Why can't one pet service dogs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Why can't one pet service dogs?

I'm pretty sure it has to do with it being a distraction but just wanted to get a greater understanding of what happens when the dog is pet or played with?
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 09:40 PM
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Because they are working, how would you like somebody coming up and randomly petting and playing with your dog as you are tracking or heeling?


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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Technically I love when people are interested in my dogs and will talk for hours about them until the person politely walks away... But I see what you're saying
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 09:52 PM
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I think it also has to do with the dog not seeking attention from strangers when they are working. I know Tag's brother who is a young dog in training as a SD has a strict no pet policy when he has his vest on. Even though he's a social dog, he won't be looking at people for pets, but rather focused on his person because that's where all his interaction will be coming from.

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 09:59 PM
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Have you ever tried to balance your check book or write a report with someone talking to you or tickling you? You can blocked out most regular noises such as cars driving by or people talking in the background but let someone call you by name or touch you and it becomes harder to concentrate.

Now think of a dog trying to lead a person around objects on a sidewalk or gaging the height of overhanging objects, or a dog trying to monitor its owners condition, or a dog feeling its partner stumbling while walking and it may give you more of an idea.

Service dogs are not like a companion animal. When in public a SD is doing a much needed job and not there to entertain or make friends with the public.

Trained dogs are afterall dogs. Allow them to chew on old shoes and they will chew on new ones, allow them to jump up on you while wearing your work clothes and they will try to do so while you are wearing your party clothes -- allow them to stop to be petted and loved on while killing time in the mall while waiting for a friend and they will think it is OK for the same while walking through a parking lot, crossing a street, or while the handler is trying to carry on with a life activity.

People in the community are afterall people. Allow them to pet your SD while you are not busy but killing time in the mall while waiting for a friend and that same public is going to think it is okay to distract or pet a SD in other circumstances or that other handlers should not object to them petting or talking to their SD.

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKlatsky View Post
I think it also has to do with the dog not seeking attention from strangers when they are working. I know Tag's brother who is a young dog in training as a SD has a strict no pet policy when he has his vest on. Even though he's a social dog, he won't be looking at people for pets, but rather focused on his person because that's where all his interaction will be coming from.
this is actually very accurate. though some service dogs can be pet, not all but some
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 10:41 PM
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member in education and Service Dog Handler.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 10:44 PM
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I freaking LOVE that video!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 10:49 PM
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I love that video!!!

There is one lady who comes into my work with a SD, not sure what he is needed for (don't feel comfortable asking) but she found out that I am "the dog person" in my place of employment (she's a regular customer) and has asked me a bunch of questions on dog nutrition and health.

She is always willing to "talk dog" with me and even offered me a pet. I of course accepted and was able to give him a nice stroke or two.

We frequently have SDIT at out local mall (National Service Dogs for autism) and I always ensure to ignore the cutie-pa-tootie puppies walking by, it's so hard but I try not to even look at them when they are training. I don't want to ruin their concentration by catching their eye or something... lol.

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 10:52 PM
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Thanks Lin for the video -- I have misplaced my link but it shows what we try to tell people in a manner that is likely to be remembered.

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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