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10 Signs That a “Service Dog” is Actually a Fake


You’re out shopping when you turn the corner to find a cute dog browsing the merchandise. Your first instinct tells you it’s someone’s service dog, but then something doesn’t seem right. People posing their pets as fake service dogs has become a widespread problem. Real service dogs can be any breed, their owners don’t always have visible disabilities, and they’re not required to carry any kind of identifying paperwork or distinguishing badge. This makes spotting the fakes exceptionally difficult, but if the dog is showing any of these behaviors, it’s most likely an impostor.

#1 – They’re Being Carried or Pushed in a Cart


Service dogs are trained in countless different kinds of jobs, but no matter what their specialty is, they always need to be alert and ready to work. If the dog is being toted around in a purse or getting a free ride in a shopping cart, they’re unable to perform their duty. There are exceptions, however, if a small dog is being held close to person’s chest. Some small dogs are trained to monitor certain bodily functions and need to be kept close to their owners.

#2 – They’re Not on a Leash

It seems ironic, but you’ll never see a highly trained service dog out in public and not on a leash. They’re more than capable of staying by their owner, but leashes are used to protect the dog. Always using a leash is a basic part of being a responsible dog owner.

#3 – They’re Pulling on the Leash

Because they’re always leashed while they’re working, service dogs have impeccable leash manners. They never pull and always stick close to their owner’s side. Dogs used for mobility and support assistance may lean into their harnesses as part of their job, but they don’t yank their person in different directions as they feel like it.

#4 – They’re Barking or Whining

Some dogs are trained to bark or whine as an alert to warn their owner of an impending medical emergency, like a stroke or panic attack. But besides these infrequent sounds, a service dog would never bark at another dog or whine out of impatience.

# 5 – They’re Sniffing Everything

All dogs rely on smell more than any other sense, and taking your pet on a walk usually involves a whole lot of sniffing. When a dog has a job to do, those scents are a distraction. Service dogs are trained to stay focused, and they won’t be careening down aisles sniffing everything on the lower shelves.

#6 – They Have Indoor “Accidents”

A dog that isn’t fully house trained should never be taken into an indoor public area. For male dogs especially, indoor accidents are not always accidental, and instead, it’s the dog’s way of marking a new territory. Whether they did it on purpose or not, urinating or defecating indoors is an unacceptable behavior for service dogs.

#7 – They Steal Food

Stealing food—whether it’s off a table, out of someone’s hand, or something they found on the ground—is a hard habit for pets to break, but resisting temptations is one of the first lessons a service dog learns.

#8 – They Look Nervous

Socialization is a major part of service dog training, and if the dog in question is the real deal, they’ll seem calm and confident no matter what’s going on around them. They won’t be spooked by loud noises or big crowds, and they won’t cower or tuck their tails between their legs.

#9 – They Seek Attention

Service dogs know they have a job to do, and they only have eyes for the person on the other end of their leash. They don’t put their noses into other people’s space seeking head pats or belly rubs.

# 10 – They’re Aggressive

Some service dogs are trained in protection, but that doesn’t mean they lash out at other people or animals without being explicitly told to. A dog that is growling, lunging, or showing other signs of unprovoked aggression is not a real service dog.

Fake service dogs put unfair scrutiny on the people who actually need their animals for medical or emotional purposes, and they’re an insult to the dogs that go through months of intense training to be good at their jobs. The service dog reputation is at stake, and it’s because some pet owners think “no pet” policies shouldn’t apply to them. If you decide to approach someone about their dog, remember to do so politely and realize they have no legal obligation to answer a long list of questions.

254 responses to “10 Signs That a “Service Dog” is Actually a Fake”

  1. Veteran Traveler says:

    The only one that isn’t correct by ADA law is your number two. Dogs can be off leash if the owners disability requires it or it being on a leash would interfere with the dog performing its task. This area of the ADA is vague, but still applies in some cases. Again, you are absolutely right: the behavior of the dog will tell you whether or not it is a legitimate and trained service dog. If the service tech was off leash, it would clearly be attending only to the handler and under absolute control

    • Melissa Garrett says:

      Number 1 is not correct. Diabetic alert service dogs are typically small dogs that are carried. They need to be close to their handlers face to detect changes in saliva.
      Also the person who stated handler trained dogs are fakes in very uniformed.

      • Garrett Broadwater says:


      • Sandyjeanie says:

        I have a few things to say. First, my diabetic alert dog is a small min-pin who I carry everywhere. Second, my dog is working when she is in my arms. When she is down on the leash..she pulls and smells everything because she is not working when down. Third, my dog alerts me with loud barks & whines. Fourth, my dog is getting old and has kidney, she could have a urinary accident..though chances are..she won’t. Fifth, my dog would never steal food from a table. But, when she is on the ground and not working..she might eat something off the ground. Sixth, my alert dog is a min-pin and she like most other dogs of her breed..always looks nervous. Sixth, my dog does not seek attention but..she will respond to positive attention from people when she is on the ground and thus not working. Lastly, my dog is never aggressive towards people or other animals. But, no guarantee on how she will react to another dog lunging at her. So please..DO NOT USE THIS STATED CRITERIA FOR SPOTTING A FAKE SERVICE DOG!! If you do, I won’t be allowed anywhere anymore with my real service dog.

        • Ed says:

          It is strange to see people carry small dogs by their chest but a dogs sense of smell is 8 times more than a human
          These dogs can smell your change of chemistry before you have your episode or what it might be. So they need to be on the ground and trained as that. You also need to have a bracelet or a tag on a chain around your neck at all times so if you do pass out people will notice your a diabetic and render some type of assistance. Those small dogs will not administer or retrieve your meds; That is how I train a service dog for Seizures, Diabetics and Phyc dogs.

          • Holli says:

            Do you have a website or information on your services?

          • Melissa says:

            Diabetic alert dogs do not need to be carried to perform their task. People do not realize how acute their sense of smell is (It is far more than 8 times that of a human, by the way). My dog (who is 60 lbs, so would be really difficult to carry around) has alerted on me from 100 yards away when I was out on a tractor mowing the back field. Sensing a change from 5 feet below your mouth is nothing!

          • Ben says:

            the Following comes straight from the ADA Website on Questions and answers for Service animals
            I for one am Six foot Three and have a Papillon as a Diabetic Service Alert Dog which is considered a toy breed dog However my little dog is my Biggest Hero she has saved me more times than I can count oh and another thing she carries my meters and my pens and my pen needles and a dosage chart for my pens in a small pack on her back which has a patch that says medicine inside at home if I am away from my meds she will bring them to me as well as my meter and strips so I guess what I am saying Ed is perhaps it is not your opinion that small dogs make good service animals however mine has saved my life more times than one all I’m saying is when you make a generalized stereotypical comment it is no more than stereotyping a human.
            Now more about what the Ada says about the old four on the floor rule.

            Are stores required to allow service animals to be placed in a shopping cart?
            A: Generally, the dog must stay on the floor, or the person must carry the dog. For example, if a person with diabetes has a glucose alert dog, he may carry the dog in a chest pack
            so it can be close to his face to allow the dog to smell his breath to alert him of a change in
            glucose levels.

          • Angel Disney says:

            I have a hearing ear dog who had been through obedience training, advanced Obedience training, she passed her public Access test with flying colors, she alerts with bumps and nudges. She alerts me to alarms, knocks on the door, as well as my phone vibrating when I get a phone call. She is very well traveled, and extremely well acclaimed to everything south of the Mason Dixon Line from the east to the west coast, from San Francisco to Myrtle Beach.
            She’s got a perfect heal to my left on or off leash. She potty’s on command.
            Sounds like she’s perfect….
            Only she is 5 pounds.
            I do what I do to protect MY Service dog because of the lack of laws in place to protect her.
            There is no standard for people who self train their dogs. There is no BSL in place , no temperament evaluations, no vet visits for these so called service dogs who’s handlers are not only minor children, but are self Diagnosing in order to find the loophole in the system.
            Per the ADA
            2 questions can be asked . I) is this a service dog?
            2) what task has it been trained to do.

            How bout One General Question ?
            1) May I see your Dogs Public Access Credentials?

            Being able to access a national data base for the registration number.

            I am forced to take extra precautions to protect my dog because the ADA don’t.

        • Dixies owner says:

          Still your service dog should never be nervous in public if it is dont take it places and this will be recognised as a fake if you dont work on these things

        • Robin says:

          My Diabetic Alert is a 5 pound Chi who works from the floor just fine. Barking is not an allowed alert as it is disruptive, Sniffing or eating off the floor is a sign of a fake or poorly trained pet. There is no excuse for a dog who potties. Retire your fake or poorly trained minpin and get a real SD. Oh and my Chi got his AKC CGC at 7 mos. A well trained well bred dog won’t appear nervous either.

        • Jo says:

          You are absolutely correct.
          1. Breeds like min pins and chihuahuas can LOOK nervous but not actually be nervous.
          2. Small dogs are allowed by ADA to be carried or in in carts for THEIR safety, not because they cant do their job on the ground. It is just more dangerous for them.
          3.A well trained dog will alert however it was trained to so whining or barking is normal if issues arise, just not at other things like people or squirrels.
          3. Food is an issue. Working or not, unless I give my service dog food, she does not eat. Nothing is eaten if dropped, working or not.
          4. A working dog should never respond to attention at any time unless it has been allowed before. Which makes it hard for those with service dogs that need to focus at all times because the general population of humans just dont get it.
          Socialize, socialize, socialize whether a service dog or pet!

        • Rebecca says:

          Your dog does not need to be carried to detect changes in your saliva first of all! Your dog should also not be working if it’s elderly and experiencing kidney ‘issues’!!!

          I bet your speech has convinced some undereducated people so you keep going with it LOL one problem though, everything you’ve described in your service dog makes it INCAPABLE of being a true service dog😉. Stop lying, your dog was not professionally trained to detect changes in the ketones or pick up the distinct smells high and low blood sugar carry!

        • Karen says:

          No service animal should ever pee or poop in public! If your dog is loosing control of its bladder, it needs to be retired. I know how hard this is, I had to recently retire my little pug, because of her arthritis. Getting a new dog and rebuilding the relationship is daunting, but with it for not just you but your dog.
          As for small dogs having to be carried to smell or detect body changes, I have to respectfully disagree. My pug walked everywhere and was always able to detect my heart issues. My friends diabetic alert Jack Russell was never carried and he always knew when there was an issue with his handler.

          • Pamela says:

            I’m so happy to see that real service animals handlers are speaking out. I run a small motel and see so many so called service animals come through and it sickens me to see so many people miss use this. I’ve had people come in and claim that there animal is service animal but it barks all the time runs down my halls rush people and have had accidents in my rooms. Theses fake people are making it hard for true service animals and I find it sickening

          • Rhonda says:

            I have pulmonary fibrosis, PTSD, I often black out an even pay out. I am disabled (on disability)
            My service animal is all I can depend on.
            I work hey off leash, no collar, I’ve had so many ppl dumb founded.
            She is a pug.
            Who do you count on??

        • Hellions says:

          Your dog is not a trained service dog.You have a pet that is able to detect your diabetic issues. Your excuses for it’s other “manners” are simply misguided. Sorry.

        • marsha says:

          If you dog is having urinary/kidney issues due to age; I think you need to retire it. I don’t what any accidents on my carpet!

        • Ashley Lewis says:

          Actually, it is 4 on the floor. If she isn’t working but still out in public she can’t be running up sniffing, whining, or barking you can be asked to leave. Second if she has medical issue she isn’t supposed to be working at all SD must be in good health. I’d have another trained which running up in public to people sounds like she didnt pass her PA test and yes I would call a fake sd.

        • Steve says:

          How do you stop people bringing in their pet dog claiming it’s a service dog into your business? Legitimate question because I have this nasty foul mouth lady cursing me out when I made a comment that her dog took a crap on my floor. It’s not the first time this lady caused us issues. She lets the dog jump on our merchandise and berates us when we confront her.

          • John L says:

            A service dog loses all it’s rights when it misbehaves, gets aggressive, is dirty, messes on the floor, etc. Any service dog can be refused access if it can not follow ALL the rules and any business owner has the right to, and I’ve heard it said just like this, “You are welcome in my business but your “service” animal is not.” There is some middle ground here though. Even a properly trained service dog can have the rare, occasional accident. It is 100% up to the owner to immediately clean up the mess and properly dispose of it. It is NOT the business owner’s job. I carry everything I need to clean up after my dog including a sanitizing spray. Fortunately, I have never needed it.

          • Linda M Hansen says:

            Steve, start and enforce a policy that any customer who brings a SD with them must show the letter or certification of successfully completing training. Customers won’t be happy, but it’s better than you getting sued.

          • John L says:

            Actually, Steve will open the door to lawsuits if he follows your advice. While I’m in favor of a national standard and certification for service dogs, none presently exists. Anyone who produces a certification as proof that their dog is “official” is showing a document that has no value. No certificate is required under the ADA. There are presently no provisions for such a document. And, if Steve demands to see the certificate as proof that the claimed service dog is legitimate and denies service to anyone who can not produce such a document, he would be in violation of the law.

        • Aaron Miller says:

          Sandy I understand that your dog is exempt to all the listed requirements of a service list in the start of this thread. Sandy can you share what the formal requirements are for a service dog? Thank you for clearing up that none of the comments are valid. I don’t want my wonderful dog to be misrepresenting the service dog industry. I now see that I and my dog were foolishly dooped in to paying for our training, certification and wearing the excepted uniform and certificate visible to any and all strangers we come in contact with on a daily basis.
          Aaron Miller

        • Barbara says:

          I need to politely disagree with the MinPin owner/handler. While many Diabetic Alert Dogs are small, all the ones I train are large dogs by my, the trainer’s choice. DAD’s should not bark in school, church, work or so many other places that I train a physical Alert with a vocal Alert only as an emergency backup. When my DADs are in a public place, and vested, they are working and so should not sniff. They go potty on command. They are also trained to never take food off the ground, as are my pets who are Therapy Dogs, for safety as much as anything. As for an entire breed being nervous and skittish, that just tells me to eliminate that breed from service work. And if someone’s dog is old enough to have kidney issues and accidents, the dog is ready to be retired. I would bet this is an owner trained dog who didn’t know better.

        • I’m sorry but EVERYTHING you state here clearly demonstrates that your dog is NOT a trained service dog. We go intense training with our dog so that they behave in public and spoiled mutts like these can’t be allowed anywhere. If you need a service dog for a medical condition, the dog must know how to behave in public.
          Also, when service dogs are old and sick they get “retired,” which truly makes me think that you have a fake ass “service” animal. Keep your dog home.

        • Deborah says:

          If your dog is old and has kidney problems and is having trouble with his behavior in public you need to retire him! I have an old service dog that’s retired, he started having pain and then one day he lunged at a child who ran up to him while he was out and I knew he needed to retire. It’s not easy because he’s being there doing so much to help me. But it would be wrong of me to keep expecting him to keep working far past when he’s healthy enough to do it! And the next service dog you get if you train it yourself then work on teaching it to have better manners before you take it out into public!

        • Michael says:

          Based on the number of responses you had to give to justify the dogs behavior. I’m afraid that I would question how confident I’d be in the dog’s ability to perform it’s service.

      • Li says:

        Did you not read the article? That’s what they said!

      • randy says:

        mine is voice trained and does not use a leash #2

      • Angela says:

        That is FAR from true. In fact, little dogs (chihuahua size for example) are *rarely* (not never) diabetic alert dogs because their noses aren’t as strong as larger breeds (of course excluding beagles, basset hounds, corgi, etc). They do not need to be anywhere near a mouth to alert. The saying is true, 4 on the floor. And your dog must behave on the floor. Not working is not a valid reason for your dog to misbehave. If you have an active UTI and potentially will pee, your dog needs to stay home until well. This comment is not entirely for you Melissa, the other half is for Sandy below.

        I have a diabetic alert dog. And like you said, handler trained dogs are not automatic fakes!

      • Mickey says:

        Clearly you didn’t read #1

      • Retired LEO says:

        I am very glad that you addressed the issue. However, there are areas that are pointed out in the replies. I wish that after 3 years the author would update the article.

        My PTSD service dog is trained to be off leash, although I generally leash her. She can enter a room, check it and return to let me know the room…or grocery store Aisle is safe, She also wears an Ask to Pet badge. She is allowed to meet and receive attention from other humans, making it easier for me to meet them without a triggering event. Her training includes a settling command where she immediatly moves from meeting someone demeanor to docile attentive only to me demeanor. My triggering events have gone from an almost daily problem, to under 4 month in the year we have been a team.

    • Amateur Ethicist says:

      This is not entirely true. The service dog may only be off leash while it’s scouting an area the dog’s PTSD companion requires the dog to go. After the dog has scouted, it must go back on leash. The dog may not be continuously off leash. So if the companion is siting at a restaurant, the dog may not remain off leash.

      • Amber says:

        Actually, there are other tasks that would necessitate a service dog being off leash. And the ADA allows it. For instance, I have a condition that makes my joints dislocate very easily. My dog does “crowd control” in busy areas. This ensures people don’t run into me and hurt me. He can’t run circles around me on a leash, now can he? Crowd control is not a new task, I didn’t invent it. The ADA clearly states that dogs only need to be under the control of their handler. That can be leash or vocal commands.

    • Dixies owner says:

      Exalty number 1 and 2 are incorrect number one shoudl not be done they should not be in the cart but can be carried if needed to im trying to train my gsd off leash so when she alerts me or helps me walk a big long leash will not trip me or get I the way of her walking

    • Kerri says:

      I manage a large HUD property. During unit inspections today I was nearly attacked by a “service dog”. It lunged at me when I was opening the door and would not stop barking. He kept barking while I was inspecting other apartments on that hallway. A service animal should never bark uncontrollably. The tenant was not at home but we had a scheduled inspection. By the way, I always give at least two weeks notice. When a staff member is in his apartment, the tenant has to crate and/or mussel him because he bites! It’s a medium size dog. His breed is meant for the farm, not a small apartment, but apparently any animal can be a service animal. It is so frustrating. Anyone can determine if a person needs a service animal and we have to comply even if we are certain we are being scammed. All of this is to avoid pet deposits, size requirements, vaccinations, etc. I have been in this profession for many years and I know a scammer when I see one.

      • Deborah says:

        You’re tenants dog may very well be an emotional support animal. Emotional support animals do not have to have any specific training. You can not charge any extra money for an emotional support animal. The owner of the animal may have severe depression and commit suicide without that dog that bugs you! They may have PTSD, anxiety autism, bipolar and the list just goes on and on! The animals are allowed in their own homes because a doctor has given them a letter stating it will benefit them! So boo hoo that you don’t want people to need emotional support animals it’s not up to you it’s the law! Go pay for obedience training and I’m sure the disabled person who’s animal is inside their home and under control while you are there with them so you’re just discriminating against the disabled! My dog is a well trained service dog and when my landlord entered because I didn’t jump out of bed and hobble to the door fast enough for her, he started barking and barking at her, because an intruder had entered his home! He’s been trained to bark when he hears knocking but not the doorbell because I can’t hear the knocking but I can hear the doorbell. I am betting 99% of service dogs would bark if you entered their home when their m7asters were out or unable to get to the door!

    • Christina says:

      Please read the following (at bottom) and contact your politicians.

      Idaho is starting the processes of a pilot program for veterans, the process has begun and in 6 weeks the 3rd step will begin. I won’t go into things with my service dogs and the horrible “trainers” we’ve met or fakes attacking them, here but if you have great trainers in your state or would like to assist (not financially). emails @ I Will respond in kind as I can as my “super powers”, not disabilities, can sometimes be so great that non super human speech, and so forth resonate on levels that live in special new places my brain has locked up after my military incident and communication can be slightly overwhelming. In addition, this original post was 2017 and I’m happy to say there has been positive progress with airlines and so forth.

      The PAWS Act, SB 2949 is the “Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers Act of 2019” and allows the VA to award grants for service dogs to veterans with PTSD.

      Please call your US Senator and ask them to co-sponsor Senate Bill 2949. Their contact information can be found at the link below!

    • Deborah says:

      I will say this though sometimes a service dog in training will not act perfectly and not everyone has a store bought service dog. A lot more disabled people can’t afford it. Then there’s the time I went into the hospital and when I got out my dog setter had taught my service dogs a few cool tricks like how to beg and so when I went out the first few times he was doing things like sniffing people and food because she took him to Petco and they let him choose his own treats because he was such a good dog! I am very careful about giving instructions about how not to ruin my $7,000 service dog if I’m hospitalized again! I would have been even more upset if someone would have started challenging me while I tried to break the bad habits so I didn’t have to spend a bunch of money to get it corrected!

  2. Val Oneill says:

    They need to make Service Dog Certifications available like you would a handicap licence, plate, tag thru the Department of Moter Vehicle.If you don’t have a legitimate tag thru the DMV then you would be fined just like if you utilized a handicap space without a legal tag. You would then have to make it legal for business owners to request a handicapped person for their Service Animal License or Service Animal Certification,but I’m sure after all the nuances & safety issues currently going on any person with a service animal would greatly welcome being able to produce paper work to the public showing that they need assistance from their precious pooch & that their rights are protected & backed by the law. Nip this issue in the bud!

    • SD Handler says:

      Service dog licensing would be a violation of the civil rights of disabled service dog handlers. Nondisabled people enter public accommodations without paperwork. Disabled service dog handlers have the same right. Service dogs are medical equipment under the law, and no one needs a license for a cane or wheelchair.

      I am a service dog handler. I would not welcome licensing. My rights are already protected and backed by federal law and many state laws.

      Enforce existing laws. Problem solved.

      • Liam Kroos says:

        Preach it.

        • John says:

          Problem is that for every real service dog theres 5 fakes. I work in a top hotel and we get fakes all the time. There needs to be lisenceing to control the fakes and we need to be able to ask for a provider if your doing everything correct then it shouldn’t be a problem. This is mainly for the online fake vests

          • Deborah says:

            If someone brings a service dog into the hotel and it’s destructive or barking them you have a right to be reimbursed or demand anyone (even if they did have papers) to leave if their dog is out of control and they can’t correct it! Also if it’s acting aggressive.

          • Jason says:

            Animals that misbehave can be asked to leave regardless of their service dog status. So it shouldn’t matter if they’ve got licenses. If they’re not trained they won’t behave like a service animal.
            If they bother others, wander, bark, steal food or any other misbehaving… You can legally ask them to leave.
            Problem solved

          • Nan says:

            What of they put it like on file, like on your drivers license, and when you check them in you can see if it is a real serice dog

      • B. Scott says:

        I would like to know how we are supposed to tell the difference between real and fake service dogs. I am disabled and have no problem displaying my parking placard. I understand the ADA says you don’t need any corroborating evidence, but it really irritates me that some people are using the ADA guidelines to screw the system and, put others in danger with inappropriately trained pets for their own selfish wants.

        • Erik says:


          • Nadia says:

            How can people say u don’t need papers for a service dog when some people feel threatened by a so called pitbull service dog that is always trying to charge people on the elevator constantly

        • Kelly says:

          Well it really bothers me that place cards are not really an indication of a disability

          • J says:

            A disability can be a very private thing. If someone requires such an assistant they are already living a more challenging life. As a physically impaired disabled person, there are many places I simply cannot go to. Does the unimpaired person who has a fear or simple dislike of dogs have these limitations? No. Get up and move.
            A “norm” person (I.e. healthy people who don’t need these extra things) trying to dictate how a disabled person should get & use the assistive devices they require to LIVE is the same thing as a man dictating what products a woman should use during her monthlies. In plain words: you don’t get it so you don’t get to comment.
            I have a disease which is considered the most painful thing known of. The only possible equivalent would be to constantly receive amputation of all affected areas without anesthesia. Despite the horrendous pain and internal damage, outwardly I look normal without my cane or wheelchair. I have had people give me nasty looks when they see me in handicap parking. I require a mobility service dogs but I am waiting for 1 of my small part ESA/part service dogs to pass on before doing so. My dogs are technically ESA dogs but they have taught themselves great skills that are more like service dogs. They know where greatest pain is moment to moment and press themselves against it. If I doze off while standing or sitting, my girls bark &/or scratch at me to wake me. They smell sickness on my breath and give warning. In the past 6 months alone they have saved my life 3 times: once when I dozed off driving, and twice when I had massive respiratory allergic reactions. Because of my PTSD, they also bark when a stranger appears until I see the person and thank them. Technically they would not pass as service dogs but they save my life. And if I go shopping when out of town for doctors appointments I frequently lay them (in their bag) in the front of grocery cart because carrying them causes such pain in my shoulders. I only bring 1 out with me, alternating as needed.
            People without disabilities need to lay off and enjoy the privilege that they already have. There will always be people who cheat the system or find a way around it no matter what rules applied. That’s on them. Not on us!

        • Craig says:

          @B. Scott
          Look it up on the ADA website. There are 2 questions you are allowed to ask. The answer to the second one will determine if the animal could be considered a service animal. Once you ask the 2 questions to someone with a dog wearing a vest and/or with an ID card and they get angry at you for asking the questions… you should assume it is not a service dog. People with real service dogs will not mind answering the 2 questions. And they will answer question 2 correctly. The ADA website also states that untrained animals that cause a disturbance (barking, growling etc.), are not house trained, act aggressively, ect., the handler can be asked to remove the animal from the premises.

          Don’t be ignorant of the law. Look it up and read it. Did you manipulate the doctor, even just a tiny bit, to get them to sign your handicap placard application? Should you get one to carry in the stores so everyone will know you are a confirmed handicap person? Do we really need to have a registered handicap placard and registration for a white cane, wheelchair, walker, etc.? What about people with non-visible health or mental conditions? Should they wear a placard on their chest? Maybe in your world….

          • Ash says:

            I’m sorry but I have to disagree. I have a trained service animal for my anxiety/panic attacks, as well as my PTSD and I get frustrated when people ask me te questions. I will answer yes they are a service animal, they are trained to provide deep pressure therapy and stop harmful side affects of an attack. However, people then want to get into all the details as ask more questions and get upset when I don’t want to disclose my disabilities. I have every right to privacy. I’m not required to show documentation and I won’t unless I have to by order of court. You may think this is a sign of a fake service animal, but it’s a sign of privacy and my right to not have to disclose any more information than required by ADA law

        • Stacey says:

          Yes! So tired of people thinking I train my pet to comfort me; is the same as a trained medical aid🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

      • Greg says:

        I highly disagree with you. My dog is distracted, and so am I when another fake service dog comes lunging at us. My lastdog was wounded so bad by a fake service dog that I had to retire her after only 2 years of service. $30,000 down the drain for the nonprofit. The dog could be federally licensed and required to wear the number on their vest. A law would keep other service dog safe and better serving their owners.

        • Michael says:

          Government handling registration or certification of service dogs – let that sink in for a moment – they can not even manage the post office. Think if they required the blind person to get registered as well and wear a number? To many violations to civil liberties. I would agree that I too wish there was an answer to preventing fake service dogs from having a vest that claims it, We raise/train Guide Dogs for a nationally recognized org, and see the vests that people bough on line and the problems those dogs bring. How the government could regulate the industry without totally screwing it up (they would) beats me. And how would the govt know what was a legit service dog and what was not??

          • Deborah says:

            Agreed! Plus would you you be allowed to train a service dog without an expensive license that would increase the cost for so many service dogs, reduce the very few charities and make it so that only those who live in big cities can have a service dog. I’ve had one dog trained by a dog trainer and one by a charity. I bet I wouldn’t have been able to have any service dogs if the government was in charge! They sure screwed up pain medication and took it away from those who suffer severe pain and the illegal drugs are still wreaking havoc! Want to bet service dogs would end the same way!

        • Jenny says:

          This is why I carry pepper spray. If a dog lunged at my dog I would have no problem spraying it even if i might get some on my dog. Better safe than sorry. It does not cause permanent harm. I did this before my disease when I walked my pets, too. Things can happen so quickly. Better safe than sorry!

      • James says:

        Nobody needs a liscense for a wheelchair or a cane because nobody is bringing a dining chair into the store proclaiming its a wheelchair.

      • greg says:

        “Nondisabled people enter public accommodations without paperwork.”


        Cry all you want, but blame all the fakes for ruining your “rights”. If you are legit then it is an easy thing to get. If you argue it, you’re probably fake.

        Oh, by the way, most states are now passing new laws, so grab your dogs and go protest.

        • Hayes says:

          Umm legit animal handlers are the only people that most likely actually read the laws and I wouldn’t like and ID saying what my dog is for because that is a violation of my privacy.
          I’d rather dye because I walk in front of a car without realizing it during a panic episode.

        • Linda Garrett says:

          I’ve been disabled since 1992 and with a simple form signed by my doctor I’ve been able to go places because I am able to walk the short distance from my car. Without my handicap placard I would be unable to shop and enjoy many things that everyone else can. Recently I have become in need of a service dog without whom I would be housebound. I am very much in favor of something similar for my service dog such as a form my doctor signs and I receive a badge for her jacket that proves she is the real thing. It would be most helpful with airlines among other establishments. Many people are training their own service dogs like I did three years ago and it is continual training because she must never forget how to behave while working as opposed to being at home with me. This is because the cost and extensive waiting list is prohibitive to the many people who need one and a well trained one at that. So the government doesn’t have to be anymore involved than they are in a handicap placard/plates. A simple form and doctor’s signature provides the proof and the dog is the disabled person’s responsibility.

          • Barbara says:

            Many doctors give out forms like the Easter Bunny gives out candy. If you tell your doctor you need an emotional support dog (or cat) they will give you a form. Many people feel as though their companion animal (or emotional support animal, EMS) is a service animal. They are not. They are not trained for any service. Some people get the form so they don’t have to pay the pet deposit on an apartment, some get it because their apartment complex doesn’t allow pets (if you have that form the management can’t enforce the no pet policy because of discrimination) and yet others get it because they want to take Fluffy everywhere they go and it attracts attention, which they love. I’ve worked in the service dog/working dog industry for over 50 years and since the internet anyone can get a “certification kit” complete with badge that looks like a federal ID and pass their dogs off as service dogs. They think it’s cute, but I assure you it isn’t cute to those who depend on their service animals for their daily tasks. These fakes have severely hurt service animals, to the point where some businesses and airlines will not allow them access, regardless of the ADA guidelines, law and regulations.

        • derek kuehner says:

          well, as to most states are now passing new laws, so grab your dogs and go protest. The ADA trumps all state laws in that regard. And I also believe that mostly the people that train or need the service animal are the ones who follow up on the laws. As we have to stay up to date on our rights, lest they be stepped on by people who only think they know the laws.

          I have gone as far as to keep a copy of the most current ADA laws with me and my service dog. I also look at the state laws when I travel. Many states have laws that are less restrictive, and usually state that Federal ADA laws trump local and state laws.

          So while saying that registration is the answer, at this current time, it is a violation of my rights. After all, people needs a drivers liscense to drive, yet, people are pulled over every day, that have do not have one, are suspended, or revoked. Yet, they still do it any way,

          Just some food for thought.

        • Shelby says:

          We don’t want to be carded everywhere we go. We are clearly having a hard enough time functioning we have to rely on our service dogs to get around. Let’s just make it that much harder. Fakes are ruining our access because we wouldn’t have to have the question “is it real or fake?” Also, fake dogs do attack legitimate service dogs. I want to say this if you guys HAVE NO CLUE what it’s like to have a service dog you shouldn’t have any input. Have some compassion do you forget that people who need service animals are disabled? They may have multiple chronic illnesses, hearing and sight impairments, or a need help with mobility. The public wants to make it harder on the disabled person rather than enforcing the laws that protect us. Lastly, I wouldn’t want an ID saying what my dog is trained for because would you like it if you had to show proof that you have a disability? No probably not.

          • David says:

            Fake service dogs attack service dogs? That’s pretty broad don’t you think?

          • Ashley says:

            I disagree with you who are too stubborn to want to present a card, its as easy and carrying around and i..D or license and it takes no less than 3 seconds, why get offended when you have to prove something that tons of other people take advantage of? I means seriously? You’re going to be that sensitive about an opinion on carrying a proof of the service dog? Please! I’d rather be more helping to the people who dont mind doing so rather than helping someone faking it and mocking others who are legitimate!!! idiots

          • Gayle Meyers says:

            I agree I have a 12 lb hypoallergenic service dog . I have had such problems recently with people doubting she is a service dog. I guess because she is not a lab or other typical breeds and because I am not blind. She is well behaved, always on a leash by my side and never aggressive. Bothers no one But because of a few bad experiences highlighted in the news now everyone doubts .i understand aggressive dogs but the law allows establishments to remove any service dog who becomes aggressive or a problem now anyway . This new issue with service dogs is ridiculous. Trust me my little service dog is more well behaved than most parents’ kids who scream and run around restaurants stores , hotels and planes unsupervised. Some people have a hard time tolerating that. Shall we have establishments ban misbehaved kids too?

        • Jenny says:

          so Blame a whole group that has done nothing because someone not of the group steals our rights? That’s the dumbest, most callous logic I have ever heard. Shame on you.

          • Deborah says:

            It’s actually a pretty typical reaction from ignorant selfish people! I’ve been discriminated against over and over again because of my disability. The ones that stand out most is the women who threw a fit at Marine World because my husband and I sat in the handicapped area! He had scoliosis that was forcing him to have steel rods in his back, he also had a breathing problem and ended up dead from that within a few weeks of needing to have the security guard come deal with them! And another disabled person decided that because I had a good day and could walk to the store handicapped cart I wasn’t really handicapped and they blocked my door with a dead store cart they were able to walk away from! I had to go get an employee to move their cart in the pouring rain, while I waited dry under the overhang! They sure showed him what an A hole they were! The problem with judgment is that you’re not gods!

      • Ric Sing says:

        Just came from a restaurant where a “service dog” was running around seeking people to pet it. The owner even fed it while it was supposedly on duty. The only thing this dog paid attention to was the bowl of food and the people petting it. The owner claimed it was a “service dog” to the restaurant. The restaurant in California wasn’t going to take on the liability of taking on the lying dog owner.
        This sort of thing makes real service dogs and their owners look bad.
        A visible certification would only be a good thing.
        As the only dogs allowed in restaurants are real service dogs, their users are already marked anyway. A visible certification would just be good for everyone, and like stated above is no worse than a handicap sign for a car.

        • Ric Sing – You have identified the problem. Clearly that was NOT a service dog and that person was doing a huge disservice to the community of people who really NEED service dogs. There should be a state or national certification program to reduce abuse.

          • Jennifer says:

            Cleary everyone this day and age feel more entitled to things they truly dont deserve…they VERY WELL could have been a service animal.. know the Whole story instead of taking on side… what has this world came too.. ppl are so worried about what others do.. or have

            Instead of focusing on their own life and issues… instead of whining … I’m appalled that grown ups and children today lack empathy and consideration of others before judging and making comments and insults to ppl u personally do not know nor give a fuck about.. try understanding what that other person is dealing with.. the world Does Not revolve around those that constantly look for reasons to complain or judge the less fortunate… shame on yall

          • Alfonso Gomez-Carrasquillo says:

            In the apartment building where I live there is a woman that has a pitbull who she claims is a Service Dog. Although the regulations of the building clearly state that NO animals can be taken to the recreational areas like the gazebo, swimming pool, tennis court, and playground, she constantly takes her dog to those areas claiming she has the right to take the dog wherever she wants since it is a service dog. Really? When she takes the dog for a walk, the dog pulls her like a cart every which way and the dog decides where they are going. That dog even snapped unprovoked to other dogs in the building.
            I never let my Emotional Support Dog near her dog. She tells me I have to socialize my dog. “NOT WITH YOUR DOG, LADY” I always answer.

        • gif says:

          Any animal, service animal or not, can be asked to leave if it’s causing problems.

          • You are 100% correct.

          • Leslie says:

            Companies are afraid of being sued. They are reluctant to tell a patron that the service dog must leave.

          • Craig says:

            You cannot be sued if a service animal (real or fake) is not acting appropriately… especially in a restaurant.

            The ADA clearly states that establishments can request that the dog be removed when acting inappropriately. The handler can also be asked to leave if they refuse to remove a dog acting inappropriately. If the handler refuses then the establishment can call the police and have the handler removed for trespassing.

            The ADA website has phone numbers for the Establishments or Handlers to report violations/violators. The US Department of Justice will then press charges for an establishment evicting a handler without cause and will press charges for a handler misrepresenting a dog as a service animal. Both can be a federal offence that can result in heavy fines. Either way a law suit will be useless without getting the DOJ involved and a ruling from them.

          • Craig says:

            My first sentence in that last post should say “The companies cannot be sued if a service animal (real or fake) is not acting appropriately and the patron is asked to remove the animal or leave… especially in a restaurant.

          • Daria Gerig says:

            EXACTLY. If places of business would JUST DO THIS, it would change the world for us who need Service Dogs as well as for Joe Public.

        • Maggie says:

          I had the same situation last night at a restaurant and we live in Valencia, CA. I have no objection to a service dog if they are the real ones that are trained and they are not sitting on a person’s lap level with a table and eating off the table! I cannot think of another time that I saw a “Service Dog” that it didn’t have a yellow vest with the bold lettering of “Service Dog” on it! My husband and I got up before ordering and left the resturant. The Manager, should have asked the person with the dog to have it below the table and not allow it to eat at the table. If I owned a Restaurant, that is what I would do besides having a sign that clearly states Only Service Dogs allowed and please be ready to produce identification. It is only common sense and it is only fair to the other Patrons. And I am a huge animal lover but there are laws for a reason, there are health codes for a reason. Are you going to please everyone on the planet? No! But at least the other 100 Patrons can eat their meals in peace and enjoy what is proper not have to put up with people who are trying to get away with things because they think they are special or cute and not legitimately Disabled People with a legimate Service Dog!

          • Michelle says:

            My service dog is a Tea Cup Pomeranian, which is also a senior who has developed senior dog health issues and lacks the mobility that it had when it was younger. I take my dog in it’s purse/stroller and NEED to keep it near me at all times. Due to my other medical conditions bending down to pick it up off the floor is likely to exacerbate my other medical conditions that are life threatening. MY SERVICE DOG IS GROOMED PROFESSIONALLY REGULARLY and is clean!!! My SERVICE DOG is better behaved than MOST PEOPLE’S children in a restaurant!!!! My SERVICE DOG doesn’t kick or bounce or jump in the seats!!! Nor does it throw food at other patron’s nor does it toss food out in areas where people can step or slip on it!!!! Nor does my SERVICE DOG, yell, scream, run around, screech, pitch tantrums, or use profanity!!! Most of the time people are NOT even aware that my SERVICE DOG is there!!!! I am aware that people take their ill mannered and rude brats to eat in public when they should keep them at home until they can learn to behave themselves in public and not disrupt, diminish, or interfere with the enjoyment of the dining experience of others!!! By the way, Service Dogs don’t necessarily HAVE to wear “YELLOW” vests! My Service Dog doesn’t eat off the table but I DO on occasion give my service dog (who doesn’t beg or ask for it) a bite of what I am eating from my fingers (not off the table). If I have to sit in a chair and there is not one available to sit my SERVICE DOG in I hold my dog in my lap as it has been my unfortunate experience that left in the bag or stroller on the ground Service Staff/Restaurant Employees have on occasion kicked my SERVICE DOG in the bag/stroller inadvertently spilled hot food on my SERVICE DOG. My SERVICE DOG IS MY LIFE AND I DEPEND ON IT. People are stupid and have injured my trained/certified SERVICE ANIMAL. It is MY DUTY and OBLIGATION to keep it SAFE!!! So my SERVICE DOG is going to set beside me or in my lap where it is SAFE!! As my Service animal is VERY SMALL less than six pounds not a hundred forty pound Mastiff!!! Apparently you are a psychic and KNOW when people are not legit! (NOT) I live in Big Bear, California which is a RESORT community, not some bedroom community to L. A. like “VALENCIA”, my SERVICE DOG and I regularly dine in “Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Santa Monica, and the like” in addition to going into Court Houses/ Court Rooms throughout Southern California. Since you seem to think you know so much about the “LAWS” please do cite them for me as I seriously doubt you know let alone could “SITE” which of these laws you claim people are violating and causing you such an offense to your most delicate “Sensibilities” as to get up and leave a restaurant?!! If YOU are so offended by people bringing their SERVICE DOG and feeding it I doubt you are a person who loves and appreciates animals as your own words belie your statement.

          • David says:

            I have a service dog and she is not registered anywhere nor is she required to be. I live in Pennsylvania read the Ada before you make foolish comments which makes you part of the problem.

      • Andrea Hoxie says:

        While no one needs a license for a cane or a wheelchair, many times one may need a prescription for the wheelchair or other durable medical equipment, and no one can get an “accessible” placard or license plates for one’s vehicle with a licensed medical professional.

      • Alison W says:

        How do we enforce current laws when people are posing their pets as service animals. There are uninformed and vulnerable people everywhere being scammed into paying money for these fake ID’s.

        • Sarah's says:

          Some of these posts seem like there was no actual research done and merely an opinion. The ADA website actually has a list to help the public determine when the dogs seem questionable and weather the dogs is emotional support or service.
          Emotional support dogs need no training, and only housing is required to allow emotional support animals and are allowed to request proof from a doctor that it’s needed. Public however is allowed to refuse emotional support even is there if is friendly and behaves.
          There are things stores and any other public places are legally allowed to question about a service.

          While service dogs are not technically pets, they’re still dogs. And when not working are allowed to actually be a dog.
          Having a friendly service dog who will allow someone to come upto them doesn’t gaurentee he’s a fake.

          Police dogs are highly trained extremely focused on their job. Example: if the dog wears a specific vest when he’s on duty trained to know when that vest comes off they can pay and get exercise like a normal dog.

          My dad is in the Air Force his partner is a German Shepherd. He’s extremely focused its basically impossible to destract him while he’s working. When he’s not working the moment his tactical vest is removed he wants run in the yard play fetch like a normal dog. When my dad gets his vest no matter what he’s doing instantly goes into work mode.

          Below is 2 examples from the ADA website.

          The diabetic service dogs are allowed to be carried and are trained to do their job while being held.

          Service dog may be permitted to sniff around should the person have severe allergies that aren’t easily detected by just looking at it, they are trained to sniff around they should not try to get into food or go up to other sniffing and seeking attention.

          Seizure response service dogs are trained to help their person during a seizure, laying down beside them to help minimize injury, they can also be trained to get help by barking.

          My service dog was trained with a licensed dog trainer, he doesn’t wear a service dog vest because they don’t fit him he’s a 150lb Newfoundland.

          One reason I would disagree with having to show the license of a service dog is there are people out there that will be very discriminating over people with disabilities, and weather or not they think your condition deserves a dog.
          Unfortunately are people who just want to take their pets with them.

          I have Epilepsy, POTS and type lV Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. A walmart cashier refused to help because they don’t like dogs, the manager on-site tried to state my conditions aren’t ADA approved there for I needed to leave. I showed my card that stated what my dog was trained to assist. After seeing that and that I’m only 30, he decided he knew more than my doctor and the dog trainer and claimed he that legally service dogs can only be labs, German Shepherd or golden retrievers.

          Q31. Are stores required to allow service

          animals to be placed in a shopping cart?

          (A). Generally, the dog must stay on the floor, or the person must carry the dog.  For example, if a person with diabetes has a glucose alert dog, he may carry the dog in a chest pack so it can be close to his face to allow the dog to smell his breath to alert him of a change in glucose levels.

          Q7. What questions can a covered entity’s employees ask to determine if a dog is a service animal?

          (A) In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.

          • Steve says:

            It does seem like a lot of opinion. I have a 120pnd boxer. He is 7 now. When I first got him he was spectacular. I got the ptsd lol, no really it sucks.i was a medic who broke my back and neck falling out of a helicopter. he was trained and he is registered. i got little girls. He has become very attached to them and very much like he became a child. “Velcro dog” i have worked with him alot but to no fruition. i recently stopped my pain meds to live a cleaner life. So on top of support from him,like lean in, he also alerts to my med times. Its sad cause he waits every night 1830 for my last pain dose. Nothing. So i started putting mints up to act like i was takin my meds. Think he saw through that bs. What im getting at is he has not had much to do the last yr. Hes happy but hes anxious and pulls and growls. I would walk him 5 to 7 miles a day.bit tough now. No care plan for me since i decided one morning im done with opiates. so i do what i can. Ideas how to get him on track? Hes flown with me and did great. But this yr really has taken a toll. Also the kids thing.hes become weird around other little kids not mine.

      • Randy says:

        I could make the same argument in the opposite direction. Everyone in this public either drove here or were driven here and the vehicle and driver both required registration and insurance. One person has a vision restriction on their license and another person does not. Safety right. Same as the argument for the dog . Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about the subject but I do know a null argument when I hear one.

      • Dana K says:

        Unfortunately licensing is usually just a state, town or govt way of extracting money from people. However, if Service dog trainers were required to be listed in database of validated organizations and had to provide a certificate of service training completion, either paper or as a dog tag, wouldn’t that be sufficient? I don’t know how that would violate anyone’s rights? I am currently dealing with a situation where the dog was adopted by someone who claimed to have service dog training lined up for him thru the Army. After he adopted the dog he outfitted him with a collar and leash that said Service Dog on them and proceeded to take this dog into the bars with him. I had helped facilitate the transfer of the dog from a rescue in Tx to the guy in MA. One year after adopting him, the guy dumped the dog back on me. 2 days later I found out that the dog had a quarantine order on him for biting the guys aunt in his house. Soooo fake service dog identification puts the animal and people in serious danger. The dog is now seeing an animal behaviorist to recover his confidence and deal with his aggression, It should be illegal to label an untrained dog as a service dog but you have to have at least a system for certification of training proof in order to catch the uncertified ones.

      • Charity says:

        Ty i have a great pero who is just 5 months old im working on training in several areas shes a pup she loves me n shes a very good girl but i know shes not ready so at this time i keep her at home usually but ur right our rights as a whole i feel just got made to be a big joke dogs will alert if someones around 1 of my deals is ptsd n anxiety shes trying to make sure whoever is approaching is not a threat n i have physical aswell its a wide range of jobs for her but number 1 always is our safety n our right to be able to go to the store maybe the ppl who expect us to be tagged up like a car need to be tagged up for being a true brunette not a blonde or make sure in public everyone knows ur a parent esspecially if uve ever had 1call on u saying u r abusing them ppl a working dog is not a robot things do happen n we deal with it unless u urself r a handler or 1 of us then maybe as everyone else u should go on with ur business n let us do the same they r animals 1st n r not working 24 hrs around the clock they r in most cases stranding by for if they r needed to work u all r asking in mine n others opinions for way too much trust me its nothing to be jealous of they r loved n live with us they get loved on n treated n all the same as ur friend at home but u can go as n when u please apparently with no help ever n have never experience panic attacks or terrors of walking in a door or dropping things u cant pick up or being so stressed ur not able to control it n thats when they work they alert us they carry things forus they make sure we can safely go to the store do i think its right for ppl to just say theyre service trained no not in anyway but how bout u dont judge every animal n owner u see based on stereo typical reasons maybe take a moment to speak to us.but i bettcha that the 1s trying to call out what dogs naturally do that is normal behavior wouldnt want to show if the had tikets or records or were bi gay anything ur talking things that r unfair

      • It sounds like you want to have a head ache. If they had a license it would be very functional for all concerned. If you have no license or anything else, you might lie and say it is a service dog when it is not. The store lets you in and the dog bites a kid. Who is liable? the store. There is not a recorded history of a service dog bite.The emotional support animal fade has generated a lot of bitten children.I am a licensed driver happy to carry the card to sort out who is not.If I did not have a license to drive I would be against the card to prove it.

      • JJ says:

        You must not have a service dog, or need one. Not all disabilities are visible, and this as stated is a violation of rights. I can’t believe this was an idea – VERY discriminatory.

      • poor business owner says:

        understand but cane and wheel chair not barking

    • christine says:

      how can a person go abour getting tje laws changed?

    • Jennifer says:

      That’s redundant… just costing ppl more money and some are on disability and can’t just fork over money for nonsense like that….

      • Cale says:

        Is that a joke? A service dog costs thousands to train. What’s another $5 in registration costs?

        A certificate from the trainer and a doctor’s diagnosis puts responsibility on three individuals trying to pass off an illagitimate service dog.

        Why are people defending the fakes?

        • Brucewh says:

          There is no requirement under the ADA for a service dog to be trained by a professional service dog trainer. There is no training certification for a service dog, either. The owner of a service dog may be the dog’s sole trainer. There are no requirements or qualification standards that a trainer must meet.

          It would be an obvious infringement on the rights of disabled persons if one could only have a service animal if one can come up with thousands of dollars first.

          • Janine says:

            Agreed. This way it is still possible for those with lesser means to have a service animal.

          • David says:

            Nice that you’re well-informed. All these there oughta be a law people or more of a problem then the fake service dogs are. I have a service dog and for some reason I’ve never seen a fake service dog these people would have you believe they’re on every corner.

        • Loner says:

          The only requirements for a service dog are it cannot be aggressive towards other people/animals, it has to be housebroken, and it has to be trained in a minimum of one task that directly correlates to the owners disability.

          This allows people to train service dogs on their own without paying thousands of dollars they probably don’t have.

    • SAM RONEY says:

      This is a moot topic, not only because it violates the civil rights of disabled persons to provide proof, but also because ALL of the “for instances” you guys are bringing up are covered in the ADA. A dog who is presented as a service dog may be legally denied access if it engages other animals or people without provocation, if it barks without provocation and not in fulfillment of it’s duty(eg: warning its handler of an impending medical situation or responding to threats to itself or its handler, etc) The ADA and similar laws already have these built in checks against telltale characteristics of fake service dogs. No licensing is needed- only education as to what the law says the rules for “pulic access” are. Educate yourself before you preach. If an animal doesn’t break any of the behavior or “under control of handler” caveats of the ADA, It really doesn’t matter if you suspect it to be fake and it isn’t infringing on anyone. My real service dog is, by its nature of being a dog instead of human, incapable of being insulted by the idea of fake service dogs. He really couldn’t care less as long as they are following the behavior rules under the ADA. Also, most states have their own laws which compliment the ADA by making it a criminal offence by an owner if he or his dog interfers with or harrases a service dog. In GA, in fact, an owner can be charged with aggravated assault if either he OR his animal physically attacks a service dog. READ, PEOPLE ! Its all in the law.

      • Dana K says:

        It is the fake service dogs and the people around them that are the potential victims.

      • Janine says:

        Well said

      • Daria Gerig says:

        OOhhh, I like GA laws re: aggravated assault! Do you know if it has ever stuck? (Not that any sort of punishment after the deed is done will fix the handler/Service Dog’s situation which might very well include retiring the dog and causing huge trauma to the handler.) My SD and I were once ‘harassed” by a big, LOUD, out of control fake SD that came around a corner in a store. Thank God the “handler” had a good grip on that dog’s leash or my SD and/or I could have been badly injured. I WAS SO SHOOK UP that ended our outing.

    • Diane says:

      Only thing is, they can make fakes of those just like they do everything else… At some point its just got to be integrity. Sad i have been working with my dog for 2 years and looking for a real program to help me put her through because i dont want to be a fake. Most people say she acts better then any they have ever seen. I still dont take her into stores etc… i am 100% disabled and in need but fearful of all the fakes that shoul’nt be there. My girl will help me stand up… she could be dressed to carry my emergency medication… And she senses when something isnt right with me. I mean what more could i ask of her… and yet I dont take her out because i dont know where or how to find a place to train her to be real!!! But lets take fido out for a stroll…

      • kathleen says:

        The training of service animals is, thankfully, becoming more reasonable/accessible. It can also be done by the handler/owner (assuming their disabilities make it possible) and, frankly, if you have a canine that is already impressing other(s) with their obedience and manners, then you’re more than half the way to having your service animal trained (presumably by YOU unless the dog came to you that way which is certainly possible)! Google some tools, there are videos, books (that can be listened to) and there are more and more training programs that are helping handlers train their own dogs! DON’T GIVE UP. It is a lot of work and I absolutely understand the fear/concern about taking your dog out into public but that IS part of the training process of every service animal. Perhaps you could get a student aid from a local high school or college (or an eagle scout) looking for a REAL “service,” project that can assist you with the training logistics. When I take mine out into public as part of her training, the absolute WORST part of it is not other animals as the so-called fakes (who am I to decide that if the animal is well behaved vs. being toted around in a shopping cart with a blanket and a cuddly toy next to it, right 🙁 The worst part are the adults that want to pet her, that try to call her to them by whistling at her, the screams of glee (yeah, I get that she is a gorgeous specimen) when she is dressed to the GILLS in gear that could only be for a service animal or enough to put someone on notice. The PUBLIC needs to be more educated vs. putting notes on the windshields of someone using a valid placard because they cannot SEE what is wrong with us or when they SEE us that day, we happen to be having a blessed/good day vs the one the day before where we could hardly crawl out of bed to use the bathroom without our service animals assistance!

        • Enya says:

          Thank you. I could not have stated this any better. Jed is my 3rd service dog that I trained myself because purchasing a trained dog is cost prohibitive. My dog has the best and ID from an online company but he is also well trained and his training will always be ongoing because he is a dog. I believe that we as disabled that require a
          “service” dog desperately need some form of Federally approved documentation that currently doesnt exist. It would definitely make my life simpler. A dr’s note and a veterinarian’s signature on that note should be proof enough if everyone would stick to those standards religiously.

        • Tracy Harper says:

          I agree, my husband has good days where you would never know he was disabled, and even more days when he can’t make it to the bathroom on his own. He’s getting a service animal and I’m sure people will question him about it. You can’t always tell someone’s disability by looking at them.

        • Christina says:

          I was having issues with some of my assisted needed training, I mimic a panic attack, and then my helper sort of leads. Been working well, but my medical issues have been preventing me from taking my dog to the stores to practice, in and around to get used to things. An Eagle Scout would love the work, and could even do their own research to help with other training methods/services.

        • Adam M says:

          I suggest you take the AKC good citizen test and see how that goes. I have had a dog that was mostly self trained by myself and my daughter but when I ran into problems with specific things I found a woman who was a professional dog trainer and she helped me for a very reasonable amount of money. I was very nervous the first time I took him out to the store but I did it in baby steps, first to the pet store to get the desire to sniff those tempting dog treats nipped in the bud, then to shops with no food like furniture stores and clothing shops and then finally to grocery stores and the restaurants and he did great all the way with only minor corrections that quickly ended! So just be confident. He’s 13 now and I really need a new service dog because it’s cruel to ask him to get things when he has pain getting up but I am waiting until he passes away to start again. Good luck and to everyone who thinks that disabled people only deserve professionally trained dogs, start donating to help those charities and stop wasting the money for your car, use the bus, a bike or walk and donate all the money to the dog training charities so we can all have a professionally trained dog without waiting forever! And so you can rest assured that there are no owner trained dogs in training still!

      • David says:

        She obviously is a valid service dog self training by you which is completely legal by her a jacket to identify that fact and do not be concerned with taking her anywhere you want to go that’s what the law states read the Ada

    • Pamela says:

      I’m so happy to see that real service animals handlers are speaking out. I run a small motel and see so many so called service animals come through and it sickens me to see so many people miss use this. I’ve had people come in and claim that there animal is service animal but it barks all the time runs down my halls rush people and have had accidents in my rooms. Theses fake people are making it hard for true service animals and I find it sickening

  3. Freeda says:

    1. Dogs shouldn’t be in carts. Many are carried for tasking purposes.

    2. The law requires that the dog be “under the owner’s control”, which may or may not include leashing. Sometimes a leash interferes with tasking or mobility.

    3. These are leash manners issues, not legal requirements.

    4. These are manners issues, not legal requirements except that a dog may not be a nuisance while doing public access work.

    5. Manners issue, not a legal requirement.

    6. Hey, you got one right. A service dog can be removed from public access if they defecate or urinate in an inappropriate area.

    7. Again, a manners issue, not a legal requirement except for not feeding the dog from a restaurant table.

    8. Service dogs are constantly being exposed to new challenges. Sometimes you don’t know it will be a challenge until you are in it. You are never NOT training. They’re dogs, not robots, and sometimes something new will throw them off.

    9. Some dogs, particularly for autism, have tasking that includes interacting with other people in order to facilitate their handler’s interactions with those people. If you don’t know a dog’s tasking, you can’t assume that what you are observing isn’t task behavior.

    10. It is ILLEGAL for a service dog to be trained in protection work.

    It isn’t the public’s job to appoint themselves “service dog police”. No one except a “gatekeeper” for a business should be asking questions about the service animal, and they should only ask the two questions that are allowed by law. In fact, if the dog is clearly marked as a service animal, and with the tasking “ie Service Dog, Medical Alert” patch, there is no need to speak to the person at all. Many handlers suffer from conditions that make those interactions difficult – which is why their dogs are appropriately labeled.

    While your idea of the perfect service dog is a pretty picture, the reality is that the law only requires that
    1. the person has a disability
    2. the dog is trained in task(s) that mitigate that disability
    3. the dog is not a nuisance (barking, urinating, defecating, or obnoxiously smelly)

    The tendency for people to announce their PREFERENCES about service dogs as being RULES for service dogs only perpetuates stigma. Many owners are doing self training, often due to limited income. Program dogs cost tens of thousands of dollars, and programs tend to serve a very narrow scope of clientele – this program is only for autistic kids, that program is only for PTSD veterans, etc.

    So here’s a plan for a revised article:

    Title – How to know if a service dog is a fake

    Body – Don’t worry about it. It’s none of your business. Move on with your day.

    • Sharon says:

      Well said!

      • Jimmy says:

        Thank You! I’m so tired of hearing that your dog is a Pit Bull, she cannot be real. I’ve been told while in a hospital bed by a nurse that if I did come in with my dog I better have proper paperwork or she will be removed. She wasn’t trained by a trainer. She was trained by me. We literally function as one. She has been to the emergency the one other time I went. I suffer from PTSD, Anxiety, Agoraphobia and depression. It’s hats to go out without her. I have a vest harness leash and I’d badges and a letter from my psychiatrist also we both have ID. I can see if my dog was dragging me through the store for more than another person that wants to give kisses, she brings me into personal spaces to overcome my fear and as well makes me feel safe. So that means barking and whining as signals of hers for me and vice versa. I haven’t ever been asked. I wouldn’t know what to say. Do you have to offer proof. Is my letter enough and if not how do I know if I’m being discriminated against???? Thank you for speaking out. Not everyone is fake ESA’s or Service Animals I don’t like taking or going out because of the fear of confrontation and embarrassment. My Dog is very proud when she sees her collar coming so she wears her vest proudly, she’s accomplished something and she is proud of it. I’ll take that, but what’s next a scarlet letter saying exactly what legally says your disability is even a real disability.

        I truly respect the Service Animals that serve! selflessly!

        • greg says:

          If you trained it yourself, FAKE

          • stephanie says:

            the ADA states that the Handler can train their own service dogs.

          • Hayes says:

            Disabled people have the right to train their own dog under the ADA which we wouldn’t have service dogs at all without

          • Nope I trained mine to my specific disabilities. She does exactly what she is trained to do says:

            Nope I trained mine to my specific disabilities, she does exactly what she has been trained to do. And she does Not appreciate people that push themselves on her “oh puppy you want to let me pet you” keep your hands, eyes and your talking off my dog. And until you see her in action you have no clue what exactly she is trained to do and it’s actually none of your business 🙂

          • Charity says:

            Excusse me but what in the world of humans makes u think u decide whos fake for godsake its not about ur thoughts n if u needed them ud realize that its better for us to train them for our needs n we cant afford all the assistant classes n things this is what i say to u calling all service dogs animals fake because they r owner trained how bout u pay for all of them to go to those classes n u may not know this but sometimes the training they get doesnt actually help the owner because its only case sensitive if u can afford it to be private yall ppl should be ashamed of urselves trying to make our lives more difficult

          • Craig says:


            Even a guide dog for the blind, that has been professionally trained, spends the rest of its life in training with the handler.

            I true service animal never stops training… and neither does the handler.

            You are another person who needs a “STUPID” placard to wear when out in public. Oh, and don’t forget to carry certification papers. Please?

        • Richard A Campbell says:

          I have a service dog, she was so well trained that she would not allow anyone to touch her.. I dont want a dog that is stand offish, so I took her shopping at night, when there were fewer people in the store, and I allowed people, Mostly Kids, to pet her, IF THEY ASK FIRST, so my dog would be less “Offended” by people who did reach out and touch, without asking..! Now,.. she is a wonderful, “well rounded” dog, with a great personality.! I take her everywhere, and we have been across the U.S. several times, by automobile, stopping at truck stops and restaurants along the way.. She has been in several Hospitals, and rehab-facilities, with me, and for me.! I do carry her National, State, and Local City registration papers with me, at all times. However I seldom have been ask to show them..! April knows when she is, and is NOT, “WORKING”, and acts accordingly.. To her, the Service Dog Vest is the tell that she is working.. Vest off equals “Play Time”, Vest On means she is working, and she knows it..! April is now 5 yrs. old going on 6, she is a Black Lab – Chow Mix, with a Docked Tail… Many People ask if she is a Pit-Mix.. They seem suprised that she is a Service Dog, until they learn why her tail was docked..! I dont support a law requiring a display of numbers, even though we have ours, but real Service Dogs, when working, should have a Vest or Coat that displays “WORKING DOG” or “SERVICE DOG”.. It’s a smart thing to do if you have a “Real Service Dog”..!

        • Melissa Garrett says:

          You’re not completely correct about #1. A diabetic alert service dog is typically a small dog that is carried. Diabetic alert dogs need to be close to their handlers face to detect changes in saliva.

          • Garrett says:

            i’ve never seen a small diabetic alert dog in my life

          • Sherry says:

            I have one 5 pound maltese that helps me with my seizures and when my sugar is dropping. She will cry or start yapping at me. I usually carry her but I also put her in front basket or a wrap around carry. As long as shes a few feet away shes good. I have another Maltese I trained to help me after I have a seizure. She will pounce on me lick me and bark at me. Before my maltese I had a lab. She did same thing before she passed but I find its easier to care for smaller dogs.

        • Dixies owner says:

          Pitbull is not a breed but the most common breed that are feared are gsds every cornor I turn with my baby everyone jumps and are scared of her and she is a dwarf so idk why people get spooked by my gsd 😂 she gets more scared of them.

    • Marie says:

      Thank you so much, what I wanted to say exactly except I could not have said it as well! One comment to what you said though about a dog that defecates or throws up, if the dog has gotten sick but that is not their normal behavior and the handler promptly cleans it up then that does not indicate a lack of house training.

    • Will says:

      No. No to all of this. Stop defending fake service dogs. So sick of dog owners acting so high and mighty to impose being treated with extra favors.

      • Sean says:

        You are a very ignorant person to suggest that all poeple are sporting fake servive animals.
        The fakes need to be weeded out but not at the cost of ostracizng legitimate disabled persons.

      • alan says:

        If I wanted special privledges, the LAST way I’d go about it was through the physical pain, emotional isolation and suffering ,and the hostile judgement that comes with being disabled. You are sick? I’m sick of BEING sick! I’m sick of being judged for using a handicap spot because I ‘look too young’ to be disabled- must be a ‘fake wheel chair’ (yes, I’ve been told that, same ignorance the fake SD idea comes from). I’m sick of every time one of our 2 SDs performs a complicated, well trained out, well-executed task that has more than once SAVED MY LIFE, or my wife’s that someone questions if our SD’s are fake.

        • Renee Cooke says:

          well said. I was just confronted the other day by a security officer at a hospital while waiting to have a lovely test done. Just because my service dog’s vest reads Medical Alert she said she wasn’t a service dog. My anxiety level went out the roof. I showed her my service dog’s id and she looked it over and said “but this doesn’t say ‘service dog’ “. I had to try to explain that a medical alert dog is a service dog. She had to take my ID card to her supervisor. She came back to tell me that he said my dog was ok as long as she wasn’t causing any issues. I felt like I was on trial and everyone in that lobby was staring at me. And as you said I’m so sick of being sick. I’m still a young person and how I had rather still be out running my legs off working than being sick. Her seeing my dog’s vest that says Medical Alert Dog should have been enough.

          • Dixies owner says:


          • Adam M says:

            That’s really horrible that the hospital security isn’t intelligent enough to realize that a medical alert dog is pretty much the ultimate service dog! If I dropped something and my service dog retivteved it that’s not as important as telling you that you’re going to have a seizure or blood sugar problem! Someone else could pick up the dropped items but no one else could tell you that you had an impending medical problem! Sorry you were treated like that!

        • Barbie says:

          Alan, well said thank you!!

      • Angela says:

        You sir need to stop hating on ppl.. u don’t know their struggle!!! Or what their issues are .. you are totally out of line with that snobby comment… some ppl have to save up to pay to get their dogs classes as soon are on disability and only get 800 a month so tell me because u on ur high n mighty money train than us poor folks dont deserve the same as u.. u shud be ashamed…how about MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS AS THESE PPL ARE!!!

      • Sue Martin says:

        I have a Service Dog that over heats quickly.. he’s a Husky… He’s licensed as a Service Dog… One time he got over heated and couldn’t help but have an unnormal situation… other than that he does his job… are you seriously going to say you don’t go to work or be out in the public and get sick? Are you actually say when you are sick you stay home and miss a days pay? Service Dogs get sick too.

        • Dixies owner says:

          Your a fake because id or papers are fake so your licensed service animal is fake please stop faking a service animal am i the only one here who knows the laws

          • Jaimi says:

            You do know some states actually provide programs to test and register service animals voluntarily? It’s not a requirement, as that would be illegal, but they still provide identification for those animals who have been tested.

          • Hi Jaimi,
            The article is from But, if you know which states provide programs, please reply here as additional information. I would also invite you to go to and let them know as well.
            Thank you.

    • alan says:

      Excellent reply Freeda!

      For example, I have PTSD and Autism and when senory overload or flashbacks are too mcuh, our SD will try everything else first to ground me- pressure, licling etc, but if that doesnt work, and nothing can get me out of a situation I am non-responsive in, he WILL, BY TRAINING pull the leash to makle me follow him out of the store/enviroment to a safe place where I can better recouperate. Additionally, due to mobility issues, both my wife and I have had times we have fallen and cant get up- especially being in a rather secluded area, our dogs MUST be able to leave to get medication or help from a neighbour- they cannot do that if teathered to us by a leash. This is part of their training to keep us safe.

      Your suggested revised article is spot on. This article is nothing but an ignorant opinion piece that never should have been printed and causes many handlers, especially those with invisibilie disablities more harm through misunderstanding

    • B. Scott says:

      Re: 10) OK so why don’t we all start just bringing our dogs everywhere with us. No problem, right? I call BS.

    • Keith says:

      What if that dog is your neighbors at a apartment building. Like ours is barking and scratching at our door. And just can tell by general actions that it has not been trained. Thank you and move on with your day. Should have paperwork like anything else in this world does. Proof. You can look me up on google. Why cant i just look animal animal. Hiding something. No,then no worries right. By the way,my young daughter is so scared when it comes on 20 foot leash bolting full speed at her.I want proof. Not im protected by a you cant ask no questions law hahaha. Get with the times. I cant ask about your disability.I can ask you whatever I want so take your service dog unless you really need it and shove off.

      • Debbie says:

        Fist that’s terrible that such a thing happened to your daughter, and yes there should be some way to know if it’s a SD, I have a SD many hours of training, I wish there was a way for all to have proff ( it would help the disabled persons and their SD as well. Only each person with disabilities may have one problem or several so their SD may have many tasks, a situation that is more difficult to find trainers for, so several trainer at different times may be used,that’s alot of paperwork to carry around.also ADA does allow the disabled persons to train their own, IE-no paperwork. Sadly not an easy solution to the problem.

    • Marian C says:

      Is there a way that I could get in contact with you? I’m writing an essay on service dogs and I’d like to have a reliable resource and you actually have correct information on them. I can’t currently use what you’ve written because there isnt a good way to cite this.

    • Deborah says:

      Excellent response Freeda. I just wanted to say that #8 is not always accurate. I have a highly trained SD for PTSD and other issues. She is a 40 lb border collie; very smart and sensitive. Three months ago she was literally run over by a loaded shopping cart by someone goofing off. After being out of service to heal for 6 weeks she is working again. While she is still tasking and alerting she is now scared of shopping carts, and when people crowd her. I originally trained her myself and I’ve now enlisted a SD trainer to help her get past her fears. If someone saw my dog jump when startled or spook they would say that she isn’t a legitimate SD. She is making good progress but it will take time for her confidence to return. Perhaps people (article author) shouldn’t make such sweeping generalizations about what constitutes a legitimate SD. Even with her struggles my dog is still working beautifully 95% of the time.

      • Alice says:

        Fake service dogs suck I can’t believe people put there dogs in the carts and then say well why do kids have a right to go in the cats with there dirt shoes on. Are you kidding me. Your dog is such a fake. It’s just a matter of time before all you dumb people get caught. I can’t wait till they change the laws. Or have people around stores weeding out the fake service dogs.

      • Jennifer says:

        Deborah, I’m so sorry that happened to your dog and hope she is fully healed at this point. I can relate to this because my dog was punched in the face by a kid who literally just charged up and hit him. It came out of nowhere. The next day we had to be out again and since he seemed fine I took him, but while we were out a little girl came charging up and it startled him. He ran back behind my legs. It only took him about ten seconds to recover himself, but this was really unusual behavior. However, he had also just been traumatized the day before. People seeing that might have thought I had an untrained dog posing as a service dog, but the fact is, they aren’t robots. Stuff that happens CAN still affect them. He’s been doing much better when kids are around and he hasn’t seemed afraid of them (even that little girl, as soon as he got over being startled he was back to his usual steady self). It all worries me though. A lot of people are terrible toward disabled people and service dogs.

      • Sue Martin says:

        TY for saying that… I’m sorry about the fears… I to have a loving Service Dog that got attacked by shopping carts… He also got attacked by 4 different pittbulls 4 different times.. He has a fear now of Pittbulls… when he is not near pittbulls or dogs that will remind him of those attacks he is extremely well behaved.. I work with a Trainer on his behaviors.. I agree the only way he/she will over come this is staying in the public.. he/she should not be put in the category of aggressive. I also strongly believe taking them out of the public will make them and the handler go severely backwards. I have Traumatic Brain Injury I couldn’t get out and talk to people, I couldn’t even live day to day tasks without him. I used to be a pingpong ball for focusing… due to my TBI I also have PTSD, Anxiety and depression.

    • Inger says:

      I was thrown back into deep depression and seclusion after being publicly humiliated about my support dog in the post office. Before taking my dog, I went in and asked what the requirements were for a support dog. I was told a collar and a leash. I returned to my car and brought my tech with a collar and a leash. After waiting in line under complete control, the same employee waited for me, told me to produce papers proving my dog was for support, and that the dog required a red collar. I know this is all against the law. Nevertheless, I was ashamed again. I politely took my tech back to the car, reentered the post office and politely mailed the package I had brought. Even after I told the employee she was incorrect about the law, she continued to harass me. It was awful.

    • sandra d sanders says:

      love your answer as we also have to train our dogs and you cant train them to the publice without taking them out. I have taken courses and gotten cgc’s but along the way you have to socialize a service dog to the stores and restaurants or what are they good for. My daughters dog the we trained through cgc and public access certification had to go in public to learn. But if a dog attacks him i will spray the dog with bear repelent as my daughter uses her dog as crutch and brace. No you cant per him unless they are sitting down.

    • Jennifer says:

      Cleary everyone this day and age feel more entitled to things they truly dont deserve…they VERY WELL could have been a service animal.. know the Whole story instead of taking on side… what has this world came too.. ppl are so worried about what others do.. or have

      Instead of focusing on their own life and issues… instead of whining … I’m appalled that grown ups and children today lack empathy and consideration of others before judging and making comments and insults to ppl u personally do not know nor give a fuck about.. try understanding what that other person is dealing with.. the world Does Not revolve around those that constantly look for reasons to complain or judge the less fortunate… shame on yall

    • Garrett says:

      service dogs also have to pass the public access test or else they are not alllowed in places that don’t allow pets

    • Craig says:

      A dog with a vest that says “Service Dog” or “Medical Alert” patch or whatever does not make it a service dog. ID tags are the same, it does not make it a service dog. These are just the things that a person who wants to fake a service animal will purchase and place on the animal and causes all the fake issues.

      My service dog has a vest with no “Service Dog” or Medical Alert” patches. I do not have patches because I want people to ask the 2 questions. I do not mind the questions because I hope that will discourage the fakes. If everyone asked the questions, less fakes would be out there. The vest is there to help me with control. Not having patches is to initiate conversation about whether it is a service animal or not. Sadly, I am rarely asked the first question. Even more sad is the fact that I have only been asked the second question… TWICE… in seven years!!! People with real service dogs should not mind the 2 questions when entering establishments with signs that prohibit pets. Many of us want establishments to know and ask the 2 questions to help us weed out the fakes.

      If you have a real service dog, then you should not mind answering the 2 questions. If you DO have a problem with always answering the 2 questions, then you are part of the problem of fakes. JMHO.

    • Mark says:

      Well said. I self-trained my service dog starting the day I got him and he’s been with me for a year and a half. I live with anorexia and anxiety, and that disability is not easily recognized. Anorexia qualifies as a disability since not eating significantly impacts my ability to care for myself and live a productive life. My service dog is trained to “check in” when I am eating and he reminds me to eat if I go for long periods without eating. From an outsider’s POV, it looks like he is begging for food since I encourage his check-in behavior by giving him small bites under the table. I have had trouble getting my miniature poodle to ignore barking at other dogs when we go out in public, but I REMAIN IN CONTROL of this behavior by using a bark collar. I do get triggered when people approach me and make a scene about my dog not being a service animal, but he is. In fact, I have him registered at my local animal shelter as a service animal and carry my certification that I was diagnosed with a mental illness. Not all dogs are going to behave perfectly, especially if you can’t afford the thousands of dollars to get a specially trained service dog, but this does not mean my dog is a fake.

    • That is easy for you to say, none of your business, but when you walk in a store, the owner has a financial interest in the dog, he has the venue and allows the dog in to bite a child, and he has to pay for the child’s injuries.You think you need emotional support now, just get upset with me and let the dog read that as a right to bite me, I will kill it right there on the spot in front of you. If the dog attacks me he will not attack a child I will make sure of that.I was on campus and at 35 year old looked different to the dog than he expected when I went into the services with disabilities office.The dog was under a desk where a blind girl was working and let out a low growl and glared at me.The blind woman started to discipline the dog and apologize to me. I said “stop that don’t discipline that dog, he is right.I am huge funny looking, old and I am a farmer.That dog knows that I am fearless and he is letting me know the he will protect you.I am happy that he is doing that for you the next guy that is fearless may not be a good guy like me.”

    • Cory mehrman says:

      I was in a bad motorcycle accident 2 years ago. I broke my neck. At first I was paralyzed from neck down. After emergency surgery I could move a finger. I have an incomplete spinal cord injury. I got my pup at 6 weeks old. Been training him the last 6 months. He is there if I fall or something happy to me and stays with me until help arrives. I have limited movement of hands somedays. I get social security due to me not being able to work. I don’t get much in my benefits. I don’t have thousands of dollars to take him in. I applied for food stamps. The government sent me a letter saying I can only get $15.00 dollars. That’s a joke. I think I’m my case the government should pay for my dogs training as long as I have documents stating my injuries. Oh I have ptsd from my motorcycle accident. I’m not afraid to show my service dog I’d card. Or other information like my medical reports from multiple hospitals I’ve been in. I agree the fakes make my life with him different at times. I stay home a lot. But I don’t go to restaurants. Grocery stores. Or other public places do to my ptsd. But Florida I just moved to has horrible dog restrictions on bread and size at places I do go. Like friends or family. He’s 1/2 German shepherd and husky. I’m a single man 40 years of age. I lost everything do to my injury I didn’t ask for. Where is my help. 15 bucks in food stamps no housing assistance. Nothing. After my bills are paid I literally have just enough money to feed my dog. I feed him before I eat. Not complaining but I just need my pup I’ve raised since he was 6 weeks old. And be able to take him to wherever I live without harassing me. He’s house trained. Doesn’t chew on things beside the few treats I can afford him. I lost everything that the American dream can give a hard working man. Until he gets injured then we are sol. I just want to live my life in peace with my service dog. Just trying to say people like me get harassed because of people that take advantage of a service animal. To be honest in my opinion humanity has gone down the drain. It makes me sad I’m a real physically disabled man with maybe some brain trauma. I’m just sharing my story and with everyone the best. My name is cory. And I’m a survivor of a motorcycle accident and live a very simple life now. Thank you

  4. Sean says:

    Sorry… “Service animals”

  5. Nick says:

    I believe in my opinion the laws need to be changed. There should be a real place set up to Prove a dog is a real service dog. A place available to get a Real Service dog registered. Such as a Real ID card a Real Certificate and a Real Vest and either get the dog trained or Prove the owner trained it or Prove a Professional trained the dog. This All needs to be made availble loccally in different in areas of your State. I know someone who is in fact been deemed disabed. She went online got her pet dog registered got an ID card a certificate and a vest paid like $50 and now her dog is seen in the public eye as a service dog and she calls him one and tells people he is one. This is Wrong! Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong. Her dog is NOT a trained service dog. He does Not always respond to his name, he is Not completely potty trained in doors and he is Not trained to do anything to help her in anyway. He does Not even sit when she tells him too. I think the laws need to be stricter. I dont think just because your disabled you should be able fake your dog and as service dog. Buying fake things online to make your dog look like its a service dog?? WRONG! It puts others in possible danger since the dog is Not trained and it hurts those who really need and have a trained service dog. Just because someone is disabled should Not mean they should be able to buy fake things to show their regular pet is a service dog. She took the dog to school she volunteers there. The teacher made her take the dog home. The teacher knows from being on her profile online that she ordered the stuff online she posted it thst she ordered it. She asked around online on her profile who can help potty train her dog he still has accidents because he is not a fully inside dog. He will be a year old in September. He has fleas and a big hole in his face from flea bites. This is why the teacher said the dog had to leave and for her to take it home because the dog was covered in fleas. She told the teacher he had fleas and showed the teacher the hole smd said its from him digging at the fleas. My point is that in My Opinion its still a Fake Service dog. I dont care if shes disabled or not just because she is it should Not give her the right to take her Pet everywhere when its Not trained to help her in sny way like real ones. She cant be to bad off off to need one at this point in time if her hair is blowing in the wind driving her golf cart all through town at 30MPH instead of using transportation services. By the way I am Not jealous either! Who wants to be disabled? Not this guy! I love my dog I am Not disabled either and if I were unless I needed a dogs services to actual service he belongs at home. The whole point of this is the law states if your disabled your entitled to a service dog but it needs to be trained to help you in some way. But the laws need changed to Require a dog be Proved it is in fact a Real Service dog. This would eliminate the All of Fakers. The people claiming to be disabled and really are not and those that are disabled but have a fake service dog (dogs that are not trained to do anything to help the disabled owner and its still just a pet like mine). Then the real vests and certificates and worn or shown issued can be visible that it is a FAKER whether it be the dog, owner or both. Im all for service dogs that are trained and really needed but I see and know Too many fakers/copycats. Rant over!

    • Angel says:

      The only problem with changing that is the fact the stipulations are set by Constitutional rights and Federal laws.

    • Linda says:

      It should be against the law to sell merchandise that permits people to perpetrate any falsehood. I know Amazon Prime is a major merchandiser of false Service Dog paraphernalia. There are several third party companies who sell the whole scam including a “diagnosis “ after talking by phone to a licensed mental health worker who will provide a letter along with certification documents, vests, collars,leashes etc. for a few hundred dollars an NONE of it provides for a trained legal Service Dog. Why is this legal? If this is stopped it would make legitimate-looking dogs harder to pass off as real. BTW, the letter must state the writer’s medical license number and State and that the disabled person is currently under their care. This is for an Emotional Support Animal or Psychiatric Service Dog.

      • Craig says:

        If all establishments with “no animal” policies would ask the 2 questions of all people bringing in a dog, vest or no vest, patch or no patch, we would eliminate many of the fakes.

        Many, real service dog handlers need the vests and some don’t. So if one needed a vest for their service animal, where would they get them?

        Registration, doctors and all that crap would not make a dent. How many folks have manipulated their doctors to sign an handicap placard application? How many doctors sign these applications on a whim? Too many.

        Read the ADA laws people! They are there to eliminate the fakes. ALL establishments need to read, know, and train employees of the ADA laws pertaining to service animals. That is the ONLY way we will reduce the fakes. We will never eliminate them all. But the above mentioned fake dog would never have passed the ADA laws. Nuff said.

        Educate yourselves people!!!!!!!!

        I can spot a fake a mile away, but it is up to the establishments to curtail the issue, not me or you!!! Shut up unless you own an establishment. Then you should learn and enforce the ADA rules in your establishment.

  6. Noelle says:

    I have been training my own serive dog and a lot of this is just bull. My dog is small, he does his job and has been basically perfect. Depending on what I need, I may carry him cause I need him closer to me than normal. He’s still considered a puppy and has only been working for 3 months, but he knows what to do and how to do his job. Sometimes he has days where he isn’t perfect, and I have to reiterate his training to him. As part of his job, he has to sniff around. Anything could cause me issues and he makes sure I’m ok and in a safe environment. If he smells something he thinks may cause me issues, he comes over to me and makes sure I’m ok by jumping up and licking me and waiting for me to pet his head and tell him “thank you, I’m ok” normally he will stop and go back to his job. There are times he doesn’t and continues licking me and it isn’t until a few seconds later that I realize he sensed something in the environment and in me that I didn’t even know was happening. Saying that a “real” service dog doesn’t sniff is wrong. I’m working so hard to make sure that my SD is well behaved and doesn’t give anyone any issues to doubt him and then being told this stuff really gets on my nerves.

    • Coach James says:

      Look! If your training your own service dog via internet certification then your are breaking the law. Sentencing can include 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines for Service Dog Fraud…

      There are a lot of websites suggesting “turn your pet into a service animal”; which is actually classified as “Emotional Support Animal” and not to be confused with “Service Dog” who have years of professional training. “Don’t be a fool”, persons are getting caught and serving time more regularly then ever.

      Bottom line “A pet cannot go into restaurants, grocery stores and fast food places period!” and there is no legal way around this being Handicap or not do not try and pass your pet or emotional support animal as a “Service Dog”, cause a lot time and money go into training these wonderful life saving dogs”

      Legal Questions which can asked by anyone seeing a questionable “Service Animal”:
      1. Ask is your Dog a trained “Service Dog” yes or no?
      2. If yes, then what has your “Service Dog” been trained to do?

      Answers like these (consist of Service Dog Fraud) and pet can be removed from location or police can be called:
      My dog is trained to support me emotionally
      My dog is trained to protect me
      My dog is trained to comfort me
      My dog is trained to alert me when I have fallen down
      others may be of similar content were Dog is not actually trained in an actual Service Dog Task…

      • Michele says:

        Yes. I agree.
        Although most people are not as tough or even fearlessly assertive as a retired Marine. I paid to have a sd trained. I don’t think i would want to train my own.
        Needless to say there may be wanna bes in any situation. Every dog has their own personality. Not every dog is qualified to even provide a service just like not every person can do a certain service.
        Because Rex is professionally trained he surprises me in how much he knows- like when visited the rehabilitation center he stops and just stands next to the walker when he visits people.
        Before training he just did not have polish/manners. The trainers took him to restaurants and such places for training. The trainer had him for a good while. Lastly he does tend to act better in public than at home- its like he is showing off out there.
        Good debate

      • RICHARD CAMPBELL says:

        Coach you are WRONG..! There is NO LAW that says you can’t train your own Service Dog.! I have trained several, in the past, for other family members. But when I needed one for my-self, I had another trainer help me.. I’m now a double amputee, I still walk, with the help of steel and plastic legs and my dog.! I also now have possesion of, my now deceased wife’s E.S.A., and yes, they are completely different..! My service dog retrives items that I drop, or can’t reach, and helps me to stand up, or even walk up hill… She brings my phone when it rings, gets my house and car keys if I drop them, brings me the TV Remote, and many many other things.. My E.S.A. does none of these things.! My point is, if people who want to limit or regulate these Service Dogs, had any idea what they really do for the handler, they would mind their own business..! Fake Service Dogs are easy to spot, if you know anything about Service Dogs.! Maybe better training for the PUBLIC, and the person at the STORE or RESTAURANT would be of better service…

  7. M says:

    One of my roommates has a service dog which I suspect it to be fake. It barks at me whenever I enter the apartment and, while it never caused any harm to me, it isn’t respectful of boundaries. Once I just opened my bedroom’s door in the morning and immediately got barked at. My roommate isn’t very sound either: even though I never mistreated their dog, they once accused me of being mean to their dog. It is worthless to address my property manager about these concerns since I know from previous experience that they will side with my roommate instead of being neutral as they should.
    A week ago my romantic partner, who is afraid of dogs, was visiting me and, instead of having them sleeping with me in my room, I decided to book a cheap hotel room for both of us.

    • Hayes says:

      Service dogs can act however they want when off duty generally.
      How they act in your apartment doesn’t matter and service dog trainers spend so much time on their dogs they can become defensive of them.
      It’s all about how they act when on duty, my dog is a little gremlin off duty but on duty she is alert and focused.

      • Dixies owner says:

        But she stated this ‘service dog’ as on duty and most of the time small service animals or dogs are fake you rarely see real teams

  8. James Steward says:

    I am a retired Marine. I had my hearing destroyed while in the service. I currently own two Service Dogs (labs) I ‘sometimes’ take one of them out in public (Elsa) I simply do not understand this article? Why does anyone of you care about a ‘Fake Service Dog? I’ve owned one for over 35 years and not one time has my Service Dogs rights been interfered with. I mean really, do you people stand guard over Handicap parking places? The Federal LAws will protect you in any circumstances that violate your Service Dogs rights. Move along.

  9. James Steward says:

    I am a retired Marine. I had my hearing destroyed while in the service. I currently own two Service Dogs (labs) I ‘sometimes’ take one of them out in public (Elsa) I simply do not understand this article? Why does anyone of you care about a ‘Fake Service Dog? I’ve owned one for over 35 years and not one time has my Service Dogs rights been interfered with. I mean really, do you people stand guard over Handicap parking places? The Federal Laws will protect your SD and you in any circumstances that violate your Service Dogs rights. Move along. I can walk in a store with a million Fake SD and it will not affect me or my SD one bit. I’m sure someone out there is saying “well one could attack your SD” and yes this would be true. Just like my neighbor’s dog could, so what’s the point.

    • Steven says:

      As a landlord people usually try to fake service dogs because either 1) pets aren’t allowed at all 2) many breeds are restricted by our insurance carriers, or 3) people don’t want to pay the pets fees.. This can be a huge liability for us, it’s unfair to responsible pet owners who did pay the fees, and it looks bad for people like you, who have a legitimate service animal. I’ve had to deal with so many fake service animals by now (usually with those stupid internet certificates) that I’ve come to question anyone that tells me they have a service animal.

  10. Randy says:

    Have a small dog when displaced by a hurricane hotel I’m staying in says no dogs period but other people have them they say there service dogs and don’t need to prove it how can I tell if these dogs are service animals

  11. Inger says:

    I was thrown back into deep depression and seclusion after being publicly humiliated about my support dog in the post office. Before taking my dog, I went in and asked what the requirements were for a support dog. I was told a collar and a leash. I returned to my car and brought my tech with a collar and a leash. After waiting in line under complete control, the same employee waited for me, told me to produce papers proving my dog was for support, and that the dog required a red collar. I know this is all against the law. Nevertheless, I was ashamed again. I politely took my tech back to the car, reentered the post office and politely mailed the package I had brought. Even after I told the employee she was incorrect about the law, she continued to harass me. It was awful.

  12. Debra Bryson says:

    I have a “non fake” service dog, she has been in service for 12 years, she is almost 14 of course her 1st year plus was in training…let’s just say she knows her job well. She rides in a cart now every chance I can get for legit reasons she also whines when needed ( part of her training) and she is definitely not a fake. There are dogs in service for many reasons so, as the sevice dog must be trained for each individuals specific needs, there will be differences, please be careful putting your thoughts out there, it could cause problems for those whose service dogs are not fake though only doing trained needs for their handler. I do however feel there is a need to have something legally in place to identify a service dog (for the publics convenience as well as the handlers). Thank you for the opportunity to reply.

    • Kevin S says:

      Very well put! Thank you.
      My issue is #3, with my disability and mobility issues my “Non Fake” Service Dog IS trained to either pull on her leash (help me to start walking) OR walk next to me (possibly, most likely leaning on me so I do not fall) she is trained to do whichever I require! She has, over time learned what I require of her! Also, her Job is to protect me! By not allowing me to harm myself or possibly others (bumping into me etc.) That’s helping me walk, using stairs or just standing! To someone NOT familiar with both myself or my Service Dog could misunderstand what is going on!
      Like what has been said is every case could/is different! Don’t judge unless you have ALL the facts.

  13. Luana says:

    I went to address the issue of “A Service Dog”, with 1 major concern. What About People Like Myself Who Are Severely Allergic To Dogs?. I’m Disabled According To The ADA. I’m 60 years old and was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at Age 12, I have Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Environmental Allergies. Today I had to stand in hallway of my AIR doctors office because of someone “Service Dog”. I’m writing this comment after having an reaction. Eyes Watering and Itching, Nose Itching.Thorat Scratching and Feeling Sick.

    • Hanner says:

      Not every person is going to know you’re allergic to dogs, those with service dogs (like myself) cannot and do not have too disappear and not take their dogs into places when the dog is DOING THERE JOB just because of someone’s allergy.

      I am severely allergic to many different things but it doesn’t stop me from going to places where those allergies may be present I just take precautions – taking my allergy medications with me where I go, taking my allergy medication and taking any other medications as well as my service dog where ever I go.

      When I have my service dog with me I am not worried about other people or there own problems I am focused on staying alive and staying safe with my dog who is doing a job

      We as service dog owners cannot be concerned about others allergies when without our service dogs we would more than likely be in danger.

      On another note – every service dog is trained to do different jobs you cannot assume that because a dog is carried it is not a service dog – those with heart conditions, breathing issues or anxiety may need there dog to be close to them to be able to alert to their human.

      Service dogs are meant to be doing a job if they are distracted by other people then they are not able to do there job it is not right in any way to distract the dog or the person.

      I agree with the aggressive part dogs who are service dogs are well trained and not meant to be aggressive.

      Some service dogs MAY pull on the leash or not be on one for a reason my service dog pulls on the leash to get me back to reality and take me from an anxiety related environment and some may be off of one for mobility reasons and they will be trained not to (as much as possible) not wonder from their owner.

      Do NOT discount a service dog and handler and just dont question them full stop


    • Jennifer says:

      Unfortunately, people with service dogs can’t avoid places just because someone might be allergic. That’s a huge violation of the disabled person’s rights. I’m allergic to a lot of things too. I don’t expect everyone else to never be anywhere with those things just because I’m allergic. My allergy, my responsibility. It can feel unfortunate sometimes because it can end up feeling like those setting off your allergy don’t care about your rights. However, a service dog is there to do a job. The dog is basically medical equipment, and it’s not right to expect disabled people to go without something that helps them function simply because allergies might be involved. That being said, my service dog has an allergen blocking suit. Since I have some rather severe allergies myself I think I tend to be more cognizant of how my dog could potentially affect those around us. The suit seems to help a fair amount.

    • Brucewh says:

      A person who is allergic to a guide dog can, at least in theory, take something to temporarily alleviate allergy symptoms. A guide dog user can’t take something to alleviate blindness symptoms.

  14. Rose says:

    While I agree with a lot of this, I also agree with kany who basically say, why get so involved to ‘spot fake service dogs’ – while this is good for owners and managers of businesses, it is not the public’s concern for the most part (unless of course the dog is causing you personal issues. For one, how about people certify their children to go out? I habe ptsd and anxiety and my panic attacks get so bad if I didn’t have my service dog, I’d possibly be arrested, have had to leave places or not go out at all and one big trigger for me is whinkng out of control human children! I can’t control my behaviour during an attack and I’ve been afraid in the past I’d lunge at a child myself. (Yes I have one of my own and during baby/toddler years would leave places out of respect for others, much less myself!) I am on a limited income and cannot afford to pay for classes, however, I have been training dogs myself for many years and happened to be lucky that one bonded with me the owners couldn’t care for and has been exceptional. Not all dogs make for good service dogs! I’ve had some professional but personal help with training so I don’t have a cetificate of course completion, so to say that a dog needs this makes it ok mpossible for many people to get much needed assistance a well trained dog can give. Also, I agree, dogs are not robots and some of these ‘signs’ are not valid. Since my service tech is small, I have put him in carts during busy times when people have previously stepped on him or it can not only be dangerous for him, but interfere with otherd trying to get through crowds (which I’d never be able to do without him). Just like purple a dog can be distracted or as mine, and using a cane as well, has to sometimes walk behind me or move out of the way even just for me, much less navigating a crowd. He sees or hears a distraction and then looks to check on me – but when it happens, yes, he looks up to check it out and could be mistaken. He doesn’t make sounds, but he does jump up on me to alert me that I need to stop, take meds, get away, other times I have an immediate trigger where he has to comfort me. I also do not appear disabled and as others, have even without him had people be rude, make comments about faking being disabled and already afraid of my car being destroyed as I’ve heard so many horror stories of such people taking action on their own instead of minding their own business. While my heart goes out to those with allergies, I have a loved one who is so allergic to cats even if you have a cat at home and visit his house, he will end up in the ER just from that person’s clothing, I also get sick easily and just people with bad hygiene can make me very sick or people who go out with colds or contagious illnesses can put me in the ER and my SD also alerts me when I’m not breathing, so you’d also have to say if your kids are out of control or you are personally sick, you can’t be allowed out without certification…. Unfortunately regardless of what it is, there will always be people who lie, abuse laws and such regardless of stricter laws put in place to try to prevent…

    • Craig says:

      Sorry, but a service dog (or ANY dog) should never be put in a shopping cart. Shopping carts are for public use and not for use as your personal service dog stroller. You need to bring your own cart, stroller, or carry bag if you need your service dog close to you. It is very bad service dog etiquette to place them in a public shopping cart or on a seat in a restaurant, bus, or whatever. That only brings on a bad name for all the people with service animals. If they have to be close to your face, than carry them in a chest bag attached to your body.

  15. MJ says:

    Sometimes service dogs are startled by a loud noise. Sometimes they are feeling a lot of stress or anxiety and whine or even bark. Sometimes they pull. These behaviors are rare, but dogs are not infallible. They have good days and bad days just like people. You need to remember that these are professional animals, not robots.

  16. sandra d sanders says:

    my dog has to notice people coming up from behind me and warn me as I cannot hear things like bikes and stuff as I am partially deaf and have no ability to hear sounds from behind or the direction of the sound. he has to be focused on me but also things that might run into me that I do not hear. if people were more polite I would not need this but I became afraid of going out due to being hit from behind.

  17. Service Dog says:

    You’re totally off base with #1. My certified service dog sometimes rides in a dog stroller for two reasons: 1. He has developed a heart condition and needs restricted activity. It’s not worth it to me for him to drop dead in order to make someone like you (i.e. the service dog police) more comfortable. 2. It is helpful so that he does not get stepped on in crowded spaces. He performs his duties just fine in the stroller or when being carried. Our service dog exhibits impeccable behavior in every way whether in the cart, on the ground, or being carried.

    • Jennifer says:

      First off, there is no “certification” for service dogs. Secondly, that is unethical to work a dog that has a medical condition that is severe enough that he could “drop dead” while working. If your dog’s heart condition is that bad then he needs to be retired and you need a different dog.

      • Craig says:

        Bravo Jennifer. The dog should be retired, but it is obviously a fake. No certification needed. Handler never mentions the “task” the dog performs. A heart condition is definitely time for retirement.

        @Service Dog… The dog stroller is just fine for your dog if it is your stroller. No problems there. But in a shopping cart… never ok!

  18. B says:

    I know many people who work with service dogs. A disability is protected by the Ada, PTSD is not a protected disability. Neither is an allergy to dogs. So why is someone’s PTSD more important than someone else’s life threatening allergy? Every legitimate service dog owner I gave ever worked with would love a registration system that is similar to an auto tag. Not an expensive thing, but involve a doctor and have large fines for providing fake evidence. Handing over that card would save them from eventually just getting banned from living. Because they all fear the day that this goes too far and the law is overturned. I’ve known a few with ptsd as well, they are mixed on the idea of whether they should be allowed to take their dog anywhere. But the only time it bothers me is on an airplane (when the allergic can’t get away ) and in a supermarket/restaurant (where it’s actually a violation of state law on most states to have a dog if you don’t have a protected disability because that dogs nose was in another dog’s butt and it is wrong that bacteria on my loaf of bread!!). Those people have a special section of hell reserved for them. And one day, those will be the people to blame when the laws protecting real service dogs are overturned because someone like Donald Trump overreacts to this nonsense.

    • Brucewh says:

      Well, to begin with, PTSD patients are protected under the ADA. The EEOC has specifically so ruled on at least three occasions since the ADA became law. EEOC Regulations (2011) is current. So you’re off to a poor start.

      Trump cannot overturn, revoke, repeal, nullify, or cancel a federal law. Nor can any other government official. A change to the ADA requirements regarding service animals must be enacted by the Congress and signed into law by the president.

      In 2011, the most recent changes to the Service Animals provisions in the ADA became law. That legislation established, for example, that effective March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals. The current rules for service animal access, behavior, control, inquiries, exclusions, etc., were revised or clarified in that legislation; the DOJ and EEOC then issued regulations and guidance information as well.

      There’s nothing about the ADA concerning service animals that can or will be challenged through an appeals court. If you wish to see changes made to the current law, you need to contact your Congresscritters and exercise your 1st Amendment petition for redress of grievances right that is specified in the Amendment’s final clause.

  19. Mary Mignano says:

    I believe that all dogs should be required to have basic training which should be provided at a reasonable fee or they could also be trained at home as long as they can pass a basic course where they have to perform at least sit, stay, fetch, the no! command and that they are polite when being petted by children, men and women and people with canes, wheelchairs and walkers. They should also be able to socialize with other dogs. In this way the owners as well as the public have a better chance of being comfortable with dogs in their vicinity. It is the chaos of untrained dogs that harms their reputations for dog-lovers and those that need these wonderful animals for assistance.

    • Charity says:

      The thing ur not understanding is not all of our dogs can or should be pet it distracts their work and only after they feel we r safe n they are allowed to sit n be petted should anyone expect that our dogs r not public friends toy ect. Though if ppl were better about giving them a min to feel that we r safe n know u r not a threat ill promise u that 90% of us will allow u to shake or high 5 are dogs because we want them to meet lots of ppl but the way that was worded came across as they arent allowed to do their jobs n should be made to let jusy anyone run up on them or us thats not being fair to assume anyone can jusy envade our space my dog will not chse u around the store but a child potentially would chase her n then shes scared n u think the child had a right to cause that situation im going to calm my dog n tell u or ur child whomever bothered her to get away from us because of several things 1 as stated she now cant work shes been harrassed assaulted n scared 2 i now have a barking n maybe snarling dog whos trying to protect herself n cant preform her duties for a bit because of that ur going to say she shouldnt be protecting herself or protecting herself but if my dog chased ur kid in play i bet ud be ok with ur child now being scared or smacking n kicking n yelling at my dog kids need to be socialized with animals aswell n thats on parents its not my place to teach ppl etiquette with dogs n most of our dogs happily make friends if given that chance ur stements could cause a very big issue by not realizing why the dogs r not going to allow others to just say hi it greatly depends on y we have them my dog if im not needing her to help me walk at he moment or one of her duties would allow ur child to pet her heck i keep treats on me for those puposes my baby girl knows her manners n would never harm anyone unless it was by size alone n u had her jump its just all kinds of situations that shouldnt require actions they dont need to do while working n even if ones barking a bit its only to let us know danger could be a problem n most of them r not around a corner unless getting help

    • Craig says:

      I believe ALL children should go through the same basic training. They need to learn sit, stay, fetch, and especially the “NO” command along with being polite. They should be able to socialize with all other people, not just other children. This way the parents as well as the public will have a better chance of being comfortable with having children in their vicinity.

      What a better world this would be…. if only.

  20. Evan Samdahl says:

    As someone stated that a true “service dog” is a medical instrument and more or less be treated along the lines of a wheelchair, cane, etc. If someone’s dog is not under control and physically attacks another person or their dog then that situation should be treated as though that dog is a lethal weapon. The person being attacked should therefore be able to defend themselves to the fullest extent, even if they are carrying a concealed weapons permit and firearm. So if someone’s dog attacks a person or their animal the guilty party should be charged the same as a person assaulting others with a deadly weapon. See how this is a slippery slope. I’ve got multiple neighbors in a condo that are abusing this ESA law. The only way to remove these animals is to actually video record them defecating in common areas or in other words catching them in the act of being a nuisance on video. I’m sorry but if you’re that depressed that a proper diet, exercise, psychology, better life choices and/or prescribed medication doesn’t do better for you than a being completely RESPONSIBLE for another being than you really are nuts. Being responsible includes proper training and care for that being. Since some or most of these “ESA dependents” don’t properly train their animals that just shows part of the reason why they’re a mess. Giving them a “take them anywhere pass” doesn’t solve anything but only enable. This ESA system had more holes than Swiss cheese and needs to be scaled WAY BACK. If you live in a condo or apartment you shouldn’t have a dog in that concrete box surrounded in every direction by other people anyways. If you really care about that animal get an appropriate house with an appropriate yard with another companion animal for while you’re away from home.

  21. Christine says:

    I am actually in the process of training my dog as my assistance dog, she is doing really well but is still a little jumpy in shops. She is great at refocusing but has has a couple of accidents. I am trying to sort this but I don’t know how as she is totally house trained at home and has been for a long time.

    This doesn’t mean she is fake because she isn’t, it means she has things she needs to improve and I am attempting to do that. So please remember that some can be in training and may not be “fake”.

    If anyone has any tips, I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks.

    • Fiona says:

      You say house trained. Do you mean your dog can go in and out of your house freely to go. Does your dog whine at you when they need to go and you let them go. Or do they go on command. There is a big difference between all of them. I am training my dog as a service dog too and going on command preferably in a specific spot at home or an appropriate place place in public. Is what my trainer is getting us to do. So before I go out I send him off. If I’m out all day then I will take him and give the command/signal. Then no accidents. Only had one accident while in training and that was in the first couple of days since then never.

  22. Walter A. Bradford says:

    You have an article in your base about “spotting Fake Service Dogs”. Much of your article couldn’t be further from accuracy if you had intended it to be such.


    Service Dogs need not to be on a leash, they need not be retrievers. Your article seems to leave out trained Service Animals for folks with emotional or psychiatric needs. My Service Dog is a 10 lb Maltese. I have Generalized Anxiety, I am Bipolar and suffer with Depression. With each one of these matters, my Service Dog needs to be within hand reach. She sees me beginning to become angry over nothing, she then puts her front paws on the shopping cart handle for me to calm. She then will lick my hands while trying to jump into my arms. That is all she needs to do and I immediately recognize I am in trouble and if I can collect myself, I do & continue my chores. If I cannot regroup, we leave the location and return home.


    I also have Diabetes Type II. She smells my breath for any signs that my glucose levels may be rising and she begins licking the air/breath line of myself and she’ll wag her tail. It is usually about then that I must eat a simple sugar item to maintain my presence or I must leave and get to my vehicle where I have a small sweet stand “stash”. Sometimes I can return to the chores, and again, sometimes I must go home.


    Fluffy will not walk on a leash, on a harness and she does not fetch. But since 2012, at the behest of my medical doctor on one hand and my psychiatrist on the other, I had to get a Service Animal and even though she does not meet your indicated norms, she is true blue and legal.


    Service Dogs and small horses/ponies no longer have to be specially trained. They do not need to be on the floor, in a harness with a sign on their sides announcing their professional standing. Doing tricks for others to see & agree your dog is legal as a S.D. is just one violation of my rights as a Disabled Person to enjoy my life, as do you and many others without undue insult, threat or exclusion from any site or location that folks without disabilities may venture. The 2018 version is on The ADA website, I believe in PDF.


    I carry copies with me as well as a copy of Alabama’s ADA enhancement laws.


    The one thing I will say that I am 100% in total agreement with you on is the fact that the ADA has been unable to define specifically what constitutes a clear, concise regulation that handlers and business entities can read, understand and work with. Both sides of this equation is being doled out in chaotic, unseemly fashion which does nothing but harbor contempt, fear and misunderstanding from both side. The ADA has done their level best to make this very sensible and life saving authority seamless and a benefit for all.


    • Brucewh says:

      Just so you know, effective March 15, 2011, the ADA was amended to state that only dogs are service animals. Miniature horses have not been covered as service animals since that date. There may be other legislation covering the tiny equines, but the ADA eliminated them more than eight years ago.

    • Craig says:

      Fluffy should not be in a shopping cart. Use a dog stroller or better yet and chest carrier. Keep your Fluffy off restaurant, buss, waiting room seats, etc. Keep Fluffy on your body, in your own cart/stroller, or on the ground. You are giving service dogs a bad name. People who let legit service dogs behave badly or they themselves behave badly (shopping carts) are part of the problem. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Nuff said.

  23. Elisa says:

    I have a service animal, I keep him close, either holding him near my heart or in a cart so he is focused on me and not external surroundings. However, you brought up an interesting point saying you “would be arrested”. Well I have been, my dog was returned to me after the whole mess was sorted out, but it was a pretty intense situation. Now he has some anxiety issues(understandably) however I am now able to leave him at home, sometimes, and he doesn’t want me to go. I feel so guilty all the time when I leave him behind with my other dog. I actually found this post trying to Google suggestions on easing his anxiety. If anyone has experience of a lot of knowledge on the subject of being arrested in front of your dog or service animal, is really appreciate them. Thanks

  24. Pat T. says:

    Ilive in a retirement home (independent living

    I live in an independent living retirement home, lady came to live here and she has a service dog. We were told she needed this dog 24/7 well she walks around all the time without the dog but dinner time she brings the dog with no leash to the dining room has the dog on her lap he puts his face on the table and some people goes to him and pets him. lot of people do not agree with this what can we do, call the healyh department

  25. Beth says:

    I have allergies and asthma. If I come into contact with dog saliva ( not fur like many people think) I get a rash. Before taking your service or emotional support dog to a restaurant or store please make sure it is clean to remove as much extra saliva and dander as possible. and if it must go in shopping carts or on furniture please bring your own cover. Thank you.

  26. DAWN MCDANIEL says:

    Have a few issues with some of the fake spotting behaviors that you listed.

    #1 Some dogs must be able to smell the breath or feel the heart beat to monitor the handler’s health

    #2 Some dogs are trained to perform tasks that must be performed off leash. So long as the dog is under voice control, it is in accordance with the ADA.

    #3 Some mobility dogs are trained for momentum pulling. When I am in too much pain to move on my own, my SDiT is trained to pull me a bit to keep me moving.

    #5 I have MCS and my dog is trained to sniff the air to give me forewarning of triggers that could affect my health in a wide range since he can detect them before I can. This has kept me from going into respiratory distress as well as kept me from having to recover for days in bed afterwards.

  27. RIch l says:

    So, I was wondering do you tell your service dog its off duty? Seen a so called service dog 2 days ago at a church and it was jumping all over the chairs and was only a pup. I am a dog owner / lover but really people are abusing this for the people who really need it just like everything else.

    • Craig says:

      My service dog is on duty 24/7. Unfortunately my condition requires that. Some dogs are off duty but that is only at home. service dogs away from home are always on duty. Especially in areas that normally don’t have or allow dogs.

      That dog you witnessed is not a service dog and even if it was, the church should have asked the handler to remove it from the premises.

    • Pamela says:

      Right on so true

  28. Amanda says:

    A friend of mine was at a 4 star restaurant and another customer was there at a table with his service or support dog. The dog was sitting in the man’s lap while the man fed it food with his fork. No joke, no exaggeration! The manager couldn’t say anything out of fear of bad publicity or being sued (even if it was a fake) but customers had to watch and be grossed out. Does anybody think this might have been an actual service dog and if not, what could the manager have done since you can’t ask or imply anything?

    • Craig says:

      That was likely not a real service dog. They are trained better than that.

      Even if it was a real service dog, the manager could legally ask the handler to control the dog or remove it from the premises. If the handler refuses to control the animal then the manager could legally ask them both to leave. But the manager is required to allow the handler to get the animal under control first.

    • Ami says:

      It could be a service dog with an owner that has bad etiquette. A manager can ask two questions:
      Is this a Service Dog?
      What task is it trained to perform?

      Additionally, if a service animal is doing something irrelevant to its task, such as this, it could be asked to stop.

      Because Service dogs are now being used by autistic people, this oddly could be a less than common stimulation associated with that person. If the trained task is any kind of sensory management or social independence, it should be left alone.

      However, if the dog is trained to detect the early signs of a seizure, this behavior makes no sense at all and a manager could possibly ask for it to stop. They should just be very sure this person doesn’t have a behavioral disability that is protected.

    • Opal Bell says:

      by law, they can ask if its a service dog and if they believe it’s not they can tell them to leave and by law, ur suppose to have a letter with u at all times saying ur animal is service pet but a letter has to be from psychiatrist dr only i was told all of this by the ada they give u packet with all rules in it

      • Nope! says:

        This is absolutely 100% untrue and the site you cite is not legitimate at all.
        Perhaps you are confusing a service animal with a “therapy dog” or “emotional support animal”. These two are not at all the same as service dogs, period.
        The ADA is a law, not an entity. There is no way that a law could “give you a packet”.
        You are either mistaken or being scammed.

  29. I recently had an almost physical confrontation when I left a restaurant because the table next to me was seated with a couple who had a small, very hairy, dog that the man was carrying. I had not ordered and immediately decided to leave and the woman stood up yelling at me “It’s a service dog”. On what damn planet do the words “It’s a service dog” magically turn the animal into something besides what it is? NO ONE seems to stop and think that there ARE people with allergies, phobias, traumas who DON’T want to be confronted with an animal in a place they aren’t expecting it. It’s bad enough with dirty humans or a human hair in my food (even if it’s my own), but the thought of animal dander and hair floating around triggers my gag reflex. It would be great if restaurants could afford to have a separate area with maybe really good air filters where people with animals could sit. I’ve also SEEN a bunch of teenage girls tell a grocery store clerk their dog (sitting in the cart) was a service dog.

  30. Nancy Connor says:

    There are 2 small dogs that live in our complex, they bark constantly, the owners never have them on a leash and the mess all over the property. They claim they are service dogs for whatever reason is unclear. Pets are not allowed in the building but they have them because of the service dog status. I am an animal lover and totally support anyone that has a service dog but I cant help but think these people are abusing the service. just like people abuse the disabled parking. Disabled parking is for those who are disabled and in the car. Too many times at work so many people park in disabled parking because they have the tag on their car, however they are not the disabled person. I think they need to reform some of the rules and standards for these services.

    • Nope! says:

      I agree that the fraudulently obtained “service animal certification” ID cards, vests, and other such nonsense is the exact equivalent of stealing a handicapped placard and pretending to be disabled. Both greatly hurt and endanger those who actually are disabled.
      I live in a city where many, many drivers were abusing the legitimate right of disabled people to park on the street via fraudulently obtained placards. Because of this, my city took away disabled drivers’ right to park in front of their own homes without feeding a parking meter every two hours. Because of the scammers, legitimately disabled people now have to get a ride or park in far away garages and find some way home. Many disabled people had to sell their vehicles because finding a ride home was impossible. The scammers only lost their scam: easy come, easy go, but disabled people lost their freedom and so much more.
      This is why the ADA protects service dog owners; so that the scammers can’t take away their freedom of movement.

  31. […] fake guidance animals, it is essential to establish the difference between the real and the phony. A fraudulent service dog can be identified if it is barking and lunging at people in public. Even t… People can also tell if the dog is real or not if it is not acting well behaved in public. All […]

  32. Antoinette says:

    If a chef has an emotional support animal at their job would you order food from that restaurant? If a surgeon needs an emotional support animal at their job would you want them too operate on you? People are flat out lying about a lot of these “support” animals. I suspect its more of a mental health issue with most of these people.

  33. Cj says:

    First of all, yes some service animals will be in a shopping cart and be real. I rented to a man and saw his dog in the cart and working. The dog was trained to sniff out 10 chemicals that could be fatal if ingested by the owner.

    I am now looking into a service animal since I am alone and have a medical condition.

    I would appreciate clarification on the following…
    I heard that a dog will be able to be trained to let me know ahead of time before my condition acts up. It would also be train to retrieve my medication and help me to get up when needed. Then I was told that is impossible for a dog to know in advance that your going to get the pain.

    I would like to know before I spend tens of thousands of dollars on an animal that I only want for its service. I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to be able to take the animal outside daily just to do its business if I’m not feeling well.

    Also, Does anybody know the best place to go through for a service animal? I was looking into NEADS.

  34. Ami says:

    Sensory Management Service Dogs allow our dogs to be more receptive to public interaction to facilitate socializing. One of their tasks can literally be to “break the ice” and foster communication. But a lot of the stuff about housebreaking, invading the personal spaces of others, making noise that isn’t associated with a task, etc are grounds for being asked to leave. The main issue is that while a business has to accommodate a Service Team, they should be able to pretend the service dog isn’t there and other patrons should be able to do the same.

  35. B Duerre says:

    I have a service dog that I trained myself, and yes it is an ongoing task. Before She was attacked by my neighbors dog, she never paid attention to other animals, but since the attack, if another dog is around she will bark and focus on it. I have been working with her intensely to correct her behavior. It has been almost a year and she is finally starting to come back around to being able to feel safe in another dogs presence. She will also let out one bark if she feels that there is danger or if there is too much commotion ie: fighting, argueing, or rough housing to close to me. This has been misunderstood as being disruptive, yet it is her job to alert me if something could cause me to fall. I also depend on her to help me climb stairs and hills by pulling me just enough to keep me moving forward. She also picks up things I can’t bend or squat down to reach. I seriously depend on her and I have been harrassed because she has startled people with her alerting 1 bark. She doesn’t bark more than one “ruf”. She is well behaved and under control on or off a leash. She does have a soft spot for elderly and small kids and doesn’t mind saying a quick hello. She detects seziers and blood sugar levels that are too high or low, and will not s stop trying to smell (my brothers) breath or get his attention until he checks his sugars.. or (my daughter’s) attention when her anxiety is escalating out of control or she’s about to have a seizeure. These two actions she started doing without training and I felt they were benificial so I encouraged her to keep doing them. No one can tell that I need her help to pick things up or climb stairs and hills unless they know me. I seem perfectly healthy… But I have severe nerve damage to my lower spine. It only affects me in certain positions or there’s days I can’t get out of bed without her help and often I can’t get up from sitting without her help. But I don’t seem like I’m disabled to others who don’t know me so I’ve been accused of having a “fake” service dog many times! I agree, people need to mind their own business. If a dog attacks you or pees on your leg… Then you have a legit reason to complain… But just because you were startled by a dog alerting someone of something as they’re supposed to doesn’t mean the dog is not a properly trained service dog! And you should get over it just as you would when an emergency vehicals siren

  36. B Duerre says:

    I have a service dog that I trained myself, and yes it is an ongoing task. Before She was attacked by my neighbors dog, she never paid attention to other animals, but since the attack, if another dog is around she will bark and focus on it. I have been working with her intensely to correct her behavior. It has been almost a year and she is finally starting to come back around to being able to feel safe in another dogs presence. She will also let out one bark if she feels that there is danger or if there is too much commotion ie: fighting, argueing, or rough housing to close to me. This has been misunderstood as being disruptive, yet it is her job to alert me if something could cause me to fall. I also depend on her to help me climb stairs and hills by pulling me just enough to keep me moving forward. She also picks up things I can’t bend or squat down to reach. I seriously depend on her and I have been harrassed because she has startled people with her alerting 1 bark. She doesn’t bark more than one “ruf”. She is well behaved and under control on or off a leash. She does have a soft spot for elderly and small kids and doesn’t mind saying a quick hello. She detects seziers and blood sugar levels that are too high or low, and will not s stop trying to smell (my brothers) breath or get his attention until he checks his sugars.. or (my daughter’s) attention when her anxiety is escalating out of control or she’s about to have a seizeure. These two actions she started doing without training and I felt they were benificial so I encouraged her to keep doing them. No one can tell that I need her help to pick things up or climb stairs and hills unless they know me. I seem perfectly healthy… But I have severe nerve damage to my lower spine. It only affects me in certain positions or there’s days I can’t get out of bed without her help and often I can’t get up from sitting without her help. But I don’t seem like I’m disabled to others who don’t know me so I’ve been accused of having a “fake” service dog many times! I agree, people need to mind their own business. If a dog attacks you or pees on your leg… Then you have a legit reason to complain… But just because you were startled by a dog alerting someone of something as they’re supposed to doesn’t mean the dog is not a properly trained service dog! And you should get over it just as you would when an emergency vehicals siren suddenly goes off next to you on the road. So yes well trained dogs wether by owner or professional are subjected to their training being damaged by attacks or accidents or having bad days. Their training may need to be “repaired”. This doesn’t make them a”fake”… It means they aren’t robots they are living beings who are 100% perfect 100% of the time. Wake up people learn about the things you don’t know and stop assuming. Above all… Unless you are actually realistically harmed, mind your own business! We will all be better off for it.

  37. Rosy says:

    I am poor because I am on disability. I cant afford a 20000 dollar dog. I have finally got a dog I can work with. My dog is calm and well behaved. There have been times when she pulls but it was my fault for not taking her to relieve herself which she does on command. I trained horses before my disability and it helps. I have a degenerative muscular disease that affects my vision at times and I can even fall or stop breathing. I also have ptsd from 2 stabbing attacks suffered in my sleep from 2 home invasions. The weaker I get the more difficult it is for me to leave the house. My dog gives me confidence to do what I need to do. My dog is trained to pull or not pull on my command and im saving up for a mobilty harness. She is vigilent on the job not nervous and is trained to pull if I freeze or to take me to the car safely. Not everyone who needs a service dog can afford one so all the bs you hear on here by nondisabled people who cant bear to see someone disabled with their dog doesnt make things easier. My dog is trained. She is a bulldog shepherd mix. Dogs respond to negative attention even if they dont show it they feel it. You judging dogs doesnt make it any easier for those of us who need to use them. The best thing you can do is ignore my servicd dog. She ignores you. I dont know whats going on in these cities with fake dogs but it affects us poor folks who work with our nonpurebred dogs daily. What you intend to do is make service animals a privilege for the wealthier and not a right for all disabled people within perameters. I remember a girl at college with epilepsy in a wheelchair and she had a highly trained service dog and on some days shed cry because the dog was acting up a bit and she was afraid the school would complain. Its hard forus so do what you normally do and make us invisible. Our having service dogs is not a personal insult directed at you. It is not about you at all.

    • Nope! says:

      It’s like telling a white cane user that they’re taking up too much of the sidewalk because they want to start fights with other pedestrians.
      People should be grateful that they aren’t disabled and mind their own business, like Hank said!

  38. Kristin says:

    People on here are so argumentative. For one, unless you are an employee and allowing access to a business it is NONE of your business if someone else’s dog is a service dog or not. I have seen so many YouTube videos of supposedly service dog owners recording “fake” service dogs and publicly humiliating other people in businesses and even following them while recording! To me no respectable service dog owner would do this because they do not know the other persons situation! Not all disabilities are visible. Some dogs pant because they’re hot and not nervous or alerting their owner, etc. Don’t pretend to know everything because you don’t. Who are they to to know their situation cause if someone became hostile like this towards me I will not answer questions and I’m not required to do so to the public. As for the people that are just plain ignorant stating on here things like “your dog must be trained by a certified trainer, it can’t be carried by their handler, etc. If I want to put my service dog in my head….I will. If it’s doing it’s trained task then it’s none of your business. As for people staring there are no papers for service dogs you’re correct ALTHOUGH some handlers find it’s not worth the hassle arguing with ignorant gatekeepers about papers WE know don’t exist but they think do so some people get them just to please these people. I don’t have this because I don’t want to spend my money on them but to each their own. I prefer to hand out ADA cards that state my rights as a person with a disability.

  39. B Person says:

    I’m disabled and have been declared so by three surgeons, the state and federal government. I share with no one my disabilities. I don’t need to carry any paper work or explain to anyone what my disabilities are or the medications I need. My dogs are trained by me and will remain so with no explanation needs to be divulged to anyone. They are my right to own and train to respond to my needs, as every service animals need are never the same as the next the same as not everyone shares the same issues. For all of you who share the opinion that the training done by a certified trainer, well that’s ridiculous and for someone to have to divulge what the dogs specific role is, is also ridiculous. That means I need to explain my medical issues and needs to a perfect stranger, so that you understand my service dogs role. It’s my right to travel as I please and as my needs warrant without explaining myself anyone at anytime. As far as aggressive dogs that shouldn’t happen but neither should self governing people who think they have the right to approach me or my two service beagles to find out what their jobs are. You’re probably the same people that think that you have the right to approach a handicapped person and ask for paperwork explaining their disability when they use a handicapped parking spot. Try adjusting your schedule to fill your time instead of minding other folks business. Leave handicapped folks alone, they’ve been through enough and have a hard enough time getting by on a day to day, without swatting people noses for poking it into business that isn’t theirs. As for all of you high dollar trainers posting on here, it’s obvious your complaints are because if you had enough $10,000 animals to train you wouldn’t have time to post all this B.S. on here. Btw approach myself and my dogs to inquire what my dogs duties are and my dogs biting will be the least of your worries. It not your right however privacy is mine and I do bite when somebody infringes on them. So I would advise when you see a service animal, no matter how you think it should be acting, mind your oqn business and go about your way. Your part the problem not a governing body and certainly not a solution to making a handicapped persons life harder than it already is. For those of you posting governing opinions you’re shameful people and when you look in the mirror I hope you see that until you can see your faults and errors of your ways, instead of interrogating others to see what faults they have.

  40. Ken willey says:

    I see all this information about dogs problem is you folks don’t look at health of the owner, there is no possible way that the rules that you both have put up on how to spot a fake service dog encompasses all the variables with healthcare the different types of disabilities and the use of these dogs run the gamut and a dog in a cart for a cancer patient with anxiety is perfectly okay, a dog for hearing is another example. people that don’t understand a pay and the needs of patients or diseases and disabilities shouldn’t be making rules for what we call medicine and that’s are service dogs.

  41. Yi says:

    Fake Service Dogs are not just a problem in America. Those who are objecting to carrying ID, I do not understand. The ID I carry is not on public display and only pulled out for people entitled to enquire. The ID has the Government insignia, a photo of dog and handler, the name of the dog and handler and on the rear, simplified legislation with a website and 9-5 phone number for if needed. It is a little like carrying a driver’s licence, but with less information. It does not disclose anything that can not be legally asked. It does not say why I have a Service Dog, just that the dog is a real Service Dog and has legislative access. Like all IDs it can be faked, but if somebody wants to go to the trouble of faking an ID they will but it would cut down the number of fake Service Dogs. Unfortunately, these cards are not national and not accepted across State lines as stupid as that is. Being able to show that card stops people in their tracks and heaps of delays and explaining and educating. I know people who have made their own ‘business cards’ with the simplified legislation and some simple education which they hand out when asked for ID to safe them the “explanation and education” time.. Because not every real Service Dog handler has ID, the door is still open to fakes and fakes are a growing problem making it harder and harder for the non-fakes.

  42. RealityCheck04 says:

    I like a well behaved dog, but am also highly allergic to them. It infuriates me to see a dog being hauled around in a shopping cart! Other unsuspecting people come along and use that cart. They put their groceries where your dog has been scooting to scratch it’s butt on the wires! Some, like myself, have severe allergies. Who knows what all the tiny babies whose mother must place them in the cart will suffer from their exposure? I always will report the store to Health Departments when I see them being placed in the carts! I will also contact the company whose store it is, and give them the lowest rating possible. If your dog is not on a leash and runs at me, I will likely swing my purse into it’s face, while yelling …yes, YELLING ….CONTROL YOUR DOG!!! Meanwhile, I saw a man three days ago, with an unleashed German Shepherd in a grocery store. That dog stayed within two feet of the man at all times. The man had some sort of muscular disability and was shaking almost uncontrollably . His merchandise required three bags. He placed one, tied at the top, on the floor in front of the dog. He picked up the other two, one in each hand, and commanded the dog to carry. That’s exactly what the dog did. More power to that man and his dog!!

  43. DabblerandaDog says:

    I know this is an older article, but I just stumbled upon it. And I felt the need to clarify some common misconceptions.

    As a person with a disability and a service dog, this post upset me, because even though my service dog is task trained and obeys his training, he is not a machine and makes mistakes. I constantly worry that someone will see him on these off days because of posts like this and I will be judged as having a “fake” service dog. My SD is an Australian Cattle Dog (aka Blue Heeler/Queensland Heeler). That breed is known for being hard headed and distrustful of strangers. The breed is generally not reccommended as suitable for SD duty for these attributes. But just as not every golden retriever or labrador is SD material, some Blue Heelers are very good at being SDs. Mine has very atypical Blue Heeler behaviour and while hard headed and devoted to me, he loves other people and children to the point that his training to ignore other people while on duty was very difficult. I have been described as hard headed and mistrustful, so he and I work well together.

    Examples of things that have happened over the years: My SD has had a bathroom accident in a public place/store. He was sick and since they can’t verbalize this to humans and as a predator animal, often hide symptoms. Being a responsible handler, I cleaned up the poop. Have you never vomited, pooped /peed your pants because something was wrong? It is unfair to expect that simply because a SD has a single accident and you witness it, that said SD is a “fake”.

    We also had problems 2 years after his initial training where he was starting to be wary of other dogs in public. He has been attacked by another dog, lunged at, growled at, and barked at by other SDs. He was reactive towards other dogs in public and would not take his eyes off them. I thought I was going to have to wash him, but found a trainer who helped us work through this and get him over his distrust of strange dogs (I have 2 non-SDs at home and many friends with pet dogs and he is never aggressive with them). We still have days where he can’t stop staring at the strange dog. We use it as a training oportunity with treats and if I have none we simply exit the area.

    Sometimes a piece of food dropped on floor in a restuarant is tempting. We correct the behaviour and re-enforce training.

    A service dog is a full time commitment between both dog and handler. I have bad days. So does he. But we are a team that works together to overcome challenges. I know some handlers get their SD from organizations that train the dog for them and others like myself do the training themselves. But any dog or human that does not refresh their training is going to get rusty at the finer points of public access. Your medical personel, teachers, and other professionals have to complete additional refresher training on a regular basis. My own job requires annual HAZWOPER and OSHA training and bi-annual first-aid/CPR classes.

    Let us not forget that labeling any SD team that may slip up and do something from this list without knowing the situation of that team as “fake” service dogs is unfair and in some cases can lead to discrimination of the person with the disability.

    Businesses can protect themselves under ADA law and are allowed to ask the handler to come back without the service dog if the SD is behaving aggressively or is disruptive or a danger to the public. But care must be taken to make reasonable accommodations for the handler if this is the case.

    Do not even get me started on the confusion of service dog, emotional support animal, and therapy dog. I will say the differwnces are in training and legal protection. The general public is so misinformed about all of this it has led to people making ridiculous lists to determine “fakes”.

    Yes there are people out there who are abusing their priveleges, it makes it harder for those of us who need their service dogs to get through the day. But labeling any team as “fake” because you witness it having a bad day is not acceptable. If you are not a business owner/manager or service dog team it doesn’t concern you. Stop judging other SD teams because they have an off day.

    Thank you for listening. I hope that this may help someone who takes the time to read my reply.

  44. Opal Bell says:

    my service dog is a mini Yorkie I carry her everywhere because she cuddles with me when my PTSD comes on that’s how shes trained she also sniffs the air and lets me know if it’s safe she doesn’t like attention when I’m holding her shes 18 yrs old don’t have accidents inside I hate that people fake a service dog and I trained my dog to my needs only time she barks is if she senses something wrong with a person or she senses I’m stressed and she always looks around

  45. Bee Paloma says:

    Most of these are pretty spot on but you may want to do some more research on Number one, number two, and number four, as the information you have given is incorrect. I can explained why.
    #1 You can carry your SD if it helps for detection. For instance if you are a diabetic patient you could carry a small SD close to your face so it can smell your breath more effectively.
    #2 If the task of the SD are interfered with because of a leash. It is very likely you will see a SD with no leash on. They will still be the Very well behaved and helpful dog. They will just not be restricted by a leash.
    #4 If you hear a well trained SD whimpering or making little sounds, that could very well be a response to the handler’s issues. Different SD’s trigger differently to let their handlers know something is wrong. Normally speaking, if the SD has escalated to making noise the Handler is having an issue.
    Thank you for putting this out it helps protect those of us with SD’s.

  46. Patrick Campbell says:

    Look this is simple. I do not understand why our lawmakers can’t fix this problem.

    #1 Pets are pets and the term Emotional Support Animal is ambiguous and needs to be eliminated.
    #2 Service animals need to be trained and there needs to be a registry for all service animals.
    #3 Cats are not service animals and they can’t be trained
    #4 There needs to be consideration to people who have disabilities like severe allergic reactions to pet dander. This is no different than people who have disabilities to peanuts. If it is a trained, certified dog providing a service, then the owner of a rental property will have to eat the costs of cleaning up, but NON-TRAINED CERTIFIED ANIMALS must have a deposit/fee associated with their stay.
    #5 All trained and certified animals must have their state or federal ID with them at all times, AND their service harness needs to be certified and universal so that people will not right away that it is a real service animal. This should put a stop to the Amazon crowd who buy “service animal” harnesses just to bypass the laws.
    #6 Owners must have a legitimate disability and also have an ID. This will eliminate these “certificate mills” where you can go pay $20 online and print out a certificate at home. No more of these phone interviews with out legitimate medical care for the disability.

  47. RT says:

    I know I’m late to this hot mess of a comment pool but I can’t help but say my piece. All of you people talking about your service dogs national, state, county and city registrations, your IDs, certifications, badges and papers are complete wackadoos. You’re the people that make my life a living hell.
    Granted there are schools out there that do train legitimate service dogs. However, the ADA, the only national governing rule makers that matter in the US, do NOT recognize the certificates that you get from those schools. The ADA does NOT recognize ANY service dog certificates at this time. Will they in the future? It’s possible. Contact your congressman and ask them to change the laws. It’s highly unlikely they’ll do that though as it goes against civil rights and they’d have lawsuits up the booty hole. Other countries do recognize the certificates from certain schools but they do NOT recognize the crap printed offline. Nor do they recognize the bull crap you buy online. Anything that you can pay a nominal fee for and get shipped to your house is worth just that. If you print a “service dog” certificate that you paid, let’s say, $49.95 for it’s just a piece of paper worth $49.95.
    Now think back to that $49.95 piece of paper. It may sneak your dog into places you want to snuggle with your fur baby. That’s real cute, right? So sweet. Yeah, but then there’s me. The disabled person with a legitimate service dog who is sitting at my doctors office, of all places, waiting to go in to my appointment. (This is a real experience btw that happened last Monday.) I’m sitting in the waiting room and security walks up and asks me if my dog is a service dog. I say yes. He then asks where my paperwork is. I ask “what paperwork.” He says “paperwork saying he’s a service dog.” I inform him “there is no such thing a “service dog paperwork”” and hand him a informational card. He asked “how am I to know your dog’s a real service dog because other people have badges, certificates and papers with ID numbers on them.” I said, “those are fake, anyone can pay a fee and print those offline.” He kept asking “well how do I know yours is real and those are fake?” I said “I know it’s dumb, but if you read the card you’ll see there are only two questions you’re allowed to ask me.” He skimmed the card and then asked, “well who trained the dog? Where was your dog trained?” I repeated myself. “If you read the card you’ll see that there are only two questions you’re allowed to ask me.” He asked “well how do I know you’re a certified trainer? Where’s your certification?” At this point I was getting agitated and my dog was sensing it and got between us. I’m pretty sure he took that as him being untrained because he backed away and pointed. I told my dog it was okay and to go back. I then informed him I went to school for this and have been training dogs for the past 20+ years. Regardless of that the ADA allows disabled people to train their own dogs. So I don’t need to show him anything. My doctor who I am seeing today says and knows I’m disabled and the government deemed me disabled. That said, in the eyes of the ADA, is good enough for me to train my own dog. He took that as me saying my doctor has my certificate and asked “so your doctor has your dogs certificate?” Then said “because I can’t allow you to bring an emotional support animal in here.” We then went back and forth over the same bull while I showed him the actual laws.
    This conversation went on for about 15 minutes because people with their fake dogs and their fake $49.95 papers, IDs, vests and stupid badges. I showed him the ADA site on my phone. I showed him the state specific site. None of that mattered to him because of all the people that came in with their stupid fake crap.
    That man harassed me because of people like you that want to bring your dog with you. People that want to FAKE having a DISABILITY so you can spend more time with your PET. Do you know what I would freaking give to not have a disability? Do you understand that it’s not a pleasure to HAVE to bring a MEDICAL DEVICE with you EVERYWHERE you go? Because that’s what they are. They’re not just cute furry friends. They’re life saving medical devices. Don’t get me wrong I love my dog to death but there are so many times I’d love to go out and be by myself. Just once. To be able to leave and not have to worry about whether or not he’s been fed and pottied, had enough stimulation, is he groomed properly, do I have all his gear, will I need to bring different attire in case the weather changes.
    Then I have to deal with the people when I’m out. People are brazen as is and you fake service dog handlers are making them worse. Fake handlers don’t mind when their dog is pet. I’ve had people yell and curse at me for not letting me pet my dog. One time a guy got right in my face. Why because “that other lady let me pet her service dog, you, ******* *****!” I look and the dog was running around the store getting pets from everyone. Was he a service dog that was off duty? Maybe, but if that’s the case he shouldn’t have been in the store. My dog was not off duty and he was doing a job. You want to pet him. Wait until you see us at the park. Would you push a wheelchair out from under someone? No? Okay then, no you can’t pet my dog. If you answered yes the answers still no because you’re an ignorant arse and I would never let someone like you touch my dog even if he wasn’t working. So move along.
    I’ll end my rant with the best compliment my dog has ever received. It was from a store clerk that was stocking shelves. She came up to me and said “I just wanted to apologize for approaching your dog. It’s just that he was so still laying there I was actually going over because I thought someone had spilled something. He’s so quiet and well behaved. I wish all the service dogs were like that.”

    • Nope! says:

      Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

      If you are disabled and you “give in” by purchasing fake papers, IDs, vests, etc. YOU ARE HURTING OTHER DISABLED PEOPLE!!!

      RT, I’m sorry that you had to deal with such an ignorant, insensitive, uncaring “security” guard! It sounds like that person should never have been hired as security (no knowledge of the law) or by a medical office (no compassion or semblance of what we used to call “bedside manner”)!

  48. Diane says:

    I am very sorry for the inconvenience that fake dogs have caused for legitimate service dogs and handlers as well as business owners. For that reason, we do need to have a system of identification. Unfortunately, a lot of websites are making money by printing tags and badges that mean nothing. I have a note from my psychiatrist allowing me to have a “gentle natured” dog for emotional support. That only gives me rights to fly on a plane and have her in my place of living. A lot of folks confuse emotional support animals with service dogs. And, I am very suspicious of owners who say that they trained their service dog on their own. Real service dogs go through lengthly training and it does cost upwards of $30,000 for the charitable organization. It has gotten so out of control in my city (Las Vegas) that there are Pitbulls in the grocery store. The only solution is going to have to be a nationalized license for the dog. That doesn’t have to reveal the nature of the disability. This has put everybody in a quandary. Nobody wants to break the law by asking questions. And, nobody wants untrained dogs in places where they should not be. By the way, I am also a dog trainer so I respect all of the laws surrounding these animals and the people that need them.

    • Nope! says:

      Not only is this wrong and unconstitutional, it is really none of your business. You said yourself that you aren’t disabled, so count your blessings and leave disabled people alone.
      A service dog can be trained by anyone.
      A pitbull can be a service dog.
      No service animal certification exists, nor is it required.
      It isn’t disabled people’s fault that non-disabled people are confused. I couldn’t work complicated electronic devices used by blind people, because I am not blind. It is NOT MY BUSINESS TO REGULATE SUCH THINGS. The law is very clear. It is wrong to suggest that disabled people should have their constitutional rights trampled on just because you are prejudiced towards certain breeds and feel uncomfortable in the grocery store because of it.

  49. Audrey says:

    Indoor accident make the dog disable. Always taken care of the pet dog. Thank you for the sharing this post.

  50. Ashley says:

    That is some interesting information about dogs. I would also like to know about online dog training courses. how to choose one? Brain training for dogs is basically one of them. I would appreciate your thoughts regarding this.

  51. D says:

    Dogs who stop seizures and panic attacks are held to the chest. I wish people would stop saying service dogs are always leashed and on the ground. It makes everyone think important service dogs are fakes just because some jerk puts it on facebook. Educate yourself.

  52. Darlene says:

    I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is my diabetic alert service dog. I am handicapped and have a mobility scooter when I go out. She sits down by my feet and has alerted me many times. She has 3 different alerts she uses and barking is only done if I’m sleeping.

  53. Karen says:

    My son is agoraphobic. His dog is the only reason he can leave the house because she licks his face and intervenes before he has a full scale panic attack. She is also has a deformed front paw which makes walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time difficult for her. So we have a stroller for her, or she is carried by my son so she can do her job by being close to his face. Lists like these make life harder for people that need a service dog that doesn’t meet the stereotypical “look” of what is expected of a seeing eye dog, for example. This article should be taken down because it contributes to the idea that you should second guess someone’s disability or their need for accommodation. As long as the dog is under control of the disabled person and does not cause problems for other people you should just mind your business about whether or not the service dog is leashed, or in a stroller, or carried. It really isn’t your business.

  54. Love Cameron says:

    We are at the point where we need a national registry for the service animal. This in no ways violates the Disabled person’s rights because we are demanding documentation for the DOG not the owner / handler

    Secondly: before a dog can be registered it has to be professionally TRAINED. A psyched out person training their own dog doesn’t fly

    Third: owners of service dogs must be required to have LIABILITY insurance.

    It’s far too easy for folx to get a service dog because there is zero hassle involved.

    Dogs BITE. it’s what they do . It’s their NATURE !!!

    So as long as someone has a service dog , there is a chance of a human being getting injured and traumatized.

    Additionally, service dogs need to be re-assessed once every 2 years at minimum.


    By the way, I have Autism and receive SSI. deal with it.

  55. Love Cameron says:

    We are at the point where we need a national registry for the service animal. This in no ways violates the Disabled person’s rights because we are demanding documentation for the DOG not the owner / handler.

    Secondly: before a dog can be registered it has to be professionally TRAINED. A psyched out person training their own dog doesn’t fly.

    Third: owners of service dogs must be required to have LIABILITY insurance.

    It’s far too easy for folx to get a service dog because there is zero hassle involved.

    Dogs BITE. it’s what they do . It’s their NATURE !!!

    So as long as someone has a service dog , there is a chance of a human being getting injured and traumatized.

    Additionally, service dogs need to be re-assessed once every 2 years at minimum.


    By the way, I have Autism and receive SSI. deal with it. I don’t want dogs around me unless it’s absolutely necessary. This will cut down on all Fraud.

    Also it’s medical devices one can purchase for diabetics to sense their blood sugar level. You don’t need a doggone DOG, doggone it.

    I have severe panic attacks to and MANAGE them just fine. If your panic attacks are that bad you can’t leave home without a dog you need a conservator / legal guardian.

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