"Service Dog In Training" - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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"Service Dog In Training"

I've seen a few people putting harnesses on their dogs with "Service Dog In Training". I know these are not SDs and are never going to be. Is this kosher? They are not trying to get access like a real SD (aren't going anywhere a normal dog isn't allowed) but I see pictures of people petting them and hear stories about socializing and it makes me think this could be very confusing to the public, since isn't it true that an SD or SDIT on duty would *not* be socializing?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 08:16 AM
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I don't like it when I see a dog with a 'service dog' vest that obviously isn't. It's one thing if they're in a public area anyways, but it really bothers me when I see someone slap a vest on their pet just to bring them into a restaurant while they eat or something. I just think those people are taking advantage.

I'm going to school for vet tech and I commute and am away from home for 10+ hours a day, so when it's ok with professors, I ask if I can bring Aiden. He just sleeps the whole time anyways, but I put on a vest without any labeling (mostly because the sight of a vest alone deters most people from getting all over Aiden and petting him without asking), and if people ask what he's doing there or why, I just say that he's there for socializing and training. I'd like to get patches that say "in training' or 'do not pet' but I won't get one that says 'service dog'. I don't mislead and tell people he's a working service dog when he isn't. I just got lucky in that my professors allow me to bring him with me to campus. It's generally pretty pet friendly with the whole vet tech program anyways.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 08:21 AM
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Not kosher, to me it's weird and inappropiate.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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What confused me was not that the person was trying to gain access with the vest but was using it to *attract* attention to the dog and socialize it, which seems to go against what I know if SDITs (not supposed to be pet or disturbed while wearing their vets). But I've never trained an SD so maybe I don't know? My DH and I do a little presentation for his second grade classes on bite prevention and not interrupting SDs at work so I want to make sure I have this right.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 10:58 AM
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not kosher. I"ve seen SDIT vest that say to NOT pet because they are training.

Maybe these ppl using these vests are not aware they can buy one that is appropriate for what they are doing.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 11:08 AM
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I always thought that a service dog was supposed to be ignored, but I've seen a few out lately that are approachable. I guess it depends on the service the dog is providing, but I don't want to pry and ask - I hate when people ask nosey questions, lol. I do know that some people don't distinguish between a therapy dog and a service dog, so that's more confusing too. I've seen people in the therapy program abuse the system this way.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 06:00 PM
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also not kosher. I think it can ruin it for legimate service dogs

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 06:12 PM
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Someone at my GSD club is currently raising a future service dog puppy. It's a lab/golden mix and they're the family that socializes and teaches it the basic stuff and then after their year is up the dog is evaluated and put into actual SD training.

Not only is this dog able to be pet, he is also able to play with other dogs and just be a puppy. He loves playing with my boy and as long as he gets his release word he can pretty much just be a dog. Remember these dogs are still puppies and they do like to enjoy themselves. So I think while you might know that the dogs with those vests won't be service dogs, not all service dogs are trained from 2 months of age to be service dogs. I think most programs allow the dogs to have at least 1 year of growing up without hardcore service training. Now...this dog is definitely more trained than most 1 year old dogs I know, and he has a "work" word and a "release" word. He knows them really well and just flips the switch as soon as they are said.

Of course people at our club always ask to pet, and its actually welcomed because that kind of socialization is huge for a dog. He's wrestled with my boy plenty of times and whenever they see each other tails start wagging like you wouldn't believe. I've talked to the club member and gotten a lot of information about their program and it sounds very cool. Not sure if every SD program is like that one but this is the way they operate. They have their own breeding program, their own "raising family," and then of course trainers. Usually the dog is ready to go from 2 to 2.5 years old.

I should add...yeah its not right if your dog won't be a service dog and you slap on that vest. Knowing the law and abusing it isn't right.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 11:55 PM
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Socialization is very important for the SD Candidate. During the candidate stage, the trainer is just forming a foundation with the pup/young dog and evaluating if the candidate is even suitable to be put into training.

I've seen a few people putting harnesses on their dogs with "Service Dog In Training".
Once the dog reaches this stage (Service Dog In Training, SDIT) the trainer should be working on focus on the handler and not seeking attention from the public. This is the time when the dog is being trained to work through distractions.

Stages ...
1) Service Dog Candidate
2) Service Dog In Training
3) Service Dog

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Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Non-Profit Mascot & Service Dog-In-Training

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 02:49 AM
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I know puppies from some service dog schools do have vests they wear too, and sometimes they do use the term "service dog in training" for those although technically they would be a "candidate".

It's also possible some people may be confusing "service dog" and "therapy dog" terms and they actually are socializing the dog to be a future therapy dog, they just got the terms wrong.

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