How to Certify Your Service Dog?

Certification is offered for completion of one of our training programs and Public Access testing

Certifying your service dog is NOT required by federal law. To this date, owners have the right to train their own service dog, provided that the dog’s training meets certain standards established by the ADA.

Click here to access ADA Requirements

Some states, however, do require registration. Each state is different and some require all dogs to be registered, including service dogs.

 

​There is NO national service dog registry or certifying organization. Some websites offer service dog vests and IDs to anyone who sends a picture of their dog. These websites do not represent any are legitimate and recognized organizations. As official as they may seem, they are simply businesses selling IDs and service dog gear. Here’s an excerpt from the ADA website: “There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal… Mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA.  However, service animals are subject to the same licensing and vaccination rules that are applied to all dogs.”

​Click here to access ADA

We do not offer training or certification for Emotional Support Dogs or Therapy Dogs.

This service is for Service Dogs only.

What Will You Need to have Your Dog Certified?

 

If you are enrolled in one of our training programs, we will provide you with a certification of completion of our training program after you pass the Public Access Test (PAT). Just as the Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC), The PAT is given in person and cannot be done from a distance, so you’ll need to meet with us in Indianapolis to be certified. This certificate will attest that you and your dog are a service dog team as defined by the ADA. Since we abide by the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) guidelines, you will need to work with us for a minimum of 6 months before we schedule a PAT for certification.

 

To enroll in one of our training programs, you will need to schedule an assessment with one of our trainers. The cost for the assessment is $90. For the assessment, we will ask you to send us videos of your dog in different situations. We’ll want to make sure that your dog has the temperament and training required to be a service dog. We’ll also discuss your disability and the training that you have already done with your dog. We’ll help you establish a training plan based on your needs and on how much training you have already done.

Before we schedule your Public Access Test, you will need the following:

  1. Proof of disability: we’ll provide you with a form for your provider to fill out.

  2. At least 3 one-hour sessions with one of our trainers (Check out our online class options if you don’t live within driving distance).
  3. Demonstrate that your dog has been trained to help with your disability. This means your dog should have at least three trained behaviors for your disability.

  4. Demonstrate that your dog has the training requirements to pass the Public Access Test as well as the Canine Good Citizen Test. As part of the assessment, you’ll need to demonstrate:

    • That your dog stays right by your side and doesn’t pull on the leash in a variety of situations (see video below);
    • That your dog can sit and lay down in a variety of situations;
    • Is overall well behaved, confident, and at ease around public settings.
    • Comes when called.
    • Accepts petting by a stranger and is willing to stay with a stranger.
    • Stays under control around other dogs.
    • Is healthy and well-groomed.

For more details about the Public Access Test, please watch the video below. All behaviors will need to conform to our standards and must be performed without coercion (choke chains, prong collars, or shock collars are not accepted).

The cost for the Public Access Test is $100

The cost for 3 training sessions is $255

Once you have passed the Public Access Test, we will provide you with a card and a letter stating that you and your dog are a service dog team and that you meet the requirements set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Public Access Test