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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Location: North Central FLorida, east of Gainesville
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For Discussion - PSDs for Vets

I just posted this topic concern (for discussion) on the ADAP FaceBook page that I am associated with and would also like to get some feedback from here.

I am seeing an increase in the number of training groups for PSDs for disabled vets. My concern is do these trainers have experience training PSDs (or under the guidance of experienced trainers of PSDs) and do they have a background working with people with these type of disabilities? Next there are the ones who are specialising using rescue dogs. How many are balanced in their approach and how many have rescue as their main goal? And then the bottom line - how many are really dedicated to helping our vets and how many are looking at this as the newest and very successful marketing tool?

Please read my concerns carefully before posting to insure that you are understanding my concerns correctly. I am not against vets with disabilities getting SDs. I am not against testing and evaluating dogs from various sources. I am not against an increase of trainers or organizations training PSDs for vets with disabilities.

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 #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 01:30 AM
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Location: North Country, NY
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I believe I have voiced similar concerns on this forum previously.

Where I am currently living, the Purple Heart Society has an office in the same building as my Civil Air Patrol Squadron, and they have a sign hanging up on their pin board with a contact number asking Soldiers to call them if they are interested in training their own dogs to become their Service Dogs.

I do not know who offers this service, as there is little information regarding the trainer(s) on the flier, but it states that "anyone who has been diagnosed with PTSD" is eligible for a Service Dog.

This is incorrect and it worries me that anyone would offer to train a dog as a Service Dog without understanding when someone is eligible for a Service Dog or what would go into training such dogs. The way the flier is worded, it makes me seriously doubt that the person(s) offering to train these dogs understand either.

The other thing I have encountered locally is that some (military) doctors have been recommending to Soldiers that they should get Service Dogs because it would make them "feel more comfortable" because the dog would "provide comfort and relaxation." This is not a Service Dog. Providing comfort is not a Service Dog task - it's an Emotional Support Animal "task", at best. A pet.

The problem I have run into locally with doctors on base is that many do not understand the difference between a pet, a Therapy Dog, an Emotional Support Animal, and a Service Dog, and are recommending dogs as "Service Dogs" basically to everyone they feel would benefit from having a (pet) dog. It's really very disconcerting to see medical providers throw the terms around as if they are interchangeable and recommending people get dogs and take them into public with nothing more than a written doctor's recommendation.

I am currently working with a provider, helping him train a Therapy Dog who will be accompanying him to his place of work to help his patients once she gets older, trained, and registered with one of the national organizations. I think I spent about an hour explaining to him how Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs, and Emotional Support Animals are different, too. But at least he's on the right track now and I'm sure his patients will benefit from his Therapy Dog once she starts working.

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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