Your Opinions On Testing - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Your Opinions On Testing

So Jordan started Service Dog Training 2 weeks ago now that we both know all the basic obedience. We are working with a group of folks in AZ that are personally training their service dogs. We do have a trainer who has trained 2 of her own service dogs and has helped many others train their own.

My question is ...and I really am looking for facts and opinions on this, and how yall would feel or understand it...

The way things are worded is we are basically told we are required to have a public access test. Everyone but me thinks that. I know that in the state of AZ (thanks to help on this site and lots of research) a SDiT can go in to public for training....making training much easier on my part and Jordan able to adapt to situations easier and more on our schedule.

Anyway, we (I) am being told we have to get our PAT (Public Access Test) and our CGC (Canine Good Citizen) and clock something like 1500 hours before being considered a full SD.

Now I am not objected to these things, im objected to being told that I have to have them... and not having a website or law to refer to that tells me so. I just like to triple check things since it seems that people get confused quite easily with terms and such in the SD community.

Jordan is going to get her CGC id all goes well by March 2011 (she starts CGC training [specifically] in January). We are working currently on tasks at home, and will be working on those tasks in public come next week (right now she is shutting lower cabinets and doors for me since bending makes me very dizzy and off balance). We are also keeping an extensive training log (how long we trained, type of training, where she went, etc).

Also I just want to verify once more that a vest is NOT required for public access correct?

:sigh:

Thanks. Again. As always!

-Jess

Jordan - 5.5 mos - GSD
Corey - 11 yrs - Chi/Terrier
Annie - 4 yrs - Chi
Ashleigh - 3 yrs - Siamese
Hobbes - 3 yrs - Tabby
Pasha - 1 yr - Gecko
Zuki - 1 yr - Bearded Dragon
Wyatt - 2 yrs - Cockatiel
Milo - 11 yrs - Cockatoo

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 04:54 PM
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I think this link from the ADA will answer your questions Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business

I am fostering a service dog, GSD, and under the Ohio law SDIT are also allowed public access. This is our 2nd foster service dog and I do notice the difference between this one and the other one. The other one that I fostered was very good with the public social scene and had high endurance while the one I have now is more sensitive and we do short public access visits to increase her confidence and focus in the setting. Both of these dogs were around 6 months old when I got them and then they go back at around 12 months.

Every trainer and service center will have different requirements for their facility but under the ADA it is not required. T

They are wanting to ensure that your dog is brought into in a positive way and not overwhelmed. Doing too much too fast can cause negative effects on the animal so you have to be very careful and I believe the requirements that they have are protecting you and the increased success of your dog.

If they are to back you up as their trainers and facility they want to ensure that your dog is ready and the only way they can do that is by testing your dog and both these tests are excellent measures to see if your dog can full operate and handle the everyday stress of full public access service dog. Example: If you are asked to leave a facility and you decide to take it to a manager or to a court of law this facility can prove that this is what they did with you and that your dog is equip to handle being a public access dog.

In my own opinion, training a service dog is very intense on the more advanced level and these dogs need to learn to work under all distractions as much as possible if I had someone guiding me and telling me what I needed to do to ensure my dog is equip to handle the pressures of a service dog I certainly would listen to them.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 05:15 PM
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Do you legally need the things they mentioned? No. Do I recommend them? Very very much so, so you have proof that you went through it all.

You are also not legally required to have your dog wear a vest.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 05:35 PM
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Also I just want to verify once more that a vest is NOT required for public access correct?
I don't know what Arizona's law is on this - you should look into your state law. While there is no requirement for dogs to be vested or identified in any way, some states' laws include information on how Service Dogs are supposed to be identified in that State.

I looked it up for Virginia a while back - Virginia Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws - and Virginia's Law requires that a guide dog wears a harness, a hearing dog wears an orange leash and collar, and any other type of service dog wears a harness, vest, or backpack identifying the dog.

You may want to see what Arizona says about identifying the type of dog you are using. I think a vest is a good idea, especially with an SDIT, to let people know the cute puppy you are bringing with you is in training to become a Service Dog, not just someone's pet.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 05:47 PM
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You may want to see what Arizona says about identifying the type of dog you are using. I think a vest is a good idea, especially with an SDIT, to let people know the cute puppy you are bringing with you is in training to become a Service Dog, not just someone's pet.
In Arizona, the dogs are not required to wear a vest or any type of special collar/harness.

Though I recommend it. Working in a restaurant, we have one person who comes in with their un-identified service dog, the next week everyone tries to bring in their dog too.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 06:50 PM
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I agree having fostering our 2nd SDIT it cuts down on anyone asking you to leave. I have been doing this now for almost a year and only 1 place asked me to leave and when I explained he was a SDIT they said OK. The vest also cuts down on people asking to pet your dog especially children who will run up to dogs (they shouldn't I know) but even with the vest they have done it. It lets people know your dog is working and should not be distracted SDIT or SD. I also think it helps put the dog into the mode they know it is serous time vs play time. I take the vest off when she is not working and she knows it gives her the cue to be successful.

It is truly not about people telling you what to do but giving good advice so you can be successful with your dog and have positive experiences.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 07:58 PM
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The vest also cuts down on people asking to pet your dog especially children who will run up to dogs
Man, I've noticed the opposite. Maybe it's where I am.

I do agree about the dog being put into "working mode"

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 08:22 PM
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I should reword that it cuts down on just people petting your dog instead they will ask (we hope) but I have to tell you I have less people asking to pet the GSD vs the lab that I had. They thought the lab was always available for petting.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 08:50 PM
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Man, I've noticed the opposite. Maybe it's where I am.
I think it depends on the people on any given day. I've noticed when I had bandanas (I used to have a large assortment of holiday bandanas) or backpacks on my dogs, I would get more people asking if they were Service Dogs or if they were working, as opposed to if they were not wearing anything. But some people will pet regardless. Your dog could wear an orange vest with reflective stripes and inch high letters saying Service Dog and people would still sneak a pet.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the advice!

I want her and I to succeed and I definitley know she and I can pass all the testing with proper training... we work well together and she learns quickly!

She loves to go to work, and has a different demeanor with her vest on vs off. We havent had any issues with public access outside of being asked once if she was a SD. I said yes. The end of confrontation.

I am happy to have her properly tested and screened and evaluated just because it protects both her and I from any legal repremands in the future, especially as we document everything.

Thank you for clearing it up for me and letting me know that it isnt legally required but reccomended. As I said above I want us to succeed and we will go to any lengths to make sure she does.

She does great in public and we are carefull not to overwhelm her. She gets lots and lots of off work, out of vest play time and has 2 special toys (no squeaks, no fetch, non tug) that she gets if she begins to get rambunctious (we sometimes sit outside the mall and people watch, or at the park in vest).

She loves training and working and catches on to what I am asking of her quickly. She is also excellent of ignoring everyone around her!

Thanks again for all the opinions and advice!!

-Jess

Jordan - 5.5 mos - GSD
Corey - 11 yrs - Chi/Terrier
Annie - 4 yrs - Chi
Ashleigh - 3 yrs - Siamese
Hobbes - 3 yrs - Tabby
Pasha - 1 yr - Gecko
Zuki - 1 yr - Bearded Dragon
Wyatt - 2 yrs - Cockatiel
Milo - 11 yrs - Cockatoo
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