A rescue training service dogs?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by -bogart-, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. -bogart-

    -bogart- Member of WHODAT Nation.

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    I just read that Villalobos will start training service dogs.

    How is that going to work? I asked what tasks they will train and , how long will the dog be trained for.

    I dont see this as a good thing , i see it as a train-wreck. Am i being pessimistic? ?

    I went out to see the place after I posted here (when i was wondering if it was a good place ) and was ran off by the security guard. So no help from me , and today i read on facebook this.

    I dont know if this is just my kneejerk reaction or what , but the stores just got a lot more dangerous around here.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...set=a.172848176142.131034.172286261142&type=1
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Hahaha, I totally spent my morning talking to friends about this.

    I would love to know who is running their program and what their qualifications are.
     
  3. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    It COULD be a good thing. There are programs that specifically use rescues in their SD training programs.

    Like anything else, it all comes down to how -- and why -- it's done.
     
  4. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Unfortunately they never seem to be renown for their greatness either.
     
  5. -bogart-

    -bogart- Member of WHODAT Nation.

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    If this was a diffrent rescue I may be more easy with it , but with my recent look intoa I am just thinking this is going to be bad.

    I am just stunned really.
     
  6. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    I have to wonder if some of that isn't the "regular" breeder based programs slanting things. No SD program is 100% great. There are wash-outs, there are going to be less-than-stellar placements and even some unfortunate incidents. You're dealing with too many variables among two different species -- people and dogs, and often it seems the dogs aren't the difficult or unpredictable end of the equation.

    The one thing that does seem to be consistent is that there are jerks on both sides of the breeder/rescue fence who don't want to allow the other to exist. :(

    They forget it's about the DOGS.

    Or maybe, for them, it never was . . . :(

    I don't know how this one's going to turn out, but I would hope it could go well.
     
  7. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    Oh, god, no... I hate Villalobos. This is a horrible idea.

    That being said, I use exclusively rescues when I train. I eventually plan to have a facility so I can do both simultaneously.
     
  8. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    :wall: :wall: :wall:

    Ugh, just NO.


    Yes, there are. Some are successful. They are the ones that properly screen the dogs and wash out dogs that end up not being suitable. They are the ones that will wash out 100 dogs to find the ONE dog that will go on to work successfully as a service dog. They are the ones that do health screens, temperament tests, and train a dog properly. They're the ones that know what to look for in a service dog candidate to stack the odds in their favor. Nobody really knows why, but the vast majority of hearing dogs are from shelters, and they do a FANTASTIC job. Nobody's really been able to set up a breeding program for hearing dogs yet. My guess is that many small dogs with a CRAPTON of drive end up in shelters, and those are the dogs that make the best hearing dogs.

    BUT, there are just as many, if not more, that scoop all the dogs out of rescue they can, train them minimally, and then pass them off as service dogs to their new handlers, who then have no idea how to control their poorly trained dog. They don't wash out dogs, they don't know what to screen for to increase their odds of success, they don't train properly, etc. We have a program in my state that's like that. I've had direct experience with some of their dogs, and there is NO WAY I'd ever get a dog from them after handling them.


    Not exactly. A service dog program is not about rescuing dogs. The goal is not to place as many dogs as "service dogs" as possible. The goal should be to place well-trained dogs that can successfully assist their HUMAN handler without causing further problems. If the dogs that are successful are rescues, great! If they're from breeders, great! If they're from the program's own breeding program, great! But it should never, ever be about just placing a dog. It need to be about the HANDLER. If the handler's needs aren't being met or the dog is creating a problem, that dog is not going to last long in that placement. Nevermind that it's cruel to put a dog into public access when they can't mentally handle it. Gavroche, for example, would never be happy in public access, while Logan just LOVES it. Gavroche was washed out for a reason.

    Too many people invest too much emotion into this sort of thing. Choosing service dog candidates should be as void of emotion as possible, really, and based on the facts in front of you - regardless of where the dogs are coming from.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  9. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    I meant the rescue part is about dogs, Sal. I should have been clearer. :) And the breeding should be, too.

    When you add in the service aspect, you're absolutely right, the focus has to be on the fit and how well the pair functions together.

    It seems, though, that the same ego problem asserts itself there as well -- each side is hell bent on discrediting the other and they really don't care about what matters.
     
  10. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    If I remember correctly, Lizzy trains hearing dogs for an org that works with rescued dogs. Maybe she'll see this thread and jump in, but IIRC she said that for every 1,000 shelter dogs they assess they get one candidate, who may or may not wash out at some point in training.
     
  11. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    I wouldn't say 1/1000, or even 1/100. If you're good at evaluating, and you're good at training, far more than that will make the cut.
     
  12. TahlzK

    TahlzK New Member

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    Um, how is this a bad thing? I truly don't understand how this is bad.
     
  13. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    Villalobos has tons and tons of under exercised, under stimulated, under trained dogs that they just warehouse. AC is called on them frequently. They should focus on cleaning up their act rather than diving into a new excursion.
     
  14. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Considering the number of GDs bred for the purpose that wash out for health and temperament I would not venture it's an issue of "good enough" causing wash outs.
     
  15. MilliesMom

    MilliesMom Member

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    Are there any kind of standards, or standardized testing, for service dogs or service dog trainers? I was just reading the comment section on that facebook link and somebody posted that they and their dog were taking service dog training through PetCo?
     
  16. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    No, there are none. That said for some organizations becoming a trainer of service animals (ie GD) is a lot more serious than others (ie some of the "hi, we train basic obedience and service dogs here").
     
  17. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    When you have to take into account:

    Health. The dog can't have any orthopedic or other major health problems and needs to be screened for them before training starts. If something crops up in the meantime that can't be screened for ahead of time (like epilepsy) the dog has to be washed.

    Temperament. The dog has to be rock solid stable. It can't flip out at at gunshots and fireworks, umbrellas opening suddenly, be reactive or aggressive to other dogs, animals, or people, cars, motorcycles starting suddenly, etc. etc. etc.

    Working ability. Some dogs are able to work. They just don't want to. They're not reliable, and when the handlers' LIFE is depending on how reliable an animal is, it's critical.

    Socialization.
    If you get a dog from a shelter, you have a crapshoot as far as how socialized it was. The major window of socialization is 8-15 weeks. Miss that, and you can correct it to a degree which is usually fine for a companion dog, but NOT for a dog whose handler's life depends on it. Sometimes you get really lucky and find a well socialized rescue. Sometimes you find puppies.

    The crapshoot part with puppies is they could have joint and other debillitating health issues that can't even be screen for until they're two. So... do you invest two years of training and risk the dog washing for health reasons?

    Honesty. This is a HUGE one, and really pretty rare. An honest dog is the dog who will never ever eat a steak laying on the floor, because it's not his. He'll never sneak food from his blind handler's plate. He has flawless OOS down/stays because he won't deviate from what he's been trained, no matter now unsupervised he is.

    Now, how many dogs in shelters are free of ALL those issues. This isn't just a cutesy feel good way of getting dogs homes and helping people with disabilities. Service dog handlers' lives depend on the reliability of their partners, the stability of their partners, the quality of their partners training, and the stability of their physical health

    I would have no problem with any rescue contacting experienced SD training orgs and bringing dogs in for them to assess and take to be trained by experienced trainers.

    I do not know of ANY rescue that is also equipped to train SDs. It takes a HUGE amount of resources and a totally different skillset than rescue does.
     
  18. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Extremely well put, there is so much more to SDs than most people think.
     
  19. CatStina

    CatStina SBT Lover!!

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    I don't think this is a good idea. I think this could be bad for the Pit Bull community and for the Service Dog community. I'm not saying Pit Bulls won't make good Service Dogs, but I don't think the kind of dogs Villaboos is rescuing are necessarily good candidates for the work.

    As a Pit Bull* lover and advocate and the owner of a related breed** I think that Pit Bulls with proper breed temperaments would make GREAT service dogs. Well bred Pit Bulls are extremely friendly and affectionate with people, even complete strangers, they are strong, have a high pain tolerance, are eager to please and they are generally very healthy dogs.

    The problem is, there are a lot of unethical, irresponsible breeders out there who are breeding for color and appearance rather than health and temperament, so we are seeing more and more Pit Bulls that don't have proper Pit Bull temperaments and have health issues. While most can still make good pets, I doubt if most would make good SDs! I get the idea that people are trying to show that rescue dogs can do anything that well-bred dogs can do, but in some cases it's better to go with well-bred dogs. With the types of homes/breeders that Villaboo's pit bulls are coming from, you have no idea if they have sound temperaments!

    I hope they will be doing this responsibly, do LOTS of temperament and health testing and know that not every dog is cut out for this job and there is no shame in admitting defeat with one of their dogs.


    *When I say Pit Bull I mean American Pit Bull Terriers or the AKC equivalent breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier.

    **The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is, basically, the smaller British cousin of the Pit Bull.
     
  20. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    It's very true that some pits/pitty types would make excellent SDs.

    Here's the unfortunate part.

    SD handler teams already have a lot of prejudice against them. A lot of people and places give them a hard time about access. Yes it's illegal. Yes people can and do get in trouble for it. And that's with "friendly" breeds like goldens and collies.

    Being a SD handler is really hard. Having a disability is really really hard. In a way, having super well trained SD pits out there would be really great press for the breed. BUT-

    And this is a huge BUT.

    It's not fair to ask SD handlers, people who are already struggling with debilitating illness and restrictions on their day to day life that make having a SD necessary, to bear the brunt of poop slinging that is going to come from it. It's just not fair. I hear enough horror stories from SD handlers with dobes, like the police being called on them and them being put in handcuffs because someone didn't think the dobe in the store could be a real SD. Nobody needs that. And especially not someone who is already struggling to meet their basic needs.

    ETA: I do think it could work with the absolute right handler. It would have to be someone with the resiliency to deal with the public's reaction to their partner. I definitely don't think it would work very well for a lot of people.

    There's also BSL. Pit-type service dogs have been confiscated by AC and euthanized when handlers teams were traveling through BSL areas with no negative consequences to the local AC. It was devastating to the handlers though.

    There needs to be a lot of work done before the public is ready for pit SDs. And that absolutely should NOT be put on the service dog handlers of the country.
     

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