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Old 01-20-2013, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trained Companion Dog

There seems to be an increased interest in *Trained Companion Dogs*.

A Trained Companion Dog is NOT a Service Dog. A Trained Companion Dog does NOT have the legal status of a Service Dog.

While there is no legal or official definition of what this term means there is a tendency to think of them as used in the home in much the same way as an in-home Service Dog is worked. (An In-home Service Dog is in truth a Service Dog but for one reason or another the dog is not suitable to be used in the public.)

There is a difference in the thought of a *Trained Companion Dog* vrs a *Companion (pet) Dog* with advanced training of some kind.

The handler may not be legally disabled (thus qualify for a Service Dog) but may have a health issue which is helped by making use of a dog with these additional skills.

The dog may be used by a child with a disability who is not old enough yet to stewart (care for - see to the needs of) or safely handle their dog while working without direct supervision of a thrid party. In this case the parents may not wish to be the handler of the dog away from the home and see no need to purchase or train a dog to the level of a SD for their child.

Generally a Trained Companion Dog can be thought of as a dog that is somewhere between a pet that has been taught obedience and given a job in the home and a Service Dog.

Sometimes a SDIT will be washed out of a SD program and placed into a new career as a Trained Companion Dog while sometimes a dog will be trained from the beginning with this career in mind.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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One type of a trained companion dog that is facility trained can be shown by looking at the Canine Connection Program offered by Southeastern Guide Dogs. Again, these dogs are not Guide Dogs or Service Dogs and have no legal status and are not covered under any handler special rights such as Public Access.

Quote from their website:
When we find a particularly gentle and loyal dog that must be career changed, we match it with a visually impaired child through our Canine Connections program.

This program is for visually impaired children between the ages of 10-17 as they will not place a Guide Dog with anyone under the age of 18.

Canine Connections
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Some other Organizations that facility train a dog that may have a career change and are not eligible to be a Guide or Service Dog are:

Guide Dog for the Blind and their K9 Buddy Program and their Community Canine Program --

K9 Buddy and Community Canines - Guide Dogs for the Blind

Gilley, a Community Canine - Guide Dogs for the Blind


The Seeing Eye allows some of their dogs to be adopted to the general public but potential adopters must live in the NJ area.
Guide dogs for people who are blind or visually impaired | The Seeing Eye, Inc.


Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) has their Skilled Companion Program.
Skilled Companion Dogs - Canine Companions for Independence



Note - Please remember that a trained companion dog to help in the home and pet-friendly places does not have to be trained by an organization at their facility but also by individual trainers and by owners.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What would a mobility trained dog fall under? I took in a black lab that had this training after his owner died. Of course when I took him, he didn't have a job anymore, but got to enjoy camping, swimming, etc. I did notice that if I was washing dishes, he would stand right behind me as if to catch me. If I was sitting down, he was right there for me to push myself up(not that I needed to, but I felt like this is what he needed) He was a big boy, 120 pounds and about 29-30 inches tall. Boy do I miss him
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
What would a mobility trained dog fall under? I took in a black lab that had this training after his owner died. Of course when I took him, he didn't have a job anymore, but got to enjoy camping, swimming, etc. I did notice that if I was washing dishes, he would stand right behind me as if to catch me. If I was sitting down, he was right there for me to push myself up(not that I needed to, but I felt like this is what he needed) He was a big boy, 120 pounds and about 29-30 inches tall. Boy do I miss him
A Service Dog is only legally a SD when it is working for a disabled handler. Example: a woman with a mobility disability had a dog trained to mitigate her disability. The woman is in bed with the flu so the husband decides to take the dog for a much needed walk. On the way he passes a little store and remembers that he needs a loaf of bread to fix his sick wife some toast.

Can he take the trained SD into the store with him to pick up this one item?
The answer is no as he himself does not have a disability and he is not actively training the dog for someone else. The dog has no legal backing to go into the store.

So since the dog's ownership passed to you he was no longer a SD. One of the requirements for a dog to be a SD is that the dog must be working for a person with a legal disability.

Quote:
What would a mobility trained dog fall under?
Most basic and to the point answer in this particular case -- the dog was a pet. Just because he had advanced training did not change that fact.

If you were yourself had a mobility disability and the dog mitigated your disability then the dog would have changed disabled owner/handlers and would now be your SD.

Dogs can change handlers for various reasons and continue being a SD but only if all requirements are met.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Continuing somewhat with the question from llombardo.

llombardo, hope you don't mind but I'm going to use you and the dog you posted about as my characters in my following examples.

If llombardo had a mobility problem (not talking mobility disability here) and made use of the dog's previous training to help around the house or while off visiting family or friends then the dog could be considered a Trained Companion Dog.

Legal status again -- dog would still be legally a pet. Dog would not be allowed into any area where any other pet dog was not allowed.

llombardo could not have this dog in a restricted apartment or fly with dog other than under pet dog regulations. (I don't know of any airline that allows such a large dog to fly as a pet in cabin. )

llombardo would not have been allowed to take this dog -- even if it was being used as a Trained Companion Dog or if llombardo had informed the intake person that dog had been trained as a SD -- into a mass care evacuation shelter (think American Red Cross) unless that shelter was open to receive pets of those individuals seeking shelter.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILGHAUS View Post
If you were yourself had a mobility disability and the dog mitigated your disability then the dog would have changed disabled owner/handlers and would now be your SD.

Dogs can change handlers for various reasons and continue being a SD but only if all requirements are met.
I agree 100% with what was stated above this quote in the original post by ILGHAUS

I would like to add:
Legally this can be done if you (the OP), had a mobility disability. This however is NOT common practice amongst the professionals in this field. What the Pro's do that is common practice in this situation is that the dog is retired as a Service Dog and lives out the rest of its life as a PET. Provisions by the original disabled handler the dog was teamed with, and the Service Dog org or company is made in case of death or long term hospitalization of the disabled handler. When the original SD team can no longer function together the dog is permanently retired as a Service Dog. Usually it is pre-arranged that a family member or friend of the disabled handler agrees to take responsibility for the future care and quality of life of the retired Service Dog.
If you (hypothetical for instance) find a Service Dog for sale on EBAY for instance, I would use extreme caution if you are thinking of obtaining that dog as a Service Dog for your own disability or disabilities if you need a dog to help mitigate those disabilities.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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On one particular point that I would like to repeat -- from a previous post that I made in this thread and I'm quoting myself...

"Dogs can change handlers for various reasons and continue being a SD but only if all requirements are met."

A case in point. Several years ago I was asked to help a local retired vet with a SD that he had received. The dog's previous owner had a mobility disability to the extent that he was either in bed or else in a wheelchair. His dog had been trained to mitigate his disability. After the owner died the SD was given to another individual with much of the same needs though on a really good day he was able to walk with crutches and on worse days he rode in his wheelchair and sometimes had problems reaching for an item.

About the only additional training that was needed was the dog had been previously been trained to bring items to her handler and hold them near the handler's hand for the individual to take the item from the dog. The new handler needed the dog not to hold the item out to be taken but needed the dog to place the item into the handler's lap when so commanded.

So I proceeded to work with the dog both with the old command to hold item until the item was removed from her mouth. She then was given a new word to go with her new command of placing item into a lap. One pleasant afternoon of working with the handler and dog with breaks in between and some dried liver pieces and the dog had the basic concept down between the two. After that first day the dog was proofed that she knew the new command without a liver treat. Within the next couple of days she carried on like it was old hat for her both at home and out working in the community.

So to end this rambling example, this dog was a SD for the first handler and she continued with her status of a working SD with the second even though she needed a little tweaking on the training with the new handler such as walking with someone using crutches and the way she sometimes brought items to him.

If the first handler's son had kept the dog, then the dog would have gone from being a SD to being the son's pet.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have come back to add that my post was not in response to that made by SFGSSD as I was typing without seeing his post so please read the two as posts based on stand alone responses.
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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 01-27-2013 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Additional statement on posting order.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Aren't there organizations trying to sell trained companion animals as pets?
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Trained Companion Dog

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASDogGeek View Post
Aren't there organizations trying to sell trained companion animals as pets?
Are you talking about the SD washouts?

If so, some do. I don't mind if a washout is sold a a trained pet as long as they are clear that it is a pet.

I seen some cross the line and go a lot further and imply that it is still a legit SD when in fact it is a Therapy dog at best.


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