are generally allowed into most public places and are given a high level of legal protection. This makes it important for team members to understand their provincial laws and regulations so they can ensure their dog is legally recognized as a service animal. Ignorance of the law is not an acceptable excuse if confronted by business owners or officials who challenge the legitimacy of the dog.
As in America, the definition of a "service dog" in Canada is quite broad. According to the Canadian government, "A service animal is an animal that has been trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability." This means that virtually any dog can be a service dog, as long as it has been properly trained to meet the needs of its handler.
There are a few key things to remember if you are in Canada with your service dog. First, always carry identification proving that your dog is a service animal. This can be in the form of an ID card from an accredited organization, or simply a letter from your doctor or therapist specifying that you require a service dog. Second, be aware of the provincial laws governing access rights for service dogs. Not all provinces have the same regulations, so it's important to know what is allowed in the area where you are travelling. Finally, always act respectfully when using your service dog in public. Remember that not everyone understands what a service dog is, and some people may be afraid of dogs. Always be polite and understanding if someone challenges your right to have your dog with you.
The laws surrounding service dogs in Canada can be confusing, but it is important to understand them so you can ensure your rights are protected. By following the tips above, you can make sure that you and your service dog enjoy a smooth and hassle-free journey throughout Canada.
When it comes to countries and regions outside of North America, service dog law and access rights can vary widely. It’s always important to thoroughly research the laws of any country you’re considering visiting, and to ensure that you’re working with the most up-to-date version of the laws possible. Remember, too, that requirements for flying with a service animal on foreign airlines and requirements for actually entering a given country or region (such as the European Union) can be quite stringent. Allowances may not always be made for in-cabin travel with a service animal, depending on the airline or country. If in-cabin travel is allowed, there may be a fee, and/or additional guidelines concerning vaccinations, microchipping, other health care and documentation of training or program completion. Lots of countries and international airlines require a dog to have graduated from an organization certified by Assistance Dogs International (ADI), and to possess a card or certificate from the organization, before they will acknowledge a dog as a service animal. Once you’ve left the land side part of an airport and clear security with a ticket for another country, US service dog access laws no longer apply, and you will have to abide by the regulations and requirements of whatever country you’re traveling to and/or connecting through. Always thoroughly research the laws of any country you may consider visiting, and do so with lots of time before travel—some countries require documentation to begin months ahead of time.
Keep in mind that laws can change without notice, so any laws or guidelines printed below may not still be accurate. Always, always, always double check.
Service dog law in the EU is much like service dog law in the United States. There are a few minor differences, but for the most part, the laws are very similar. In Europe, service dogs are allowed to accompany their handlers in any public place. This includes restaurants, stores, and other places where the general public is allowed.
There are some restrictions on what types of service dogs are allowed in Europe. For example, emotional support animals are not recognized as service animals in the EU. However, many European countries do allow emotional support animals in public places.
If you are traveling to Europe with your service dog, it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws of each country you will be visiting. Each country has its own set of rules and regulations regarding service dogs. Be sure to research the laws of each country you will be visiting, so that you can ensure your service dog is allowed in all of the places you plan to go.
Regulations for travel with a service animal through and to Europe are mandated and upheld by the European Parliament. While each individual country in the European Union may have different laws and regulations in place, as a whole, laws for entering any EU country generally mirrors these requirements:
The service animal must be harnessed, leashed, or muzzled as appropriate;
The service animal must have all required vaccinations and health certifications;
The service animal must be well-behaved and not create a disturbance.
If you are traveling with a service dog to Europe, it is important to familiarize yourself with the specific laws of the countries you will be visiting. You can find more information on regulations for travel with a service animal at the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/travelling-with-a-service-animal-into-the-eu/travelling-with-a-service-animal-into-the-eu?
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.
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.
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