Service Dogs?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Airn, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Airn

    Airn New Member

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    With the whole Pit Boss thread going on, I thought I would make a thread about service dogs instead of hijacking the Pit Boss thread.

    So, people that are involved with SD's, tell me about them. I know they have to be trained and there are not really any 'rules' regarding SD's. (Or am I wrong already?)

    Enlighten me please, I don't like being ignorant. ;)
     
  2. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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  3. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    You're going to find there are varying extremes for people who own Service Dogs or require them in their daily life to function. Without going into too much on a public board, I currently have a SDit (Service Dog In Training) and hope to have her training finished by the end of February. Without my dog, and her tasks, I wouldn't be able to go out by myself, anywhere, alone.

    Even with people who have program dogs, the degree and variety of illnesses and disabilities is such that very few dogs have all of the same tasks.

    Every SD is require to have a LEARNED task that mitigates your illness/disability. So a dog that is just there for "comfort" is NOT a legitimate SD, even if the person has a legit disability. The dog must perform a task that in not something the dog will naturally do. The people with the legit disabilities bringing pet dogs places and calling them SDs are called huggers, usually. They have a need for a SD, but their dog doesn't not meet the legal qualifications for a SD. And there ARE legal requirements, that should you ever have to go to court on, you WILL have to prove.

    Then you have the people who "fake" a disability so that they can bring their (usually untrained, unruly, uncivilized) dog with them. These are the people that are most likely to cause huge problems for other teams, and the most likely to scream "my dog has a right to be here! he's a SERVICE DOG!!"

    Unfortunately for them, they're wrong. The dog has no rights. The disabled person is the one with the rights. So right off the bat, you know they have no idea what exactly they're talking about.

    Do you have any specific questions? It's such a broad topic that you could talk all day about it.
     
  4. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    There is also a difference between Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and Emotional Support Animals.

    A lot of times, I think people don't know the difference.

    A therapy dog is permitted into a lot of hospitals, or nursing homes, etc, for therapy purposes. An ESA is allowed onto a plane (without paying the fee, and they do not have to stay under your seat the whole time), and often times in apt. buildings, etc, that do not usually allow animals. But you need an official letter from your doctor/psychiatrist.
     
  5. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    You know, I've been meaning to ask for a long time. I've seen a sign in a large chain store saying "No Animals allowed" and usually it's followed by something along "except service animals" or somethnig of that nature. But I saw a sign that said no animals and no service animals allowed. It was a grocery store, is that legal?

    I always thought it was illegal, but then I thought maybe because it contains a lot of open foods it wasn't, but then I don't know. thoughts?

    I wish I could remember the store. Gah, I'll ask David the name of it.
     
  6. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    It's not legal to exclude SDs. Anywhere except where allowing them would cause a fundamental alteration of the environment (sterile labs, places that make microchips, ect) A grocery store is not it.
     
  7. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    This.
     
  8. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    That's what I thought, is there some place to report places who deny SD entrance? If so, I'll get the name from David, might ahve him run there to make sure they still have the sign up and report them.
     
  9. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Operating and delivery room in the hospital. There is it legal to exclude.

    Basically any deemed sterile facility can legally deny a service dog. Some private residents are except as well.
     
  10. Airn

    Airn New Member

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    I'm interested in the topic mainly because so many people have SD's or dogs training to be SDs. Also as was mentioned 'therapy dogs', anything like that.

    It's not really that I'm looking to know ALL about them, I was curious about the people who are involved with them on Chaz. I wasn't specific enough, go figure :rolleyes:

    It IS interesting, but I want to know more about YOUR SD. How long have you had it, does it help you? What are the pros and cons of having a SD (in a community sense. Not "Well, obviously it helps me." but more is it worth it?)

    Why all the problems with 'legit' SDs? Why aren't there (many) regulations and why would you or wouldn't you want there to be?

    You know, all the stuff I can't read on Wikipedia :D
     
  11. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    Okay! I'll post more in a bit, I'm on an xbox.
     
  12. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    You can post from an Xbox? I had no idea lol
     
  13. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    There are in Canada. The US is much more lax than here.
     
  14. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    Internet Explorer app! PITA for long posts, but I like it for browsing.
     
  15. CatStina

    CatStina SBT Lover!!

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    There are rules and regulations, but not many because some rules would make it difficult for people with certain kinds of disabilities to follow them. You have to have a documented/diagnosed disability and your dog has to be task trained to help mitigate the symptoms associated with the disability. A great resource, in addition to the two already linked is: http://www.servicedogcentral.org/content/

    Now for the more personal information that you requested. My Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Saxon, is my Service Dog in Training (SDiT). I am self training him with the help of a local trainer. My disabilities are Anxiety, Depression and a few other mental health related problems. Among other things, Saxon is being trained to help me during panic attacks and redirect some of my self destructive compulsions. He is also being trained to adhere to the Delta Society's minimum standards for service dogs: http://www.petpartners.org/document.doc?id=373 These are not required by law (obviously), but are suggestions for what a dog should be able to do in order to safely be out in public.

    Here is a picture of Saxon and I doing some public access training in IKEA:
    [​IMG]

    At the DMV:
    [​IMG]

    And, at the very busy fair:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It's a lot of work, but it will be well worth it when he is done with training and starts to make my life just a little bit simpler. :)


    P.S. Apparently you can't write out numbers and must use the numerals for the new human verification.
     
  16. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    The harness thread went way OT so I'll move my post here.

    I have legitimately wanted to get Jackson declared as an ESD for a while now, but haven't yet. I've struggled with on-and-off anxiety issues (nothing major) since my brother died in 2006, and after I got Jackson, I became so much more comfortable. He's helped me meet so many people and I much prefer being out and about when I can have him with me. It wouldn't be because I want to "sneak" him into to places that he's not allowed (I could care less - he comes so many places with me already anyway, without having any kind of 'title' or certification). But it would be a nice extra thing to have for emergency purposes. He's obviously not a service dog, but he's definitely emotionally supportive for me. He's also extremely well behaved in public. Never causes any trouble whatsoever.

    So anyway, I've considered it, but I kind of want to get him his CGC first (you don't need this, I just want it for myself). I also don't see a psychiatrist or anything (always dealt with my issues in other ways), so don't know how I'd even go about getting the doctor's note.

    Anyone have an ESA?
     
  17. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Well go check the harness thread, because I'm not retyping out my reply on my phone. LOL

    Long story short, depending what you mean by emergencies, i think there are no public access rights for ESAs, so it wouldn't help.
     
  18. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    What Jess said.

    ESA were once a grey area subject but have since been clarified as not SD and thus not afforded access rights in the same capacity.
     
  19. CatStina

    CatStina SBT Lover!!

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    Though he is still in training to be a SD, Saxon could be considered an ESA. In order to have an ESA or SD you have to have a documented disability. According to the ADA a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. If your anxiety is nothing major, it wouldn't be considered disability.
     
  20. CatStina

    CatStina SBT Lover!!

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    I didn't notice the first time that you said you'd want to take him places as an ESA. You can't do that. ESAs have no public access rights. The site I linked above, Service Dog Central, has information about ESAs, as well. I would check it out for more information.
     

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