Originally Posted by Whiteshepherds
Does this happen a lot? (using SD for Therapy work also)
I can't picture a leader dog leaving it's handler for any reason so if anyone knows, what jobs are these SD's doing where their handlers only need them part time? (hope that made sense)
Where are you seeing anyone saying that a guide dog is leaving their handler? Therapy Dogs stay right with their handlers - they are not seperated.
Some activities of Therapy Dogs and their handlers:
Give demos to children in a classroom on how to act around a strange dog
Listen to children with speach/learning/reading difficulties read a book "to the dog".
Stop off in hospital rooms to say hello and chat with a patient.
If I use a Service Dog for mobility work such as help me stand from a chair or lean against if I start to loose my balance why would it be so wrong for me to sit in a chair next to someone in a nursing home and let them lay their hand on my dog's head and tell me a story about when they had a dog? Do you honestly think that such a visit for a short time would ruin a dog for his main purpose?
Service Dogs are allowed to interact with friends and family of a PWD. The thing is the handler chooses when and where. The handler doesn't want someone interacting with the dog at times when the dog is needed to work for the handler. They share downtime together much like a pet dog and owner.
Just because someone has a disability doesn't mean they don't have interests and hobbies like non-disabled people.
If a dog can not (is not able to) respond to the needs of the handler while they are sitting quietly talking to someone or while listening to a child read a book then how is this dog going to be able respond to the handler while the dog is asleep or in a different room?
Guide Dog handlers don't keep their dogs in harness 24/7. Most don't even use their GD in their own homes the majority of the time they are there. Service Dogs are allowed to run around their yard, chase balls, go swimming, and act like any other well-taken care of dog from time to time. Doctors need down time, airplane pilots need down time, so do teachers etc. etc. just as Police K9s have time to chill out as do military dogs. So if a PWD wants to do agility, or obedience, or visit someone in a nursing home or hospital why would that not be allowed?