Service dog? Anyone else? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Service dog? Anyone else?

Iím owner training Remi to be my service Dog, just wondering if there was anyone else out there with a GSD as a SD and how they worked out for them. Iíll have Remi for a week on Sunday, heís skiddish around my husband still but very very bonded to me I think he he will work out he just is weary of strangers which Iím working with him on, so far thatís his only issue. 😊 if he doesnít work out then he stays with us as a pet, I love him too much already lol just wish the hair shedding was less😂😂
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 02:29 AM
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I know there are several folks here who use GSDs as service dogs. I have one that we use for my mom when we take her places.

Of all the dogs in our extended family, she is the only one that would fit the bill personality wise. In this I mean that she is solid in who she is and is not dog or people reactive. She is not a bite risk to stupid adults who should know better than to bother a service dog especially one that is readily identifiable as a GSD, but children can run up to her and she responds in a quiet and friendly manner.

She has great nerve in that nothing seems to upset her. We can and have used her to take my mom to watch fireworks. I don't just mean watching off in the distance but actually walking within 20 feet of people setting off the type of aerials that you see at big displays. I could feel them in my body like walking then sitting through a firefight. (Where I live they set up an area with the fire department present so that people can safely shoot off all kinds of fireworks.) Gunfire is nothing to her.

Training is another issue. But typically this breed is very trainable. I would be concerned if you dog does not have solid nerves. Being wary of others in the way you inferred would concern me. New things made my one GSD wary/nervous. That alone was enough disqualified her from this job.

Others much more wxperienced that I will likely respond or you should check out the forum under the category Working Dogs - Guide, Therapy & Service Dogs

Good luck to you!


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 05:53 AM
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a dog who is skittish and wary of strangers is not suitable to be a service dog.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 08:40 AM
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What tasks do you need a service dog to do for you? That would be an important factor in determining your dog's suitability.

I am hearing impaired, but really don't need a dog in public as my assistive devices work well enough to keep me safe and aware of what's going on around me. It's when I'm home alone at night, and take them off to go to bed that I need help. I can't hear the smoke alarm, even if I am standing right underneath it!

Because of this, the dog's temperament wouldn't be that important, though both of the dogs I've trained so far have had excellent temperaments. But if the dog were out in public a lot, a skittish dog would not be suitable, and might possibly become a fear biter.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 10:56 AM
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I would agree. A dog with fear issues this young and he's afraid of the man he lives with? Unless he is abusive in some way... It doesn't exactly bode well for the puppy. It is possible he is going through a fear period and is normally happy and confident, but if he's still skittish with him after almost a week? I'm not thinking this will turn out. I am glad he will have a home no matter what.

Please know that we are not trying to put you down or discourage you. It is just absolutely vital that all service dogs are PERFECT now that the service dog/emotional support dog title has exploded with unfit animals. It makes those of us with real service dogs worry that we may one day not be allowed to have our actual service dog. There is no room for error for a dog with that title.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Pytheis View Post
Please know that we are not trying to put you down or discourage you. It is just absolutely vital that all service dogs are PERFECT now that the service dog/emotional support dog title has exploded with unfit animals. It makes those of us with real service dogs worry that we may one day not be allowed to have our actual service dog. There is no room for error for a dog with that title.
^ This. Also what @selzer said, too.

It's a very sad state of affairs for therapy and service animals. I was scrolling through Instagram and saw someone I was following was struggling to find a place to rent as she has a breed commonly banned. So many people in the comments suggested "registering" him as a service animal or ESA to override landlords turning her away. Thankfully just as many commented discouraging the behaviour.

While it can be expensive, perhaps going through a legitimate organization that has experience sourcing, training, and placing dogs appropriate for you might be best if your dog is expected to work with you out in public. Lots of dogs wash out in the first place, so finding an adult who is well trained can certainly alleviate any uncertainty or concern. The last thing you want is a dog who ends up accidentally hurting itself or someone else while on duty. Nothing wrong with her being a lovely pet, and I'm glad you're very bonded with her. But if you're noticing these behaviours now, it may be best to consider otherwise. I would personally be very concerned and be contacting my breeder if my girl ever showed that kind of behaviour towards my partner.

The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Pytheis View Post
I would agree. A dog with fear issues this young and he's afraid of the man he lives with? Unless he is abusive in some way... It doesn't exactly bode well for the puppy. It is possible he is going through a fear period and is normally happy and confident, but if he's still skittish with him after almost a week? I'm not thinking this will turn out. I am glad he will have a home no matter what.

Please know that we are not trying to put you down or discourage you. It is just absolutely vital that all service dogs are PERFECT now that the service dog/emotional support dog title has exploded with unfit animals. It makes those of us with real service dogs worry that we may one day not be allowed to have our actual service dog. There is no room for error for a dog with that title.
Agree. No room for error. The DOT is rewriting policy as we speak because of people who brought inappropriate dogs and other animals on airplanes.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 12:47 PM
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Just so you don't feel alone, my SD prospect puppy came home dog reactive. I worked with him quite a bit, but I knew already that it was highly unlikely he could be a service dog. His dog reactivity lessened, but it didn't matter. He couldn't have any fear or temperament issues. I accepted that, and he was welcomed as a member of the family. It can be really hard to accept that your puppy isn't a good match, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Please let us know how your puppy progresses, and feel free to ask any questions you have. I know we often scare people away with how blunt we can be sometimes, but we really do care!

Forrest - GSD 9/1/2016 - 5/14/2017 RIP
Brooklyn - Golden retriever 1/30/11
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 03:41 PM
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It is tempting to dismiss inappropriate service dog temperament in a puppy with "Well, he's still just a puppy!", but that is the temperament he was born with, and the temperament they will have all their lives. This is called nerves, and a dog with strong nerve shows strong nerve from the time they are little puppies. I know plenty of strong-nerved dogs that, even as puppies, would never show skittishness or fear around people.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 05:08 PM
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Unfortunately I have to agree with others here. If the dog has any issues like that it is temperament/nerves and the responsible thing to do would be to not go the service dog route. I had one that washed out, it was disappointing. He was too friendly and just did not have that bomb proof focus that a service dog should have,

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