Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification

My daughter suffers from anxiety/panic disorder for which she has been under a doctor's care for about two years. She has an Australian Shepherd that she would very much like to train as a service dog and get her certified. We are in the Central Texas area not far from Killeen. Her dog has been used as a pet therapy dog at local hospital and nursing homes. She is currently tuning up Hannah's(the dog) obedience skills and will be taking cgc test in a couple of weeks.

We'd appreciate any guidance as to where to proceed from that point. We'd especially like to hear from anyone with psd experience either as a trainer or owner.

Thanks in advance,

Susan and Gracie dog
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 09:31 AM
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Re: Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification

I have worked with SDs and also am a SD/Assistance Dog Advocate. First off, there is no national type of certification for SDs. Only those dogs who go through a training program at a SD organization and trained by their staff are "certified" to the standards of that particular organization.

As an owner-trainer your daughter's dog will not be certified but if she and her dog meet the qualifications set up by the ADA and its overseeing agencies (in this case the Dept. of Justice) then her dog will have SD status.

As a SDIT, a service-dog-in-training, only state laws will apply as the federal law does not go into effect until the dog is a working SD. Some states recognize SDITs, some do not recognize owner trainers, and some states do not recognize PSDs. This does not mean that an owner can not train their dog in these states - only that there are no special priviledges or status given. Again, even if the state does not recognize the dog as a SDIT, as soon as the dog meets all qualifications including being at working readiness than the federal law goes into motion and the dog will be considered a SD.

A major thing to remember is that a note or letter from a doctor or other health provider does not automaticaly make a person qualified as disabled under the ADA nor can a doctor or health care provider prescribe that a person get a SD. A doctor's documention (medically declaring the person disabled) is part of what is needed to meet the legal qualifications of a disabled handler and a doctor's or health care provider's recommendation that the person could benefit from the use of a SD are valuable information to be added to a SDs training and record keeping documentation.


TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 09:45 AM
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Re: Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification

The last that I heard is that Texas does not recognize owner-training of SDs but does recognize PSDs. This means that only a trainer from a state recognized school would have trainer priviledges working with the dog such as taking the dog into places where a pet dog is not allowed.

But remember, Texas state law would only apply to the dog while in training and not once the dog was fully trained and ready to be put into active work.

I don't have time to research right now to see if any changes were made to the Texas statutes this year but for any questions on this point you can contact your State Attorney General's Office by mail:
Office of the Attorney General
PO Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
or call
(800) 252-8011 or (512) 475-4413

Also visit this website to look for information:
[email protected]


TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 10:07 AM
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Re: Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification

Now that the "certification" and recognizition of owner-trained service dogs in Texas has been addressed, your daughter needs to decide what she needs a SD to do for her.

These must be trained tasks and not something that the dog does automatically like give comfort. A trained task must be something to mitigate your daughter's disability and be something that she can not do for herself. A strong trained task must be something that your daughter could demonstrate in front of a judge if so requested. Remember in an earlier post I said doctors could declare a person medically disabled? Well only a judge can legally declare a person disabled. While the majority of handlers will never be called into a court of law to prove that their dog and they meet all qualifications to be a SD team it is something that all SD handlers must be prepared to do. This proof is by previous documentation which would include a training manual and in some cases also the calling of witnesses. I know of some teams that back up training manuals with videos showing the team working together.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification

Thank you so much for the info. We were able to find the TX statutes although it's a little vague about what they consider acceptable trainers. My daughter is doing some follow up research thru a site called http://www.pshchdog.com (I think). Other than cuddling, or tactile stimulation there don't seem to be many specific tasks that can be taught. What Hannah does now is "hugs" Kate's knee with her chin. As to the disability, I don't think that's an issue. I know it already been addressed with her employer and she has been advised she can apply for SSI benefits, but she chooses not to go that route since she is employed.

There is a service dog group in Austin that works with psd dogs but their training is very expensive and they really don't want to work with peoples own dogs. They do however get most of the service dogs they train from shelters. Yay!

I'll keep you posted.

Susan
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 12:05 PM
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Re: Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification

A little more info about Texas. The law states "certified trainer" from "recognized" facilities. But the law didn't define either one. There was a case that challenged this and made it to the state Superior Court and the court came back and defined both as "one that is recognized by those that specialize in the rehabilitation of the disabled as being capable of training a service dog." Basically what that means is to get the ability to take an SDIT in the public, you have to be recognized by a physician, PT, or OT as being capable of training a SD. I have letters from MDs and PTs stating that my knowledge in task analysis and disability mitigation qualify me to train service dogs. It does take working with them to ensure you meet the need.

An owner/handler trained dog that is trained to perform a specific task to mitigate a disability has pretty good protection under the state law including criminal offenses for interfearance or refusing access.

Hope that helps.

Jeffrey

I hope one day that I can be half the man that my GSD thinks I am.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 06:17 PM
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Re: Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification

Quote:
Quote:My daughter is doing some follow up research thru a site called http://www.pshchdog.com (I think).

May I suggest that she widen her research to a site which is a stickler for the following of laws (Federal and State) in order to protect and advocate for the interests of PWDs and their SDs.
http://www.servicedogcentral.org

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification

Great site. Thanks for the link. I forwarded it to Kate.

The link below is for the group in Austin that Kate contacted.
http://www.myservicedog.com/

Anyone familiar with this group?

Susan
Grace, GSD
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 05:03 AM
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Re: Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification

RUN from that group!!!!!!!!!!! I have placed a lab with a young lady with the same disorder that originally got a dog from them and is NOT happy.. The dog I gave her is alerting her to impending seizures as well as her dropping blood sugar. Feel free to contact me privately. Please please let us help you find someone for you so you do not become a victim of a fraud like so many others. This is not a kind business.
The young woman that I placed this dog with is in El Paso and trains dogs.
[email protected]
Also be aware that the dog you have many not be a candidate. There is a lot more to this than folks think and not all dogs are candidates for this kind of training,regardless of what some of these "orgs" tell you....
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 03:53 PM
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Re: Self-Training Pshchiatric SD and Certification

Renee, sent you a PM.
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