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Old 01-14-2013, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Service Dogs As Only Animals

I've heard of several people say that Service Dogs shouldn't go to a home with another dog because it serves as distraction to them. We had a guy ask us to help him place his two dogs because the organization that he was getting his Service Dog from said that he would have to place his pet dogs first. I wanted to know if dogs can differentiate between work mode and non work mode,why can't they do this while living with another dog?
I have a friend who trains Service Dogs and he will not place his dogs with people who have another dog, unless they are willing to rehome their current dog.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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that is the case with many organizations that I have provided for
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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that is the case with many organizations that I have provided for
Yup
While I try to look at this from a case by case prospective to try and justify accommodating the PWD in this regard. I can honestly say that I only did this twice. One time was with a PWD that had a dog that was on deaths door and passed shortly after the dog was placed. The other was a mistake that I kick myself for. When it became an identified issue they understood clearly and re-homed the dog 3 months after the SD was placed and we did our first follow up. Since the re-training of the dog, the dog is functioning again within tolerance levels with no further issues.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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While I have five dogs total in my house it isn't a situation I would recommend. Unless you're very structured in your home life and how you manage your dogs you're only going to mess up a service dog by placing them in a home with other dogs.

I think the only reason I manage is three of my dogs are working soon to retire stock dogs who live a very structured life, a service dog and service dog in training. My dogs are not allowed or encouraged to play with each other and they're never left loose when we're not home. All the interaction, play and enjoyment they get from me. Service dogs are not pet's and while they need time to run and play and be dogs you still can't treat them like pets.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I guess it wouldn't hurt for me to do some more research on service dogs. I don't plan on working with them,but do like to be educated. I didn't think that playing with other dogs in their 'down time' was a problem. I guess it can be though.

Jenene, do your dogs try to play with each other or is it not that important to them?Would it not be practical to teach the service animal to focus on a task you need them to do even if other dogs were in the home or does it have to do more with the maintanence of the other animals?

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Old 01-15-2013, 12:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Unless you're very structured in your home life and how you manage your dogs you're only going to mess up a service dog by placing them in a home with other dogs.

Service dogs are not pet's and while they need time to run and play and be dogs you still can't treat them like pets.
Thats the real problem that most do not understand. When you bring a Pet mentality/training to the working dog world, time and time again it has proven to be a disaster.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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None of my dogs are allowed to play with each other. When I bring a puppy home they are kept crated or leashed until adulthood and at that point they are completely focused on the people in the household. The other dogs are just there, each knows their place and their job.

Terry, that's a large part of why many handler's can't handle their own service dogs. Because they come from households with 'pets' and want to teach their service dog like a pet.

I don't mean that you can't play with your service dog, that you can't love on and give attention to your service dog (or working dog since I have worked with protection dogs as well) You should love and play with your service dog... but play with other dogs is a risk that I as a handler am not willing to take... with their training and with their safety.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What risks does playing with other dogs in the home pose,besides focus? Btw I have looked this up online and haven't found that much information. I'm involved in rescue,but am obviously pretty green when it comes to the whole service dog scene(except for the basic stuff). This isn't to start a heated debate,it's just a curiosity for me. I guess I would have to be in that situation of a service dog trainer to understand.


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but play with other dogs is a risk that I as a handler am not willing to take... with their training and with their safety.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No matter how well you know your dogs, and no matter how well trained there is always a risk of injury when playing with other dogs. Temper tantrums happen and with a service dog it can cause them to be reactive with other dogs as well as injury which can end a service dog's working life.

Not to mention that focus is a big issue, with a working dog the partnership between handler and dog needs to be extremely strong and you don't need your dog looking for attention from the other dog(s) in the house.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Terry, that's a large part of why many handler's can't handle their own service dogs. Because they come from households with 'pets' and want to teach their service dog like a pet.
I would say it is a "Pet" mentality in general that gets people in troubble with working dogs.
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