Local Businesses Schooled In Dog Training Technique

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Tim Snider is a Canine Good Citizen certified dog trainer and is licensed to test dogs. He has been providing dog training in the area for nine years and reached out to local businesses on Wednesday night, January 22, with a seminar at North Elementary School. Apparently, there are many cases in the area where dogs that are not true Service Dogs are brought into stores under false pretenses, and business owners and managers want to know how to handle such situations.
“There are three types of dogs that provide services to the public,” said Snider. “There are Therapy dogs who give therapy in nursing homes and schools, but they don’t provide therapy to an individual owner, and they do not do task work. There are Emotional Support animals that provide companionship to a person at home, but once again they do not require special training and do not do tasks. A Service Dog is specifically trained to perform work (or tasks) for a person with a disability, according the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).”
Any dog can be a Service Dog, but the most common breeds trained for such disabilities as blindness are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. Service dogs can be used for psychiatric disabilities if it has been trained to sense that an anxiety attack is about to happen and takes a specific action to help avoid the attack or lessen its impact. Snider gave an example of how a Service Dog was helpful to him when he temporarily lost his balance on his right side.
Business owners at the Wednesday night seminar asked questions about how to tell if a dog was a Service Dog. Snider told them that Service Dogs were not required by law to be marked by a vest or identification. However, he did give the attendees a series of questions to ask a person who enters his or her business with a dog to help determine if it is a true Service Dog. He also informed them that if a person is proven to have a “fake” Service Dog in a place of business, that person is committing a misdemeanor and can be fined. He suggested that businesses put up signs on the premises stating that “Service Dogs Only are allowed.”
“We train dogs and people at the same time during private lessons,” said Snider. “It is up to the people taking these lessons whether they want to continue on with lessons. Dogs need continual training, and some dogs don’t make it through training to be a Service Dog. Even if they learn commands, they might fail other standards that are important. There are at least three working Service Dogs in this area, at the current time, that I have trained.”
Snider said that the Cole Camp Chamber of Commerce has requested a training seminar from Twin Lakes Canine Academy, and he is also making plans for future seminars in Lincoln, Clinton and even Kansas City.
Service Dogs can be registered through such websites as https://usdogregistry.org. Although it is not required, it helps to have an identification card that indicates that the dog is a true Service Dog. Airlines are one of the businesses that prefer to see an ID card.  There are different assurances required by various airlines to prove that the Service Dog owner is being assisted because of a disability. These assurances can be found at the aforementioned website. The ADA provides laws protecting Service Dogs, they can fly on airplanes free and they are protected in all 50 states.