Are Service Dog Certifications Fake? Most Likely Positively

Fake Service Dog Certifications

Service dog certifications may or may not be fake, but they are likely fake. It depends on what we mean by “service dog certifications.” If we are talking about service dog registration certifications, then they are likely fake, because service dog registrations are not required for service dogs.

Why would anyone get a fake driver’s license from Texas to drive in Alberta, when they’ll never going to be in Alberta? That’s exactly what it’s like.

No legitimate service dog certification or registration system exists. People with disabilities who use service dogs don’t need them for any reason.

@working.collie.remmiOpens in a new tab.

Professional service dog training certifications

Some people may have a service dog certification from a trainer or professional training school organization, and that is something completely different. That would indicate that the dog has been trained and has passed all necessary requirements to behave appropriately in public, etc.

Service dog certifications are not required

It’s good to understand that service dog certifications aren’t required for any reason. So it begs the question, if they aren’t required, then why are there websites trying to sell them online, if not to simply make money as a scam? Why would anyone buy a piece of paper from the internet that they don’t need and doesn’t hold any legal weight?

are service dog certifications and registrations fake
@lucytheservicesibeOpens in a new tab.

Public access rights for service dogs

For public access rights in the United States, people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities ActOpens in a new tab. may take fully trained service dogs to public places and establishments, and those businesses and entities are not allowed to ask for registration and/or certification. They are only allowed to ask two questions, those being:

  • Is your dog a service dog required because of a disability? And,
  • What has your dog been trained to do?

That’s it, that’s all. Whether it is right or wrong, good or bad, this is just the way it is right now. Things may change in the future, but right now, nobody needs a service dog registration certificate. To read more about the Americans with Disabilities Act public access rights that are the same for all states, check out our article.

Housing & Fair Housing Act

If we are talking about housing situations under the Fair Housing ActOpens in a new tab., again, people with service dogs and emotional support animals – referred to as “assistance animals” under the FHA, are again not required to have registration or certification.

All that is required is a doctor’s note or letter stating that the animal is required because of a disability. Again, buying a random piece of paper from a “service dog registration certification” website is not required and does not turn a dog into an assistance dog.

Air travel with service dogs

Service dog certifications and registrations are not required for air travel with service dogs, either. There is paperwork required ahead of air travel with a fully trained service dog (check out our article on service dogs in training and air travel) but these, of course, do not include fake service dog certifications.

psychiatric service dog
Psychiatric Service Dog @sarge.in.serviceOpens in a new tab.

Conclusion

So are service dog certifications fake? Probably. If someone is trying to use one to gain access to a place that doesn’t allow pets, but does allow service dogs, then you may begin to wonder if that person themselves is a fake; trying to pass off their pet as a service dog. Real people with real disabilities with real service dogs will know that service dog certifications and registrations are not needed and are likely fake, used by fake people. That is another sad story for a different day.

Sam Nelson

Sam is an experienced writer, advocate for people with disabilities and mental health, dog lover, artist, philosopher, and generally complicated human being.

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