How do you know it's a 'real' service dog?

 The number 1 question I get asked, is "How did you do it?" 
Simple answer, you do not need to register with any company to have your dog be a "service dog"
This has pro's and cons:



-Means you don’t have to pay for registering

-Means anyone can “fake” a service dog

Any dog can be a service dog, granted, they do need to be able to preform a task for you, and yes, people do abuse this and it makes the handlers who do need their SA (Service Animal) get a bad reputation. If you have a service animal it is a good idea to 
1. Start training as soon as possible, no age is too early, we started with ESA training too.
2. It's a good idea to put them through CGC training.
3. Do the IAADP training
4. Do the public access test training

...Is it required? No, is it highly suggested, yes! Your dog DOES have to be well mannered in public spaces. Due to the fact that many people can just go out, get a service dog vest on Amazon, and say their dog is a "Service Dog" businesses are now allowed to ask "What service can your dog preform". Remember ESA and SA is very different. Training is never "completed" we're always looking for ways to remind, and correct, remember they're a dog, not a human, even humans need correcting sometimes.

Some people expect their dog to be super human, and be "always working". You as a human need a break sometimes too right? So do dogs. I've trained Nox that when he's in his vest and collar that he needs to be on "best behavior" and we say this phrase before we enter places like Walmart and other public places.  Are children likely going to run up to your dog and want to pet them? Yes. Should they pet them? No. Are they going to do it impulsively? More than likely. You should prepare your dog for this, kindly correct them, (you'll likely get backlash for this) but it's the right thing to do. Now I personally am apart of a bunch of Facebook groups and when you own a service dog, it's easier to connect and talk with other people who do as well, you know, to vent. One of our more common vents are "Someone asked me about my disability" or "My dog is working, not a unicorn" this is another reason why I made this website, after you've had a service dog for awhile, and you're familiar with the laws, vs the "fake laws" you just expect others to know, and they don't. Some people get snarky, and rude when correcting. I'm no different.

A few months ago I was in a Walmart, getting some groceries, with Nox by my side. minding his own business. A man came up to me (a non-employee) and kindly asked what Nox was for. I kindly told him "Just so you know, it's very rude to ask, because it's a private medical condition, but if you must know, he's a psychiatric service dog."
After this we started to walk away, he followed and said "Yes, but what does he do."
to which I replied "He helps me with my psychiatrics condition."
which he then got more persistent and aggressive saying I wasn't understanding, "What does your dog do"
I then decided he wasn't understanding this was incredibly personal, so I stated snarly "Sir you asking me this is the equivalent of me asking you what your blood type is, or what was the result of your last pelvic exam? This is none of your business, please leave me alone." Now keep in mind, if this was an Employee of the store I likely would have said for PTSD, or Anxiety Attacks, but this was a random stranger.
To which he then replied "Whatever you stupid *Censored* he's probably not even real."  

This is what we as handlers deal with on a daily basis. When our dog is working, we ask people to act like they're not even there, ignore them, they are working, they are there to help us. In the beginning, I was more than happy to explain things to people who didn't know, or understand, but after feeling like I was running out of breath repeating myself over and over, I'm like why not make a website for it

Long story short, if you want to get a dog already trained, you can get them from a service, but it's gonna cost you a pretty penny, or you can raise them yourself, either way, you don't need to "register them".

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