The Best Service Dog Training in Mississippi

dog by mississippi river

Mississippi, like all states, must follow the federal-wide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which protects public access for service animals. The ADA states that service animals must be able to always accompany their handler for free in public spaces, so long as the service animal isn’t a public safety risk (being aggressive or destructive).

Having a service dog with you can boost your confidence when it comes to being in public, whether you need physical assistance with your balance or you find that crowded areas exacerbate symptoms like anxiety.

Mississippi does have its own law covering public access for service dogs, called the Mississippi Support Animal Act. The Mississippi Support Animal Act only covers service dogs for physical disabilities, like vision loss and mobility. Even though this state act doesn’t cover service dogs for other purposes, the ADA still applies to the state of Mississippi, so you’ll still have legal protection.

While you aren’t required by the state of Mississippi to register your service dog, doing so can make certain situations easier to navigate. With service dog registration, you can simply show your service dog’s certification to anyone in public trying to ask intrusive questions about your service dog. When you register with US Service Animals, you also get access to our legal team who can help you navigate any sticky situations with landlords or other authority figures.

What to Look for When Choosing Service Dog Training

There are many things to take into account when you’re searching for the perfect service dog trainer! One of the most important considerations to make is how much experience your potential trainer has. A trainer with a lot of experience is going to be able to communicate effectively with both you and your pup, ensuring that lessons are consistent and that the training sticks. Making sure that the trainer has experience with service dogs is also crucial, as service dog training can be complex (especially with complicated tasks!)

Something else to take note of is whether or not the dog trainer has any breed restrictions, especially if you’re planning on training a dog whose breed tends to be targeted by these restrictions. Similarly, you should also make sure that the dog trainer trains for tasks that you’ll need your service dog to be trained for. For example, medical alert is sometimes not covered by dog trainers because it’s a more complex task.

It’s also important to consider how much time you’ll be able to devote to dog training each week. Commute time should be included in your estimations, so making sure the training facility is close to you if you’re visiting regularly is definitely a good idea. Many people don’t have the time to drive for hours one way for weekly dog training lessons, even if it is for their service dog.

Finally, wait list times should also be taken into consideration when you’re looking at service dogs. This is more pertinent to organizations that train service dogs for you, but some dog trainers do have a wait list or waiting period before you can enroll with them.

Online vs In-Person Service Dog Training

Online service dog training enables you to train your dog on your own schedule without having to take a commute into account. When you go through a virtual training program, it’s often more cost-effective than working with an in-person trainer. However, if you’re planning on training a puppy, it’s important to make sure they’re getting proper socialization, which is built into in-person training.

In addition to socialization, in-person training has the benefit of getting direct dog training pointers in real time. In-person training is particularly good for people who have never trained a dog before, especially since service dog training can be more complicated than standard obedience. However, in-person training can be more expensive and likely won’t offer the flexibility in scheduling that a video module program will.



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