Service Dogs in Training - Minnesota Law

Does a trainer with a service dog in training have rights in Minnesota?

Good question! The federal law called the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) protects people with disabilities who have service dogs that are fully trained, but how about service dogs in training?

In Minnesota, trainers of service dogs in training are granted rights similar to those of individuals with disabilities who utilize fully trained service dogs. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers protections for people with disabilities accompanied by service dogs, it does not specifically address service dogs in training. However, Minnesota law fills this gap by ensuring that service dogs in training, along with their trainers, have access to public accommodations.

This state-specific protection is detailed in Section 256C.02, titled "Public Accommodations," which states:

  • "Every person who is totally or partially blind, or person who is deaf, or person with a physical disability, or any person training a dog to be a service dog shall have the right to be accompanied by a service dog in any of the places listed in section 363A.19. The person shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog."

Therefore, in Minnesota, service dogs in training and their trainers are allowed the same access privileges as fully trained service dogs. This law enables trainers to prepare service dogs in realistic environments before they are matched with individuals who have disabilities, ensuring a smoother transition and more effective assistance for the person who will rely on the dog's support.