If we are going to address the problem with fake service dogs, we should consider starting with the source of the problem..........Fake Service Dog Trainers.
How can you spot a 'Fake' Service Dog Trainer??
1. Fake Service Dog Trainers do not have any type of screening process or temperament testing for the dogs they work with. Their websites often state the programs or services they offer, but the will not require any type of screening or assessment of the dog. As long as you're willing to pay them, they will work with you.
2. Fake Service Dog Trainers can't answer questions regarding ADA Service Dogs Laws, nor do they understand them.
3. Fake Service Dog Trainers are not affiliated with any legitimate Service Dog Program such as the IAADP, an organization that provides standards for training and working Service Dogs.
4. Fake Service Dog Trainers tell clients they will have a 'Certified Service Dog' when there technically isn't a group that certifies Service Dogs. This is still an unregulated industry, thus why there are so many problems.
5. Fake Service Dog Trainers rarely talk about the dogs that are not suited for Service Dog work. A legitimate Service Dog Trainer knows that close to 50% of dogs who begin the training process are career changed due to behavior or health concerns.
6. Fake Service Dog Trainers don't tell their clients that it takes approximately 2 years to train a Service dog. The training process is a big commitment with NO guarantees.
7. Fake Service Dog Trainers encourage clients to purchase ID badges, vests and bogus medical letters off the internet so they can take their dogs into public places and pass them off as trained Service Dogs.
8. Fake Service Dog Trainers offer 'Boot Camp' training programs, a 2-4 week program that 'guarantees' a trained Service Dog upon completion.
10. Fake Service Dogs Trainers rarely have any type of formal training or credentials, they are 'self made' trainers.
To understand how to spot a Fake Service Dog, and to better understand the ADA Service Dog laws, see the link below.
For Trainers interested in working with Service Dogs, see the link below. Cooperative Paws offers a program that teaches trainers how to work with Service Dogs and their humans. This comprehensive program gives trainers the tools they need to effectively work with teams.
We need to protect the rights of legitimate Service Dogs and the life changing work they do,