A working dog is a canine working animal, i.e., a type of dog that is not merely a pet, but learns and performs tasks to assit its human companion.
What is a service dog?
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.
Why do you call people handlers?
The term "handler" is an industry term and it refers to the human companion of a working dog. As a pair, the handler and the dog make up a "working dog team."
Can I train my own service dog?
Yes! It is possible to train your own service dog if you are willing to commit to the time needed (approx. two hours a day) to transform a pet into a working dog in addition to hours of socialization and exposure to many environments. Your goal should be training to the Assistant Dog International Standards for public access. Remember a service dog must be able to remain calm and endure multiple stressful situations and distractions.
3K9 does not recommend training your own dog without the guidance of a Dog Training Professional.
Mary Mcknight of Service Dog Academy is a great choice for this guidance.
Can my dog be a working dog?
Maybe. Each dog is evaluated for temperament, drive, natural ability, and personality in order to determine their ability to perform the necessary tasks to become a working dog.
Can my dog be a Service dog?
Possibly, but probably not. We do occasionally accept owner trained dogs if they pass the extensive evaluation for temperament, drive, natural ability, personality and environmental suitability. In addition, the dog must be able to perform the tasks needed by the handler in order to increase his/her quality of life.
Here are a few examples of the quesitons we ask when evaluating a potential service dog:
Is the dog able to retrieve heavy items, or pull a door open? Small dogs are not.
Is the dog able to provide Mobility Assistance? Only large dogs have the strength to do so.
Is the dog aggressive? An aggressive dog is never suitable as Service Dog.
Will 3K9 train a Seeing Eye dog?
No, 3K9 does not train Seeing Eye dogs. As one of the first types of “Service Dog” there are many amazing organizations offering this training. 3K9 chooses to focus on the many disabilities that benefit from canine assistance that have not yet received the level of recognition as the “Seeing Eye Dog.”
Can I see my dog during training?
Sadly, no. Much like summer camp or boot camp it is imperative that the dog’s focus is on training and the experience. Each interaction between Handler and Canine before training is completed can potentially set the training timeline back by weeks.
Can my dog be more than one type of “Working Dog”?
Yes, probably. This is determined on a case by case basis. During your evaluation please discuss this with a trainer.
Can any Breed be a Service Dog?
Any breed CAN be a service dog. We do not discriminate. However, certain breeds have natural abilities that make them more suitable for specific disabilities.
What Rights does a service dog have?
What Rights does a service dog have?A fully trained service dog paired with their handler has the same rights as the general public. The American Disabilities Act provides federal protection to handlers and their service dogs. This protection supersedes state or local laws.
What is the difference in Service Dog, Therapy Dog and Emotional Support Animal?
A Service Dog provides task assistance to ONE handler in many environments and is legally able to enter anywhere the general public has access.
A Therapy dogs provides comfort and tasks to MULTIPLE people in select environments including hospitals, schools, libraries, and nursing homes.
ESAs (Emotional Support Animals) provide emotional support to their owners, but do not perform tasks and have no legal rights outside the home.
How long does it take to receive a Service Dog?
This varies.We do not always provide service dogs based on a first-come-first-served basis.Rather we focus on compatibility between service dog teams. Time averages between three months to one year.
Can’t I just buy a vest?
Anyone can buy a vest. Not every dog can conduct themselves to service dog standards in public or provide necessary tasks to their disabled handler. It is a CRIME to take a fake service dog in public. It is punishable with substantial fines, jail time, and the possibility losing your dog. Individuals who need service dogs face angry store owners and discrimination daily as a result of bad experiences with fake service dogs. Please respect trained working dog teams and do not masquerade your dog as a service dog.
What does the cost of your program cover?
The cost of the 3K9 Working Dogs Service Dog program covers everything listed on our Service Dogs Program page, including training for the working lifetime of your dog.
The cost of the 3K9 Working Dogs Therapy Dog program covers everything listed on our Therapy Dogs Program page, including training for the working lifetime of your dog.
Do you offer financial assistance?
Because we want to serve as many people as possible, we work hard to keep our programs as affordable as possible whitout jepordizing the quality of those programs. That said, we understand that a financial commitment of this size can be difficult for some. For that reason we provide as many resources as possible to help our clients including a packet of information on fundraising ideas that have proven successful for other handlers.