Friday, February 14, 2014

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions


If you do not live in BC Canada, skip to 5. 

1. Does VIAD certify service dogs in BC, Canada? 
No, we help people select and train their own (owner-trained) assistance and service dogs online. The organizations who do certify dogs supply the dogs to the client. They do not train owner-trained service dogs. 

As of Jan 18, 2016, there is a 40 point assessment test that owners can take with their dog. There is a fee and you need to fill out several forms: a BC veterinarian, BC medical Doctor and a general application.

If you would like to apply for a dog that is provided by an organization, you will need to contact each one to see if they are currently accepting applications (some periodically don't as they are full) and to find out if they will certify the type of service dog you need. 

Each of them have their own process. 
  • what their application process is? 
  • are they currently accepting applications
  • what kinds of service dogs do they certify?
  • what their training process looks like?
  • how many hours do you and the dog get?
  • what the training and certification fee? 
  • how often you need to recertify with them? 
  • what do they supply etc?

2. What does the certification process for a service dog or assistance dog in BC, Canada look like and what documentation do you need?

Check this blog post:

3. Here is the assessment test to get certification of Owner-trained service dogs. While the certification is not mandatory under the Canadian law, if the police are called by a retailer, accommodation provider etc the law will be on your side when they arrive if you can show them the provincial certification. Otherwise, it is your obligation to prove that your dog has been trained as a service dog to mitigate your disability and that the team meets BC assessment standards. The retailer etc can also accuse you of bringing a fake service dog into public which carries a fine.

4. What Are the Standards for Service Dogs in BC?
For dogs that are trained through programs, they will continue to use their current testing approach. Owner-trained service dogs will need to pass this 40 point behaviour test. All 40 must be passed in order to earn certification. Page 2 and 3 provide a quick summary.

It is is very similar to the 12 point test given by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) accredited organizations, except the details have been teased out. This is great as it is less subjective by the tester.

5. How do I find a trainer who can help me train my own service dog or assistance dog in BC?
The foundation of a service dog is a healthy, well-adjusted, well-behaved dog who can perform needed tasks in public. Dogs that are fearful or aggressive in any situation will not be certified. Any good positive reinforcement-based trainer should be able to help you lay a good foundation to train your dog.

See blog post

Any of the trainers who are professional members of Vancouver Island Animal Trainers can help you start training your puppy or dog.

Also check out my youtube videos with all of the 'how to' for basic training, advanced and task training videos. The Assistance Dog task videos are at the bottom of the page.

Also, I have developed an online structured training program available for a low fee per class for those who prefer to work on their own or who live in remote areas. Support via web cam (Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts etc) is available.

6. Where can I find a list of tasks?

General Tasks

Psychiatric tasks

7. How to I find out what is on your blog?

Click on the Index 
Topics are usually grouped by number on the post.

Check the right side column for outside links.

or Search the blog. The Search function can be seen in the upper right column of the blog. 

If you have further questions: 
you can book a consult with Donna by phone or webcam (Skype or Facebook) for a reasonable hourly fee. Check out her website here.