What Is a Service Dog?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Service dogs are permitted to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.
What Does Certification Mean?
Training a dog to certification level is extremely rewarding, but also hard work. A Service Dog or Hearing Dog must be able to help you both at home and out in public. You will dedicate a great deal of time to your partnership along this path, but you will have lots of fun times too! Your instructor will work closely with you every step of the way and is available by phone or email to answer your questions. Savvy Canines Certification is awarded when the dog/person team has demonstrated a high level of skill and can work safely in public.
How Long Does It Take to Become Certified?
You and your dog will answer that question. The time it takes depends on many factors, such as the dog’s natural aptitude for service work and the amount of time you spend training on a weekly basis. A reasonable length of time is one and a half to two years.
Does Every Dog Become Certified?
No. You decide when you are satisfied with the partnership you have with your dog. You may change your goals for a variety of reasons. Even then your dog can help you around the home as a Skilled Companion. You and your instructor will have many conversations along the way to plan the path of your partnership.