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Old 01-14-2013, 07:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I've always thought it was wrong that people are allowed to train their own dogs...but then you think more about it and not everyone has $20000 to pay for a fully trained dog. I found it weird that there isn't any kind of certification process...but then you think about it and how restrictive that would be.

Problem is the government can never do things the way YOU want them to be done. So ILGHAUS, SFGSSD, Lauri, JeaneneR, myself, and every other person with an opinion on this will have a different thought about how it should be done. Then there's the added cost, and sorry but I don't want the government wasting tax money on certifying trainers/dogs. There aren't enough issues in the United States currently with SDs attacking people or doing things that are so terrible that there is talk about getting rid of them.

Then if you think about a certification process...well I'm guessing there would be an official tag or vest they would give out, along with a license. All things not just easily counterfitted...but also hard to check for if they are fake. And what are stores/public places going to do? Start checking all dogs for registration numbers? Calling some sort of registry each time a dog walks into their store and delaying the PWD while they figure out if their dog is certified or not.

I know its silly but if you make the comparison to a driver's license...you can go your whole life without having one, and still drive a car. It's only an issue if you break the law and get caught. And this is kind of the system we have currently with SDs except without the license. But again, what would a license really add to that system?
If something is not done soon it will get completely out of hand. When that happens, do you want the Government or people that have never trained a dog in there life taking over? Do you want ADI to take the bull by the horns? (We seen what happens when you go down that road). So, What do you suggest? More education without real accountability perhaps? Not picking on you... I just know that a solution must present itself before politics and BS take over.
The issues go beyond agression issues. Those issues dont make to many headlines but they are a heck of a lot more common.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:12 AM   #22 (permalink)
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The first thing that would help is to truly educate business's on

What they can ask -

Is this a service dog required because of your disability?
What tasks/work it is it trained to do?

And When they can throw out a team.

90% of business's have no clue as to their rights... Walmart is a good example. They're education program sucks... and All of their service dog is outdated and no longer in compliance with the new revisions to the ADA. I use them as an example because I know people who work for them and their policies. Currently the only people trained on service dog law are the managers and in some stores that still have them the door greeters... this is unacceptable, not only because it means legitimate teams are not handled correctly but because non legitimate teams are not stopped at the door.

The vast majority of fakers either don't know any better because they see dogs in the store (often teams that were too lazy to properly vest their dog) or because they think they can get away with it because no one has challenged them.

The other group of people who cause a problem, and I've seen a lot of these are the people who are the 'doctors note' waver's. Usually people who just don't know any better and have no clue that their dog actually needs to be trained.

I don't like the idea of an ID and government certification for several reasons. One because it isn't going to help that business's aren't educated to begin with on what they would be able to ask for and what it would look like. Two any idea is going to be just as easy to fake as driver's license and less easy to catch a faker because the business won't be able to tell the difference. And three because it will give business's an extra thing to harass legitimate teams with.

I would hazard to guess that the only people who know the laws are programs and legitimate teams.. which helps no one. Most of the time local law enforcement doesn't even know state and federal law.

Will education stop the whole problem? No... but it's a start, and it's a better start than handing it over to people like ADI or even the government. My personal opinion is that it should start with schools, business's, and especially doctors who write notes out for service dogs without even knowing what a service dog is or what's required.

In the mean time service dog handlers, trainers and programs need to get together as a community and come up with a solution. I know exactly how hard this will be... I've dealt with service dog support groups, forums, and even programs for years and there is always needless drama and no one ever can agree on a way to fix the problem.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:20 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I would hazard to guess that the only people who know the laws are programs and legitimate teams.. which helps no one. Most of the time local law enforcement doesn't even know state and federal law.
Is this ever the truth! Not only are a good number of law enforcement officers blind to what the ADA says a Service Dog is, they are also not aware of laws specifically in there state that cover SD's and SD trainers.



While educating people about SD's and PWD is a must, most still do not take what they know or learned seriously. How many times has anyone with a SD been out in public and someone said to you "I know I am not supposed to but..." Why do they continue to do it? How many cases are there when the law was actually enforced for the PWD and the media covered it? The owner trainer is challenged with all sorts confusion both from their dog not being from a program, clearly identified, and the law that surrounds what can and cannot be done in a owner trainer capacity. Besides education, what are some other suggestions?
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:23 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Other suggestions?

Some strict laws for faking a service dog and accurate coverage of court cases where people are caught faking. Even certification isn't going to help if there are no laws in place that lay out the punishments of actual faking. As it stands now there aren't any real reasons for people not to fake... what's the worst that's going to happen to most of them? They get asked to leave...

I'll admit that we don't really have a huge problem with faking in my area, we do have a very minor problem with people who have doctors notes and their doctors don't know what a service dog is anymore than they are... but most of those are willing to be educated.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Other suggestions?

Some strict laws for faking a service dog and accurate coverage of court cases where people are caught faking. Even certification isn't going to help if there are no laws in place that lay out the punishments of actual faking. As it stands now there aren't any real reasons for people not to fake... what's the worst that's going to happen to most of them? They get asked to leave...

I'll admit that we don't really have a huge problem with faking in my area, we do have a very minor problem with people who have doctors notes and their doctors don't know what a service dog is anymore than they are... but most of those are willing to be educated.
Now you are talking about the government getting involved, there is no way around that if you want tougher laws. Is there a way around that?
The law is a problem within itself. I see Service Dog registries get ridiculed for providing an ID and or vest to disabled people that owner trains there dog. To be fair I would say 2 of them that I know personally actually just want to make things easier on the disabled person when it comes to public access challenges. Do fakers take advantage of these registries and LIE to them to? Yes, do the 2 that I know of wish they could VERIFY that the person requesting a SD vest and/or ID is in fact disabled and qualifies for a SD under the ADA? YES! BUT, it is ILLEGAL for them to ask to verify this. So, let’s not forget that fakers (Even the “Undercover” people) that told these registries that they require this because of a disability committed PERGERY and are also impersonating a disabled person to gain benefits and privileges afforded to PWD. Do they also wish they could verify that the dog is actually TRAINED to acceptable levels of competency? YES, but again, “Certification” is not a requirement under law. So the United States Service Dog Registry is just trying to help while staying within the law. They did not do anything Illegal, the people that committed a crime to obtain their services did. Are there other ones that offer fake certification and take advantage of the unknowing Yes! But not all of them take advantage PWD’s they are just trying to help make life easier on the PWD. You cannot blame someone for not doing something if it is ILLEGAL to do so. You also cannot blame someone for someone else’s CRIME.
Is a vest or ID required under law? NO, but let’s be honest here, If you think people checking ID’s and certifications is a hassle, go to a few places without a vest or anything identifying on your SD and see exactly how far you get without being challenged, again and again and again.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Now you are talking about the government getting involved, there is no way around that if you want tougher laws. Is there a way around that?
The law is a problem within itself. I see Service Dog registries get ridiculed for providing an ID and or vest to disabled people that owner trains there dog. To be fair I would say 2 of them that I know personally actually just want to make things easier on the disabled person when it comes to public access challenges. Do fakers take advantage of these registries and LIE to them to? Yes, do the 2 that I know of wish they could VERIFY that the person requesting a SD vest and/or ID is in fact disabled and qualifies for a SD under the ADA? YES! BUT, it is ILLEGAL for them to ask to verify this. So, let’s not forget that fakers (Even the “Undercover” people) that told these registries that they require this because of a disability committed PERGERY and are also impersonating a disabled person to gain benefits and privileges afforded to PWD. Do they also wish they could verify that the dog is actually TRAINED to acceptable levels of competency? YES, but again, “Certification” is not a requirement under law. So the United States Service Dog Registry is just trying to help while staying within the law. They did not do anything Illegal, the people that committed a crime to obtain their services did. Are there other ones that offer fake certification and take advantage of the unknowing Yes! But not all of them take advantage PWD’s they are just trying to help make life easier on the PWD. You cannot blame someone for not doing something if it is ILLEGAL to do so. You also cannot blame someone for someone else’s CRIME.
Is a vest or ID required under law? NO, but let’s be honest here, If you think people checking ID’s and certifications is a hassle, go to a few places without a vest or anything identifying on your SD and see exactly how far you get without being challenged, again and again and again.
But again...a vest is easily made or ordered online. An ID can easily be made or ordered online. This doesn't have anything to do with service dogs but there is a dog beach in the Chicago area that charges people for use. If you live in the city that its in, the tag is like $50 for the year. If you live outside the city its like $300 for the year. I have friends that use that beach, they have friends that live in the city (with a dog), those people purchased a tag (just a purple bone dog tag), and then the other ones just ordered the same exact kind...font, color, size, I'm saying IDENTICAL, to that one online. So now they have like 5 or 6 of them that they give to their friends whenever someone wants to use the beach with them. There's a teenage park employee that sits at the gate to the beach and checks for the tags, so anyone with a purple tag just walks in (tags change colors yearly). Is it wrong? Yes! But who is going to spend $300 for their dog to use a 50 yard stretch of beach on lake michigan (which you can't even swim in half the time).

So no tag, certification, or anything will get over the fact that people just aren't educated in how to figure out who's real and who isn't. United States Service Dog Registry sounds sweet and official, but anyone that knows anything about the law would know that any kind of official registration or license would come from the STATE they live in and not a national registry. It's a start...but again, its meaningless since they can't break ADA either and its just as easy to lie to them and get your dog registered as it would be to strap on a vest and walk into Walmart without the registration.

Wanna make it easier? Wear sunglasses...I was at our state fair this year for a dog event with my dog. When I walked out into the actual fair with him, I got asked at least 10 times if he was my guide dog...and it didn't matter that I was clearly leading him the whole time.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:18 PM   #27 (permalink)
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So no tag, certification, or anything will get over the fact that people just aren't educated in how to figure out who's real and who isn't. United States Service Dog Registry sounds sweet and official, but anyone that knows anything about the law would know that any kind of official registration or license would come from the STATE they live in and not a national registry. It's a start...but again, its meaningless since they can't break ADA either and its just as easy to lie to them and get your dog registered as it would be to strap on a vest and walk into Walmart without the registration.
Police Officers wear a uniform, have a badge and ID (you can spot them a mile away if you are looking for them). If you have these things and are NOT a Police Officer you are guilty of impersonating a Police Officer and I believe that is a felony with jail time. Why can it not be as simple as that when it comes to a Service Dog? Why do you feel more education on the confusion is going to help? Where before it was just a guess... now it is an "Educated Guess"? And that is better than real clarity to the general public?
Laws need to be enforced and stricter laws with tougher fines for illegal activity. Like that "Undercover" reporter serving jail time for impersonating a disabled person to gain privileges under the ADA. Yeah that person can go "Undercover" in jail all they want

Last edited by SFGSSD; 01-22-2013 at 11:19 PM. Reason: misquote
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:11 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I personally am against having professionally trained dogs only because I have two service dogs that I trained myself and I would never even be able to have one because of the cost. Also if only professional trainers can train dogs then the cost will sky rocket and seeing as how they are too high for a lot of people as it is...

Also, just because a dog is professionally trained, it does't mean they behave better than owner trained dogs. I have had a few instances where i was in out with my one of my dogs and I had professionally trained dogs freaking out and barking and lunging at my dog while mine laid on the ground looking to me for direction.

While yes the ADA laws do get abused, if it becomes more strict, I fear people like me who can't afford to get a professionally trained dog would be SOL.
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:16 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I think the only real way to deal with the issue of fraudulent service dog teams is to make it clear to businesses that they don't have to tolerate inappropriate and/or disruptive behavior from a SD in their establishment. Not saying this would be easy because it would require a lot of educating on the part of legitimate teams or training programs. Dealing with the behavior of a badly trained dog and a handler that is just dragging it around with them is really the only way to go without the logistical nightmare of a government-run certification program. This coming from someone who isn't going to worry about a dog in public unless it is causing problems for myself or others.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:28 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I am coming in late to this. I am currently owner training with the assistance of a trainer.

We have the basics to work on at this time and also remedial socialization as my pup was never socialized. Plans are to get the remedial and the basics done, then move onto the 3 levels of Canine Life and Social Skills obedience training. After that, the plan is to do the CGC. I am not sure if my trainer has anything with a PAT or not, but I can pull up some and let her see. Otherwise, we will move onto task training. Mine will be a Hearing Assistance Dog.

As far as "uniform". While they are not required and GSDs can get warm if the temps are too hot, I suggest checking into specific state laws before making a decision. In my case, where I am now, there's no requirement (that I can see), but where we are moving to in a few years, at this time, does require Hearing Assistance Dogs, (Hearing Guide Dogs) to have orange on. Did not say it had to be a vest or what. I have a cape style vest to use and will also have bandannas.

If people were to follow the law, and do the right thing, there should not be the problem with untrained owner trained SDs. It takes doing homework in finding the right trainer. Some charge very little and some charge more. Some will even do a barter system like mine.

I don't mind certification, but only if it is accepting of owner trainers. Too many things I have seen proposed from various people and such are leaving out the OTers. Also, there are issues with the CGC. Not all OTers live close enough to certified examiners (is that the word I want). In one case, I know this person would have to travel more than 300 miles to one.

I am kind of new to all this, but I felt like chiming in.
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