Proposals have been introduced in the New York Senate and the Nassau County Legislature that seek to license and regulate those who train dogs. At this time, neither of these bills are scheduled for hearings, and the AKC Government Relations Department continues to closely monitor both proposals.
New York Senate Bill 144:
This bill would establish “licensing and educational standards for individuals providing basic obedience courses to…dogs and their owners.” The bill would not apply to service dogs (including seeing-eye and hearing dogs), police dogs, military dogs, search and detection dogs, or therapy dogs (defined as any dog “trained to aid the emotional and physical health of patients in hospitals, nursing homes…and other such settings” and the dog has been bred, is being trained, or is actually used for that purpose).
It is not clear exactly what the licensing would entail or what the standards would be, although it is possible that some standards could potentially be very burdensome for individuals who train dogs in New York State.
If you are concerned about this bill, you may wish to respectfully contact the sponsor’s office and politely let him know how this would impact your club or you as a dog trainer.
Senate Bill 144 has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee, but no hearing has been scheduled. AKC Government Relations will provide further details if this bill gains traction.
Nassau County, NY:
This proposal states its concern that “individuals and businesses with no qualifications or experience can act as dog trainers and dog training businesses.” As a result, this proposal would require all dog trainers in Nassau County to apply for a license every two years.
In order to obtain a license, a person must demonstrate that they have “received schooling in the field of dog training” for at least 150 hours, or have either continually operated or been employed by a dog training business for at least one year. The cost of the license would be determined by the County Legislature and is not included in the proposal.
All licensees would be required to maintain records of all clients, including the type of training rendered and the dog’s known allergies. Records would also have to be kept for any incident where the skin of a person or pet is broken, a person or dog is injured, or a pet has an allergic reaction during a training. These records must be kept for six years.
Licensees must ensure that all equipment and products are in good working condition, that emergency procedures are in place, and that all enclosures and work spaces are cleaned between uses by different animals. Any violation of the proposal could result in a violation of up to $5,000 per violation.
While this proposal has been introduced, at this time it has not been scheduled for any public hearing or vote. AKC Government Relations will provide further information should this legislation start advancing.
If you wish to comment on this proposal, contact the Nassau County Legislature. If you are a Nassau County resident, you may type you address in the county website to find the name and contact information for your county legislator.
If there is a change or any advancement on either of these proposals, AKC Government Relations will provide updates. Visit www.akcgr.org to view our latest Legislative Alerts.