Common Challenges for Service Dog Handlers

Common Challenges for Service Dog Handlers

The most common challenge for service dog handlers is what to do when an establishment denies your dog access. First, make sure that you are in compliance with the law. It sounds silly to even state this, but I’ve seen a lot. For example, not all states support a service dog in training (SDiT) for public access. Also, you have to remove your dog if it is disruptive.

The Most Common Challenges for Service Dog Handlers

  • You may have to educate businesses that don’t know the law. You can carry business-card-size handouts if you struggle with confrontation. Unfortunately, if you have invisible disabilities you face more questions than I do. I have both visible and invisible disabilities.
  • It’s unnerving to get questioned — plain and simple. These challenges for service dog handlers are troubling. But it helps to prepare for those situations ahead of time.
  • Corporate businesses question me more often than mom-and-pop shops. My most recent “confrontation and demand for paperwork” occurred in a well-known restaurant chain. I explained the law to the manager and I also contacted the corporate office afterward.
  • Document everything. Every time I work with a dog in public, the dog is wearing a GoPro camera. The GoPro isn’t necessary, but it is very useful for documentation.

Other Challenges

People talking to service dogs is another common challenge for service dog handlers. I personally have the most issues with decorated vests. People don’t always read what is written on a vest, collar, or leash. Other examples are poodles with a different haircut, colored hair, or uncommon breeds. Things like these most definitely draw more attention. Understand that you may need to ask people to not distract your dog more often than you would otherwise.

ID Cards, Certificates, and so on

Certificates, ID cards, papers, or documentation are NOT requirements. Wearing a vest is also not a requirement. According to the ADA Regulations for Service Dogs, the only requirement is, that the dog performs at least one task to mitigate your disabilities. Showing fake and unnecessary ID cards and/or irrelevant registries isn’t helpful. It creates a bigger challenge for the next service dog handler.  They may face questions if they don’t have those fake papers.

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Services and Area

We are located in Southern California and train service dogs nationwide. Hence, Total K9 Focus currently offers local service dog training in several areas. Riverside County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, and San Diego County. In addition, we offer our service dog board and train program and all virtual training services nationwide.

Are you looking to get your own service dog? You came to the right place! We are experienced service dog trainers. Consequently, we can help you with any service dog request. For many of our clients, we train a service dog from puppyhood. However, we also evaluate the service dog potential of existing pets or rescue dogs. Our flagship product is our board and train program. In addition, we offer owner-trained service dog support. Further, provide virtual service dog training worldwide.

Further, we can add tasks to an existing service dog you already have. Or help you solve a tasking, training, or behavioral challenge you may face with your current service dog. We offer several service dog financing options to make it possible for you. We recommend you start by reading our article on what makes a good service dog. Next, review the Service Dog Consultation page to understand the high-level process. Finally, once you're ready to move forward, please use our service dog contact form to schedule your free consultation.