Autism Tether Video and Comments - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Autism Tether Video and Comments

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Commentary on Autism Tether or Anchor Dog Video

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This video is of a dog being trained to work as a tether or anchor dog for a child with autism. The video shows many red flags about this type of training, and sadly none of the adults in the background of the video do anything more than laugh at the child's mounting frustration and nothing to assist the dog.There are several very scary points where I was afraid for the safety of the child and the dog. I will go through what I see by time stamp of when it happens on the video.

Service Dogs: A Way of Life: Commentary on Autism Tether or Anchor Dog Video

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILGHAUS View Post
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Commentary on Autism Tether or Anchor Dog Video

Quote:
This video is of a dog being trained to work as a tether or anchor dog for a child with autism. The video shows many red flags about this type of training, and sadly none of the adults in the background of the video do anything more than laugh at the child's mounting frustration and nothing to assist the dog.There are several very scary points where I was afraid for the safety of the child and the dog. I will go through what I see by time stamp of when it happens on the video.

Service Dogs: A Way of Life: Commentary on Autism Tether or Anchor Dog Video
If you look closely at the video, you can see that the trainer is clutching the remote control for the dog's e-collar, ready to correct the dog if it displays an inappropriate response.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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I myself did not notice the collar. Surely not a good idea under the circumstances.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 06:49 PM
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I am sure this is probably one way the dogs are trained and I am sure there are many other ways they are trained in a positive environment. I am not saying it is right but is it fair to base how these dogs are trained on one video and one service agency?

One bad apple spoils it for all agencies that train tethered dogs and then it goes viral that these dogs are not treated correctly.

I am sure we could search and easily find other types of dogs trained for other types of work where the dog's best interest is not being taken into account. example...police dogs, our own pet dogs, search and rescue dogs and more....

I am not sure what the point of posting this video is to show what? To show that all autism service dogs are unhappy because of a child being tethered to them? I don't believe that based on this video.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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I am not sure what the point of posting this video is to show what?
The point of my posting this video link is to open a discussion on a topic that has gone viral. A topic that is very much out there in the SD community. A topic that has not been ruled on yet in a federal court only up to state level. The topic of tethering a child to a dog and the pros and cons. A topic of interest for SD users, trainers, and organizations. If you go back to my first post you will see that I did not make any comments one way or another.

In my second post I made a statement that I myself did not notice a training collar. I also commented that I did not believe that an e-collar being used in such a circumstance was a good idea.

So the point is -- to open a discussion. A chance for people to raise questions and a chance possibly to have their questions answered.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 05-20-2011 at 08:30 PM.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 10:11 PM
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Gotcha!! Well that was my opinion :-) on the video itself.

I believe if people do more research on their own not only will they see negative article/videos but they will also see positive articles/videos.
I myself do not have an child that has a disability with a dog that they are tethered so I can only speak through friends I have made that do have autism dogs. The dogs are happy, the children have benefited along with the family as a whole. This has been my experience.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-21-2011, 11:58 PM
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I am not sure what the point of posting this video is to show what? To show that all autism service dogs are unhappy because of a child being tethered to them? I don't believe that based on this video.
Dear Elly,
My point in posting commentary on this video ( a situation that sadly is not uncommon in the world of service dogs for children with autism) is to show the pieces that are often not brought to the forefront when considering this option. The fact that dogs are dogs no matter how well trained and have their limits and that many of the trainers jumping on this bandwagon no very little if anything about autism or what putting a dog in this kind of situation day in and day out may cause a dog to do. In fact there are studies that show the dogs are not getting what they need and burn out fasti.e. Factors affecting behavior and welfare of service ... [J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2008 Jan-Mar] - PubMed result. I know autism is a spectrum disorder and what works great for one child (and we are talking about children primarily since most of these programs will not work with a family with a teenager or an adult on the spectrum) will not work for another. Simply put dogs have very few options for dealing with stressful situations in the human world and with tether one of the only benign options to human way of thinking, simply for the dog to move away, is gone. I worry for the day one of these dogs injures their young charge, because both dog and child will suffer dearly. I have seen great placements such as through North Star and Canine Companions for Independence that achieve the same goals for the child and family without forcibly tethering child and dog together and I hope to see more programs willing to put in the long term work with the family, child, and dogs necessary to achieve these situations.
Finally just because a person/child has a disability and could be assisted by a service dog doesn't mean that a service dog is the best choice to assist them. If you did not watch the recent PBS documentary of Canine Assistant in Georgia, I encourage everyone to because it shows how difficult child service dog placements can be, as well as how great when they work.
I hope I have answered your concern as to why I felt the need to comment on this video.
Thank you for listening.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 12:08 AM
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Woooooow, I wonder if anybody who has any comment on this thread, or video, has had any PERSONAL experience of a handicap child IN THEIR FAMILY. Grrrrr...... I'm done.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 06:30 PM
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Rovingrebel - Understand your comments and why you reviewed this video.

What I didn't understand is why post the OP didn't add his reason to post it, he just posted it and I am not sure what response he wanted from it just negative? That is why I did state that not all dogs are trained this way as you have in your post here on the board.

Being any type of service dog can be stressful and how they are trained and then how they are placed is what is most important. Any service dog can be trained negatively and a can be placed into a negative situation. On the flip any service dog can be trained positively and placed in a positive situation.

Last edited by elly1210; 05-22-2011 at 06:33 PM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-22-2011, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Woooooow, I wonder if anybody who has any comment on this thread, or video, has had any PERSONAL experience of a handicap child IN THEIR FAMILY.
Are you saying that no one should discuss this video or their views on the topic unless they have a handicap child IN THEIR FAMILY? What if they themself are autistic, then is it OK to discuss the use of a dog in this manner? What if they train dogs for autistic people? Going out even further - what if they advocate for autistic people?

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Grrrrr...... I'm done.
Sorry it upset you that there is an interest on the topic in the SD community.

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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