The Best Service Dog Training in Montana

dog in montana mountainsIf you’re interested in training or owning a service dog in Montana, then it is good to know about the laws that regulate service dogs. The most important law is called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This is a federal law and supersedes all state laws.

Where possible, you should abide by both state and federal laws. Luckily, Montana’s state laws are very similar to those put in place by the ADA. Both the ADA and Montana state law require that service dog users are allowed equal access to public areas.

Service dog users are also allowed to live with their service dogs in housing without any pet charges and can even live in housing where pets aren’t usually allowed. The Fair Housing Act is another law that protects these housing rights alongside the ADA and Montana law.

When you visit a business in Montana with your service dog, the employees are not allowed to ask about your disability. They can only ask if you need the dog because of a disability and what tasks your dog is trained to perform. Montana state law differs from the ADA in two notable ways. The first is that Montana law also protects service dogs in training and gives them the same rights as fully-fledged service dogs.

The second is that Montana law requires service dogs to wear visible identification such as a harness, collar, or leash. The ADA does not require service dogs to be labeled or wear any sort of identification. Many service dog users prefer to use identification so that the general public can easily tell their dog is a working animal and should be left alone.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the laws surrounding service dogs in Montana, let’s get to the training! We’ll let you know what to look for when choosing a trainer, the differences between online and in-person training, and finally, what the best training options in Montana are.

dog and woman by lake

What to Look for When Choosing Service Dog Training

Training your own service dog is a great way to save some money and bond with the dog. However, it can be a bit risky as not all dogs are cut out for service work, even those that initially seem like they are. That’s why it is important to find the right service dog trainer.

Working with a knowledgeable and experienced trainer can help increase your chances of success. Many trainers will help you pick out a dog or can assess whether a dog you already own might be fit for service work. There are many different types of training methods, and you’ll want to know what you’re comfortable with.

Some trainers used balanced training, which pairs rewards with punishment. Others use tools like e-collars or prong collars, which can do more harm than good when used improperly. Lastly, there are force-free trainers who work with a dog’s motivations rather than using fear, intimidation, or physical force. USSA’s courses are all force-free!

The last thing you’ll want to consider is how far you’re willing to travel. Luckily, there are many great online training opportunities for those who do not live near any service dog trainers.



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