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How can you tell if you qualify for a service dog?

There are several qualifications to having a service dog.

1. You must be disabled. Under ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; OR (2) has a record of such an impairment; OR (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.

2. Your dog must be very good with basic obedience and be able to pass a Canine Good Citizen test or similar.

3. Your must be able to pass a Public Access Test (PAT) to show that they can behave in public and not bark at skateboards, vacuum up the floor, etc. These are available at www.iaadp.org and other service dog websites. They can be administered by a dog trainer (more qualified) or by a friend(less qualified).

4. Very important-your dog must be specially task-trained to mitigate your disability. A list of tasks can be found at www.iaadp.org but it is not an exhaustive list. Giving comfort and kisses are not tasks, these are natural things dogs do. Tasks may include guiding the blind, alerting the deaf to noises, mobility work, alerting to blood sugar drops, picking up items, pulling a wheelchair, alerting to panic attacks and many more.