Why not a SD that is also a visiting TD? - Page 6 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-11-2013, 12:54 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Maybe not .... membership here consists of breeders, trainers, handlers, advocates, etc. along with "enthusiasts".
Well yeah but even the people you mentioned are really glorified "enthusiasts." I just don't think that most of us have the experience with service dogs to make these judgment calls. I think they should all go on a case by case basis but in my opinion if a service dog can't "turn off" and act like a therapy dog, that dog probably has no business being a therapy dog. I just don't see any "danger" in doing that.

There is just really no "downside" to a SD working as a TD. I don't know why TDi decided not to register working SDs anymore, but as far as what I know about the organization and also the places around me that set up therapy dog visitations, they could care less about the certification and just trust the handler to be ethical enough to not mislead them on the obedience or abilities of their dog.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #52 (permalink)
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That's why I don't get the issue with an SD being a TD, SD dogs are some of the best trained dogs out there, they'd easily be able to perform the tasks of a TD.
I 110% agree!
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:58 PM   #53 (permalink)
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... I think they should all go on a case by case basis ...
And that is what I am advocating for.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Service Dogs can very well "Do the work" they usually become Therapy Dogs when they wash out of a program. That is not the point.

The real danger in allowing the dual role is the degrading in the service dog training. This degradation is based on associative behaviors that are conflicting with the service dog training. I just got off the phone with the head trainer at Service Dogs of Florida and a trainer at East Cost Assistance Dogs. They do not allow their dogs to be in a duel role as they recognize the dangers in doing so.

The other issue is that this is mainly directed at the owner trainer crowd. These people for the most part lack the experience to handle a duel role without compromising the training there Service Dog is mainly intended for. A lot of them can barely handle the one role never mind managing two while looking out for associative behaviors.

When you are emotionally attached to your dog like you are to your children, you believe with all your heart that your kid can do anything The reality of the true limitations are eclipsed by emotion... then the excuses come rolling in. When you give advice or say "Nothing is wrong with it" you are not telling the whole truth. When an inexperienced handler takes this advice to heart along with the forgiving mindset of this is my baby. You’re asking for trouble.
If I gave this kind of advice “Nothing is wrong with your dog being a Service Dog and a visiting Therapy Dog.” as a Professional… and something happened that caused injury to the training of the Service Dog and the disabled person taking this advice, I could be sued and I would not blame them one bit. I would even let them hit me over the head. I know better and a lot of other professionals know better.

I spoke with the DOJ myself today. Their official position on this is that they do not have a position on it.



My position and what I think on this is what I originally posted.

The Definition of a Service Dog as I posted stands.

The Definition of a Therapy Dog stands as well.
The reason this should not be combined stands as well.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:13 PM   #55 (permalink)
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yeah --"These people for the most part lack the experience to handle a duel role without compromising the training there Service Dog is mainly intended for. A lot of them can barely handle the one role never mind managing two while looking out for associative behaviors"

oh well -- hang around
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:17 PM   #56 (permalink)
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It's dual, not duel. Sorry, it was really bugging me.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:29 PM   #57 (permalink)
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It's dual, not duel. Sorry, it was really bugging me.
Dually noted
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:59 AM   #58 (permalink)
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On this topic I have stated that I believe that all here are entitled to their personal opinions and I have given mine and I have stressed that there is no Federal Law (via Congress or Regulatory) against testing SDs to be evaluated for registration or certification to be used as a TD.

I have several last personal opinions to leave on this thread -- I would hope and I really believe that via the procedures and policies of training, first evaluation and then re-testing, that a reputable Therapy Dog organization (which also requires a statement from the vet on health and their professional opinion on the suitability of the dog) would be able to weed out any dog or human of a potential team be they a SD, companion dog, or a PWD or not. I also believe that if a dog was showing stress or unsuitable behaviours that the handler was ignoring that either someone else present such as an employee or fellow organization team member would step up and address the situation just as they would for any other team.

It is also my opinion that:
1) any PWD that is able to go through any required training and testing of an organization,
2) is able to get their dog to a location in proper attire and grooming as the requirements of their organization and under the policies of the place they are attending, and
3) meets any other policy of either their organization or the location that they are attending
... Should be accepted as having the same reasoning ability on safety issues and the same ability to know if it is time to leave the activity for the day or know when it is time to retire their dog from therapy duties. I also believe that a PWD should be given the same acceptance as anyone else to know when their dog is suffering a slide in needed training or acceptable behavior of any portion in their life.

The above are my opinions based in large part through not only advocating for the dogs but for their handlers as well, and also in extending my concern to the safety and needs of the community that any such team goes into.

So with all the above said, I see no reason to restate what I have already said and will only continue to read this thread as a Mod.
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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 01-12-2013 at 06:02 AM. Reason: to clarify a meaning
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:57 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Ok, let me ask this.

Say a person gets a service dog from you (OP), what if that person decides to TD certify their dog, how are you going to know if they don't tell you or how would you deal with that?

Take the dog back? Just curious.

Once a person "purchases" a Service Dog isn't it owned by that person and the seller really has no 'right' to the dog after that?

And if you think the majority of SD owners treat their dogs like "just workers" I think your sadly mistaken. No, they may not 'baby' their dogs, but I'm sure, again the majority, feel they are beloved members of their family and also treated as such.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:43 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Ok, let me ask this.

Say a person gets a service dog from you (OP), what if that person decides to TD certify their dog, how are you going to know if they don't tell you or how would you deal with that?

Take the dog back? Just curious.

Once a person "purchases" a Service Dog isn't it owned by that person and the seller really has no 'right' to the dog after that?

And if you think the majority of SD owners treat their dogs like "just workers" I think your sadly mistaken. No, they may not 'baby' their dogs, but I'm sure, again the majority, feel they are beloved members of their family and also treated as such.
With my dogs, it does not matter if it is a dog that I purchased or supplied at no cost to the disabled handler from donations or it is a dog trained through my owner trainer program. The disabled person owns the dog when training is complete or earlier if the dog itself is purchased first.
I certify the dog has completed the training and is performing within acceptable tolerance of 90% and above during the day and 80% and above at night (sleeping hours) and 100% day or night by second command.
When the Service Dog is with its partner and living with them full time, the handler is given strict instructions on how to maintain the dogs training. A schedule of games the handler is to play with the dog is given and these games are designed to maintain the performance of the dog within acceptable tolerance. While out in public the dog is working 100% of the time and is not to be petted, or interacted with by others. The dog is to focus on the handler and its job. While at home, the dog is also to focus on its job and the games that are in place and designed to exercise the dog as well as maintain performance. If the dog must exercise and have down time away from the home or (out in public such as a field or dog social) It is one place and one place only that the dog is allowed to turn off away from home.
If one of the recipients of my dogs and/or training does not follow my guidelines and treats his/her Service Dog as a pet and allows others to do so as well, the dog will more than likely not pass recertification. They will still own the dog but it will no longer be certified when the dog is re-tested annually for certification.(Yes certification is not required by federal law YET) Issues with the Games or performance in general is to be brought to our attention immediately. Our number one priority in this regard is that our dogs are performing for the disabled handler with the highest level of precision and excellence.
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