Tag Archives: Service Dog Training

What Are The Requirements To Have A Service Dog In Virginia?

Service Dogs in Virginia

We get asked service dog questions a lot at our facility in Northern Virginia.

ADA (American Disabilities Act) is the governing body for these regulations.

The American Disabilities Act has certain regulations in place regarding the definition and purpose of service dogs. This has been revised several times, with the latest revision being on March 15, 2011. There were several additional provisions added to the latest revisions regarding service dogs.

Service dogs are specially trained to assist people with special needs in certain activities of daily living, such as helping them to walk with stability, helping retrieve items (if they are in a wheelchair), helping them know if someone is coming from behind (if there is hearing loss), preventing a child from wandering away from safety (if autistic), etc.

According to the American Disabilities Act, both local and state government agencies, non-profit organizations, retail merchants, restaurants, and other businesses, have to make “reasonable modifications” in order to accommodate the needs of disabled people. Even places that have a policy of “no pets” have to make room for service dogs in their premises.

It is to be noted that the ADA defines only dogs as service animals. According to the ADA, the dog must be trained to perform tasks that are specifically related to the disability faced by the person. This involves training the dog to take certain actions that are very specific to the disability, such as alerting a diabetic person that his blood sugar levels are low. Other tasks could include reminding the person to take medications on time, detect the onset of a seizure in an epileptic person and keep him/her safe during the seizure until medical aid arrives. Therapy dogs, or dogs that provide only emotional support and comfort, are not covered in the ambit of service dogs, under the ADA regulations. However, dogs that are trained to offer specific psychiatric support, such as sensing the onset of an anxiety attack and taking action to warn, avoid, or prevent the attack, are covered as service dogs, under ADA regulations.

The ADA also does not “require” professional training for service dogs; however, it is highly preferred. People with disabilities can train the dogs themselves. ADA regulations state that a dog can only be considered a service dog after it is fully trained. A service dog can only be taken to public places after it is fully trained. This means that dogs that are undergoing training should not be taken to public places under ADA regulations. They are not required to wear any special vest, harness, or ID tag. The care of the dog is the responsibility of the handler, and this includes feeding, grooming, exercising, as well as veterinary care.

ADA regulations also state that hotels must not reserve “pet friendly” rooms to people with service animals who want to book an accommodation in the hotel. They must be given rooms that are accessible to other general guests. Hotels must also not charge a separate cleaning fee for these rooms to remove pet hair, etc.  Essentially, a service dog must be given access to any place that a person is.

If you are looking at getting your dog trained and certified to be a service dog, contact Off Leash K9 Training today!

www.offleashk9training.com or 888-413-0896  or http://www.servicedogtrainingvirginia.com/

Nick White
Off Leash K9 Training

Service Dog Training in Northern Virginia: Therapy Dog Training Northern Virginia


At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we have it all when it comes to basic and advanced training for your dog. Whether you’re looking for some basic obedience courses, or you want military grade training, you can schedule just about any training package you’d like.

We also offer you and your dog the opportunity to give back to our country and our community.

You can get your dog trained as a therapy dog, and visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It’s a proven fact that having a companion animal around helps to improve the lives of the elderly, as well as, those with special needs. Dogs are also welcome in a variety of rehabilitation centers, and special needs schools.

And when it comes to basic through advanced obedience training there is absolutely no better place to have your dog trained than at offleashk9training. Our  trainers have an admittedly biased passion for helping every day people learn how to become both master and companion to their four legged friends, as well as, teaching those canines how to follow simple commands for behavior modification. Their training becomes second nature to them, and eventually without even realizing that it happened, they will obey your commands without fail.

You can also have your dog, usually it’s best to start them as a puppy, trained as a seeing-eye dog or some other specialty, like search and rescue. For us at offleashk9training, some who have served our country in the Armed Forces,  it’s more than just a job, it’s a passion and love for both the canines and the techniques they use to train them. We want your dog to be as successful as you do, and we put everything they have into making sure that happens.

And if you’ve ever visited a rehab center, wounded warriors, or nursing home in Northern Virginia, you’ll know just how therapeutic it is when gentle, well trained animals, make the elderly, and those who are working to recover their independence, a part of their families. Dog training can be so much more than just obedience and behavior modification. You can use this opportunity to literally change peoples lives for the better, and that is a reward that will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

So whether you’ve been thinking about training your dog for a while, or it just occurred to you that it might be a good idea, you can call the specialists at offleashk9training and talk to one of our trainers.  We’ll be able to help you with scheduling classes, and choosing courses that are best for your specific dog. Also, if you’re considering specialized training for courses other than obedience, you can ask about the specifics of those courses as well.

We can provide you and your dog all of the tools and training necessary in order for you and your dog to become a successful service dog team! We have aided many dogs and their handlers in passing the therapy dog certification.