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Common Questions

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How do I sign up?

To get started with us, simply click Sign Up and fill out the form. We’ll review your information and call you to set up an evaluation. After the evaluation, we will put together a schedule for training or dog walking.

Is the evaluation required? Do you do in-home evaluations?

The evaluation is required. It’s a way to get to know you and your dog, give you an assessment, make recommendations, and discuss your specific needs or challenges. It’s also a way for you to interview us. We prefer to conduct evaluations in public places because observing the dog when there are distractions gives us a much better sense of what we need to work on. That said, we can do in-home evaluations if you need.

What do I do if my dog is aggressive or anxious?

A general rule of thumb is if you are experiencing any of the behaviors listed on the Aggression Stopper page to sign up ASAP for a consultation.

Can I talk to you in person before I sign up?

Absolutely. We take phone calls from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. every night of the week.

Other trainers promise off-leash obedience from day one. Why do I need to do Level 1 and Level 2 with you?

Nitro K-9 offers professional-grade obedience training in a complete system that is designed to get your dog off-leash from the moment we start. However, we train all obedience on leash first, rather than starting with ecollars (as many of these trainers do), because that is how trust and relationship are established. The fact is, many of my clients never need to go through Level 2 to see off-leash results.

What is the difference between obedience for big dogs and obedience for little dogs?

The only difference between our two programs is the length of time of training sessions. Small dogs tend to have less stamina than large dogs. Keep in mind that all dogs are different, and if your small dog wants to go, go, go like a big one, we can make that happen!

Why do you train in parks and public places?

We conduct all our training in public places, and encourage you and your dog to do the same on practice days for one simple reason: people need their dogs to obey in the real world, and the real world is filled with distractions. Only by training in these real-world environments will you see real results.

How much will I need to practice?

Training a dog takes time and repetition, and your goal should be to train every day. Although this may seem daunting, even 10-15 minutes a day makes a huge difference. If you can train more, that’s even better. And remember, training is not something that happens just when you bring out the leash. Every interaction with your dog is an opportunity to reinforce what you’re learning with us.

What equipment will I need?

For Level 1 training, you will need a prong collar and a leash. We use Herm Sprenger collars exclusively, and we are big fans of Biothane leashes, although you can use any leather or biothane six-foot lead you want. We will make sure your dog is properly fitted when you start training with us. For Level 2 and advanced training, special equipment may be needed depending on individual training needs.

Do you sell the training equipment I need?

Yes. In fact, most of our clients just get the prong collar and leash from us during the evaluation or first lesson. We normally have anything you need in stock, or can have it drop shipped same day.

Why do I need to buy a special leash for training?

Our training requires a stiff lead. We use a pulley system in our leash work. We also feel a leash with a slightly better feel such as leather or Biothane perform better for training in any level or sport. These leashes are inexpensive but perform better than a more expensive nylon or designer leash.

From a handler’s perspective what is the difference between leather and Biothane?

The leather leads that we sell and recommend are handmade and lifetime guaranteed. They are much different from what you see in pet stores and are very tough to break in. If your ride horses and have a favorite saddle, you’ll know what I mean. Over time, the leather breaks in to your  specific handling style and are very comfortable to use. However, the drawback to leather leashes is weather–specifically rain and dampness.

The Biothane leads are very impressive because they are impervious to water and ice and fully functional under any conditions and over any terrain. If the lead drops into a puddle, lake or river, no problem: just grab it and go. They feel better than leather and are thoroughly tested by police, military, and civilian handlers. They require absolutely no maintenance and resist picking up stickers, thorns, and goatheads.

The 1/2″ wide material possesses 500 pound tensile strength and the 3/4″ wide material possesses 750 pound tensile strength.

My dog is over 35lbs; what size prong collar do I need?

We would recommend a 3MM or a 4MM Herm Springer. We will size your dog at evaluation and recommend the best fit for your dog.

My dog is under 35lbs; what size collar do I need?

We would recommend a 2.25MM or a 3MM Herm Springer. We will size your dog at evaluation and recommend the best fit for your dog.

My dog is over 35lbs what size leash do I need for level 1?

We would recommend a 6′ ¾ leather or Biothane professional grade training lead.

My dog is under 35lbs what size leash do I need for level 1?

We would recommend a 6′ 1/2 leather or Biothane professional grade training lead.

What is a service dog?

“A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to anxiety, or providing deep pressure comfort.

What is a Psychiatric Service dog?

Service Animal Defined by Title II and Title III of the ADA. A service animal means any dog trained by its handler, to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

What is the difference b/w a psychiatric service dog and an emotional support dog?

The psychiatric service dog has proper documentation from healthcare providers and is trained to an extremely high standard. Psychiatric service dogs are also federally protected for people with disabilities. Emotional support dogs are not allowed public access and have no federal protection.

How does training a service dog work with Nitro?

We start with a behavior assessment. In this meeting we will determine if your dog is able to perform in the way you need. We will assess your dog’s trainability, perform leash and temperament tests, discuss tasking, and then create a custom plan for you are your dog to succeed.

What are my responsibilities owning and training a service dog?

A service dog is protected by federal laws to be allowed access to public places such as stores, restaurants, theatres, etc. (anywhere its handler is allowed access to). The laws not only protect the handler and service animal from being denied access to those places, but also protects business owners from unruly service animals and/or “fraudulent” service animals. A business owner has the right to deny access to a service animal and handler team if they pose a direct threat to the health and/or safety to the establishment’s patrons or display poor or unacceptable behaviors. Below is a list of basic rules that must be followed to maintain access rights:

  • – The ADA requires the service animal to be under the complete control of its handler. This could be achieved using a leash, harness, or other tether mechanism. However, in cases where either the handler is unable to hold a tether because of a disability or its use would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, the service animal must be under the handler’s control by some other means, such as voice control or hand signals.
  • – The service animal MUST be housebroken- urinating or defecating in public places that are not appropriate would-be grounds for removal of the team from the establishment.
  • – The service animal must be vaccinated and licensed according to local state and county laws. Some counties will waive the fee of licensing under certain circumstances for service animals.
  • – The handler is responsible for the care of the service animal’s needs. This means they are solely responsible for the feeding, watering, and cleaning up after the service animal in an establishment.

Here are some basic guidelines to follow for the proper behavior of a service animal:

  • – Follow the “4 on the floor” rule. For example: no jumping, standing up on hind legs, or being placed in shopping carts.
  • – Keep a quiet profile. In some cases, a service dog may be trained to bark for an alert, which is perfectly acceptable. However, it is unacceptable for the dog to uncontrollably bark, growl, or whine while in an establishment.
  • – Always maintain control of the service animal. Most service animals are trained to stay close to its handler (i.e., under a chair, bench, or table when the handler is sitting, next to or in front of the handler in a “sit” or “down” when the handler is standing stationary). Allowing the service animal to run around or away from its handler is unacceptable.

Another thing to note is the size of the service animal. In some circumstances, a service animal may need to maintain contact or closeness to the handler to detect an alert. In this case, a smaller service animal may be held by the handler instead of walking.

Can you help me select a service dog?

Yes, please inquire if you have breeders about which you are thinking.

Can I have more than one service dog?

Yes. There is no law that says you cannot.

Can you sell me a fully trained service dog?

We do not offer fully trained dogs currently.

Does a service dog need a vest?

No, not in WA state. Be sure to always check local and state laws.

Does my service dog have to be trained by a professional?

No. WA State Law clearly defines a service animal as being “trained.” Training itself is not defined, and there is no requirement that the animal have a certain type of training, that the animal be certified, or that it be trained by a particular person or by a person having certification. Court cases have determined that the training needs to be more than obedience training or positive reinforcement that are given to family pets. A service animal must have training that sets it apart from a family pet; the service animal must be trained to engage in specific actions or tasks to assist its handler with a disability. This training requirement often eliminates “emotional support animals,” “therapy dogs,” and “comfort animals” from the definition of service animal. Before determining that an animal falls into one of these categories and excluding the animal, an inquiry should be made into what the animal is trained to do. However, if you are in a housing situation, federal law applies, because it has a more expansive definition that looks upon certain animals as reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities, with no training requirement.

Are there specific breeds that are better suited for PSD?

No. You must choose a dog that is breed for cooperation, calm and eager to please. That is also a reasonable size for your needs.

We prefer you choose a dog by temperament, size and working abilities.

Does a service dog in training have public access rights?

No, None.

What is a therapy dog?

Therapy dogs are used in hospitals and nursing homes to provide comfort and joy to those in need. They have no service dog rights.

What is tasking for a Psychiatric service dog?

Tasks or tasking is what your dog is trained to do to mitigate and aid in your disability. We see many service dogs may alert to incoming headaches or seizures, and some may push a button or stand in front of a handler for safety.

Are there breed restrictions for a service dog?

No.

Can a city require me to register my dog as a service dog?

No.

Is a service dog exempt from vaccines and having a license?

No.

Does it matter if the dog is Spayed or Neutered?

As a matter of practicality no. But this is best discussed with your Vet. A female in heat could cause you to be disqualified if you took the dog in public this way.

What type of medical documentation will be needed to support completion of the Psychiatric Service Dog certification and when do I need to have that (at beginning or end of training)?

We ask clients to give us the letter from their psychiatrist or doctor listing that they are disabled. The letter should also provide the tasking being trained for, Once the dog has successfully completed the program we will letter from your professional is also needed in conjunction with our letter to fly.

What does the testing and certification process look like once the dog is ready to test for Public Access?

We do not offer any testing for this as a service dog in training is not legal to be in public access. However, you can go to many dog friendly stores and airports and practice this on your own. There is not a federally recognized official certification needed or offered by Nitro K-9 LLC.

Do we have to complete the training to receive DOT paperwork or once the dog is doing some level of tasking will you approve it?

Yes, the training must be complete and be successful. However, some airlines have a service dog in training programs. We are happy to write you a letter to participate in those programs if your dog is temperamentally ready and trained well enough to cause no harm or public disturbance.

How is psychiatric service training different from emotional support training?

Emotional support dogs are not trained in tasking and are not allowed public access rights.

Can my dog be trained to get my medicine for me?

Yes. But we do not recommend this. Too many dogs have consumed medications and died.

Can my dog alert me when to take medication?

No. You need an alarm.

Can my dog tell me if someone is safe or dangerous?

No. You must lead your dog, your dog cannot lead you.

Can my dog alert me to incoming Panic or Anxiety attacks?

Yes. This is also extremely popular. Ask me how we go about this.

Can my dog still play with other dogs?

No. Your dog must be a service animal and allowing them to play with other dogs will increase your dog’s anxiety and focus on you.

Can people or dogs greet my service dog?

No. You must be invisible in public.

Can I train my dog to be a service dog in your Board & Train program?

Yes. But this would be quite costly.

Can I be denied housing because of my service dog?

No. That is highly illegal.

Can I be denied employment because of my service dog?

Yes and No. This one is more complicated. In the employment setting, employers may be obligated to permit employees to bring their “service animal in training” into the workplace as a reasonable accommodation, especially if the animal is being trained to assist the employee with work-related tasks. The untrained animal may be excluded, however, if it becomes a workplace disruption or causes an undue hardship in the workplace.

Can I be denied access to education?

Students with disabilities in public schools (K-12) are covered by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Title II of the ADA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Students with disabilities in public postsecondary education are covered by Title II and Section 504. Title III of the ADA applies to private schools (K-12 and post-secondary) that are not operated by religious entities. Private schools that receive federal funding are also covered by Section 504.

Can I be denied access to Transportation?

That depends. Please read below:

Title II of the ADA applies to public transportation while Title III of the ADA applies to transportation provided by private entities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act applies to federal entities and recipients of federal funding that provide transportation.

How does air travel work with a service dog?

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) covers airlines. Its regulations clarify what animals are accepted as service animals and explain how each type of animal should be treated.

ACAA complaints may be submitted to the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division. Air travelers who experience disability-related air travel service problems may call the hotline at 800-778-4838 (voice) or 800- 455-9880 (TTY) to obtain assistance. Air travelers who would like the Department of Transportation (DOT) to investigate a complaint about a disability issue must submit their complaint in writing or via e-mail to:

Aviation Consumer Protection Division
Attn: C-75-D
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590

For additional information and questions about your rights under any of these laws, contact your regional ADA center at 800-949-4232 (voice/TTY).

Can my dog alert me to migraines, seizures, and other debilitating physical handicaps?

Yes. This requires extremely specific training. Please inquire to learn more how Nitro does this for people.

Can you train my dog to be a protection dog and a service dog?

No. Not a chance.

Do you train other types of service dogs?

Yes. “A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

Do you offer payment plans?

We can in many instances yes.

What are the REAL laws about service dogs in my state?

https://www.hum.wa.gov/sites/default/files/public/publications/Service%20Animals%20and%20the%20Washington%20Law%20Against%20Discrimination-032019.pdf

Why should I choose Nitro K9 to train specifically for PSD? What makes Nitro K-9 LLC stand out regarding PSD training? (PSD = Psychiatric Service Dog)

Our owner and founder Steve Walter has a deep respect and empathy for survivors. In his career, Steve has worked with hundreds of rape victims, battered women, and survivors of countless tragedies. He routinely trains dogs for police officers and soldiers, and firefighters. Steve, being a survivor himself, understands just how critical these dogs are for the people that need them. You can count on Steve. Steve has developed a method of training specifically for psychiatric service dogs that is changing countless lives for the better. Nitro K-9 LLC service dog graduates can fly with their dogs, enjoy public access, and keep their dogs with them when it really matters. Our training is fair in cost and effective.

Where can I see the laws straight from the ADA?

HERE

https://www.ada.gov/topics/title-ii/

and HERE

https://www.ada.gov/

DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION WAS GATHERED FROM THE ADA WEBSITE AND OTHER LOCAL WASHINGTON STATE RCW. THIS INFORMATION IS OFFERED “AS IS” AND YOUR INTERPRETATION MAY BE DIFFERENT THAN STATE OR FEDERAL LAW. PLEASE CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY FOR IRON CLAD ANSWERS. NITRO K-9 LLC IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN OUR WEB PAGE FOR SERVICE DOGS.

Why are there 7 lessons for in-person training, but 14 sessions for the Hands-Off program?

Our regular obedience training, where we work with you, is conducted approximately once a week, and you have time to practice in between session and check in with your trainer. The Hands Off program is completed within 14 hours total.

If you train my dog, will my dog follow the commands just like he does with my trainer?

Yes, but not right away. You will need to be trained too! That’s why we include two free lessons in our Level 1 14 lesson package—to show you what your dog has learned, and how to do the leash work and other commands.

Why do you only train during the weekday and not on weekends?

We like to give the dogs a little bit of a break. Keep in mind that you hired a professional trainer—and trust us, your dog will need some rest.

Can you help us with issues like barking, jumping, counter surfing, digging, crate training, etc.?

We are happy to evaluate the individual situation or issues and provide guidance and techniques for you to use. That’s why we’re here!

Nitro K-9 LLC Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved.
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