Service dogs

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Paige, May 2, 2013.

  1. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Honestly, if a dog is bought to help someone with a disability, mental or physical, then it is a service dog... That dog should be able to go with them where they need it, it's not a pet or a companion if its offering a service. Whether it brings their socks, guides them to a toilet or just offers them security and reduces anxiety.

    I do believe that should be regulated though. How, I'm not sure. I think it's more about proving you need the dog, rather than what the dog does, and having the dog trained to be acceptable in public.

    Whether that's for a child or an adult.. Meh.

    If the dog is helping, it's helping.
     
  2. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    I am not sure what you guys are arguing about, maybe I am misunderstanding :rofl1: maybe it depends on your area? Are you saying a child can not have a service dog, period? :confused: or just children with autism?

    There are children (and I'm talking about anyone under the age of 18, I know an 8 and 10 year old through the woman who puppy raised the now service dog) and more here with service dogs who go out into the general public, whether it be for epilepsy, Autism, a physical disability, whatever. I think a major goal in a child's life is for them to grow up and be independent, so they can be very successful in life. Children are like sponges and they can learn how to live and care for a dog, with adult help, too. I watched a child regain focus and 'switch' from an "autistic moment" (her words, love this little girl! lol) to functioning typically on a field trip with some deep pressure task, body blocking, guiding her away from the majority of the crowd, from their dog. It was something the teacher or aid could not have done. If the teacher would've put her hands on her it wouldn't have went over well.... in my personal experience/opinion it was a field trip that otherwise that child would've had to stay back from and not be able to go. Very over stimulating. But it worked :) and I think that's amazing.
    I went to high school with a kid a year younger than me in a wheelchair, with a service dog. So where is this invisible line? What age or which disorder or disability?

    And I had also heard of someone around here who's service dog was paid for with insurance. (I wonder if its the same person Joce? lol)
    and correct me if I'm wrong but with many meds, procedures, etc around here if the doctor words or codes it a certain way many things can be coverd by insurance if its deemed medically neccisary.

    And I hope that everyone who reads this understands I am not trying to be snotty, I am genuinely asking because I want to learn :) sorry for any typos - I'm on my phone :p
     
  3. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    There is NO REASON for a 2 year old to have a service dog. Ever. Period. I said earlier that for older children it can be done right (it can also be done wrong). Once the CHILD is capable of stewarding the dog, it has the potential to work out. But the child should be stewarding the dog, not the other way around.



    No, it isn't. This isn't a matter of opinion. Honestly. This is a matter of law. In the US the legal definition of a service dog is:

     
  4. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    So legally you can't have service dogs to help with mental health problems (eg anxiety etc)?
     
  5. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Yes, you can. Read the definition again. BUT the dog has to be trained to do something that actually helps. Just being there is not a trained task. Picking up keys is only a trained task if your disability prevents you from picking up keys. Pulling wheelchair is only a task if your disability had made it necessary to use a wheelchair. And a mental health conditon isn't enough to qualify for a service dog. You have to be disabled by that condition. Tons of people have a mental illness. Most of them are not disabled by it.
     
  6. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I don't know where I said a child gains independence from a dog?

    I don't know if the kid, under the age of sole caregiver, who has a medical alert dog is wrong for those on this forum but I assume the parents don't care when the dog is bettering or saving the child's life.
     
  7. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what about seizure alert dogs? I would think they could benefit very young children in a way no human ever could?
     
  8. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Seizure alerts are not trained, and not all dogs are able to alert. It's a total crapshoot. You get a seizure response dog, and hope it has or develops the alerting ability. If it doesn't alert, it still helps by doing response work. Even dogs that DO alert need to be trained in response work to be legally considered a service dog. A young child/toddler does not need a seizure response dog because their parents should be taking care of the seizure response. In school, the staff there should be taking care of response work.
     
  9. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

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    And I know this is not law it seems, but if a dog helps calm someone who would be debilitated by fear or anxiety, just by being there, I'd like to see that person able to take that dog everywhere, even if it meant changing the laws... In my opinion anyways, and as a non disabled, non service dog handler take that for what it's worth... It's simply an opinion
     
  10. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    If the dog was trained to the same standards as a service dog, and the law allowed for it, then that would be okay with me. But until the law changes, an emotional support animal is not a service dog and does not belong in public. If those who would benefit from public access ESAs want the laws changed, then they need to make that happen! Service dog activists made laws change (to tighten the definition to include dogs only), if people are determined enough to make the laws change then they have the power to do so. But until that happens, it's still illegal.

    On the flip side, though, tasks are the easy part. Surely, for those who just want public access ESAs, there is something they can train their dog to do that would help mitigate their disability. Which would then make it a service dog and legal. The hard part is finding a temperamentally stable dog and training it to behave properly in public. So for that reason, I don't think the law NEEDS to be changed. It's also a concern that people tend to pick dogs that react to their own anxiety instead of staying rock solid, and a reactive dog like that is a BAD IDEA for a service dog/public access, and may be bad for the handler's treatment plan in general.
     
  11. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    Thank you for your explanation. I understand now, and I agree with you. And I like the broadness of your statement too, once the child is capable... So it could be a different age for every child :)


    Seems like there has been a little bit of an influx of Paps being used for the one program around here. At first, I didn't understand it at all.... Paps are too small to do a lot of the tasks most service dogs perform. But several of them were trained for seizure-response. One that I actually met as a puppy (who Bailey was afraid of actually :rofl1:) was doing the seizure response thing awesomely, actually started alerting to the seizures a good 5-10 mins before the seizures. Wow :banana:: but that's not the case with all of them
    I'm always surprised how many of them don't make it, and have to be placed in pet only homes. Man I would love to have a "drop out" !! Already trained and perfect ! :p
     
  12. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    In Canada, where I'm pretty sure Paige is, many province's health insurance do, indeed, cover the cost of a service dog ;)
     
  13. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    Yupp! Good old Canada and our medical resources for the public. :)

    We also have different laws from my undestanding regarding service dogs? You may all correct me if I am wrong on that.


    This has been a very interesting read. Thank-you everyone who has written in detail about it.
     
  14. OwnedByBCs

    OwnedByBCs Will Creep For Sheep

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    Sorry, sort of OT, but anxiety support dogs aren't allowed in public? My good friend has a Samoyed that is her anxiety support dog, and she had it trained through some sort of facility (Freedom Service Dogs I think?) and she takes him in public all the time. I was always under the impression that emotional support dogs could be "In-Home" or "Public". Her dog is extremely good for her, she has very extreme anxiety and having him takes the social pressure off of her. Something about him is very, very comforting and soothing to her, she can go anywhere with him where she used to visibly shake going into any job interview, store, anywhere with a large number of people. Now she has an office job, and can even take him to work with her. I find it a little alarming that what he does is not considered "service work"- he has made her life better and has made so she can have a job and a life. Luckily she has never had any issues taking him anywhere around here.
     
  15. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Yes, service dogs for anxiety ARE allowed in public. IF they're task trained. If she's disabled by anxiety, surely there are tasks a dog can do to help that. Sure, being there DOES help, but tasks are what make a service dog a service dog. If the dog is NOT task trained, then no, it's not a service dog. The only public places ESAs are allowed is airplanes (with a doctor's note), and they're allowed in no-pets housing (again, with a doctor's note).

    As an aside, even service dogs - task trained service dogs - for psychiatric disabilities need a doctor's note to fly. This is incredibly unfair, but it's because most fakers claim their dogs are PSDs (under the assumption it's hard to prove they're not). Any other SD does not need a note to fly.
     
  16. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    I'm going to try to make psychiatric service dogs really simple.

    Example 1: Person has disabling anxiety. Dog specifically doesn't do anything for the anxiety, but "helps by being there". Legally, this dog is not a service dog.

    Example 2: Person has disabling anxiety. Dog is trained to provide deep pressure when anxiety spikes, lead to exits when person is overwhelmed, provides body blocking as needed, all to help mitigate this person's anxiety. Legally, this dog is a service dog.

    I hope this clears it up for at least a few people.
     
  17. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Perfect, Julee!
     
  18. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Also yes, the laws are different in Canada. I *think* they're more strict and not national, but I haven't researched them thoroughly, since I don't live there. But you can look up ones for your province starting here http://servicedogcentral.org/content/Canadian-sd-laws
     
  19. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    From the small reading I have done Canada does have stricter laws. :)
     

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