If you own a dog and would like them to qualify as a service animal assistant, you will first need to complete a Service Dog Certificate. This certificate will show that your animal has passed the necessary tests and requirements expected of a service animal. A Certificate for a Service Dog will also describe the specific types of assistance the dog has been trained for, such as assisting those with PTSD, deafness, or other disability that requires aid.

Alternate Names:

  • Service Dog Training Certificate;
  • Service Dog Registration Certificate.

To take a look at the fillable blank Service Dog Certificate templates that we offer please check out our library below.

What Does a Service Dog Certificate Look Like?

The requirements for a Service Dog Certificate are as follows:

  1. The association or registry that can confirm the dog has passed all necessary requirements to be a service animal.
  2. Wording such as “Certificate of Registration” or “Certificate of Completion” for a service dog.
  3. The name of the dog that completed the certification.
  4. The owner of the dog or the person completing the dog’s registration. For example, the dog may be registered by a trainer but later given to a family or individual who is in need of a service animal.
  5. The date the certification was awarded. 
    • If there are any expiration dates this will need to be clearly written under the certification date so the owner or trainer is aware that the dog will need to be recertified later.
  6. The name of the person who verified the dog completed all necessary tests to be registered as a service dog.

Be sure to keep a copy of this certificate for official forms and proof that the dog is listed as a service animal.

How to Get a Service Dog Certificate?

To get a dog certified as a service dog, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Find a professional organization that is certified in assessing, testing, and registering dogs as service animals.
    • For example, organizations such as Assistance Dogs International or 4 Paws for Ability are able to complete this assessment of a dog and award them with a Service Dog Certificate;
    • You will want to make sure the organization you use is accredited and trustworthy so that your dog is properly registered as a service animal.
  2. Contact a professional dog trainer from that group to assess your dog’s temperament, behavior, and reaction to situations in a variety of environments. 
    • Since service dogs can be used for a variety of tasks, they can help people with physical or cognitive difficulties;
    • For example, a service dog that is trained to assist a blind person will be trained differently than a service dog that is trained to assist a person with epilepsy;
    • Service dogs will also need to have a calm temperament, so dogs that are energetic or skittish will not make a good service dog that will need to be paying constant attention.
  3. If your dog will require additional training to meet the qualifications to be a service animal, you will want to work with a trainer so the dog can learn how to assist a person for the person’s disability. 
    • You are also able to train the dog yourself if you decide you do not want to work with a trainer.
  4. Once they have been fully trained you will need to have them run through a variety of test situations to show the dog remembers what their job will be.
    • For example, if this dog will be assisting a family member who has a disability, they will need to understand which specific person in the family needs assistance and when they will need to be “on alert.”
  5. If the dog passes all tests and assessments, they can then be considered a service dog and the organization helping you with the process will be able to help you find the appropriate leash and vest that will notify people in a public setting that your dog is a service animal, which will allow them to come with you into stores, restaurants, and other public spaces.

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