Service Dog in Training Question - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Service Dog in Training Question

I've tried searching this out but can't seem to find a solid answers on my questions. If you can answers them, awesome, if you can point me in the right direction on where to find my answers...even better.

OK, so quick run down. I was medically retired from the Marine Corps in 2004. Recently some of my disabilities have impacted my life in a very negative way and I was approached with the idea of considering a service dog to assist me. Fast forward 8 months and my dog is at the "Service Dog in Training" stage. This week his paperwork is going go to be sent to the state (North Carolina) for his official paperwork as a "Service Dog in Training". In NC, from what I understand, an official "Service Dog in Training" receives the same right as an "Official Service Dog".

While I know I'm covered in North Carolina how would I know if I'm covered in another state? Is it like a drivers license where as long as you're registered in your resident state it is covered in other states? Is my best option just to look up the laws/regulations state by state?

I'm not one of those people that wants to be a jerk about enforcing my rights and I'd prefer to know where I can and can't go.

I hope these questions make sense.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Service Dog...once I go into public what can I expect?

My dog's paperwork as a "Service Dog in Training" will be sent to the state this week and I'm nervous about our first solo trips into the public world. I have been with my training organization but it's usually several people and it's never been on our own except for places that people expect to see a dog.

I know that you get a lot of direct and indirect attention but I guess I'm hoping someone can tell me what to expect when this happens.

I don't want to be a jerk about enforcing my "rights", I'd rather things go smoothly.

Here are some examples of my questions but please feel free to add more things that I'm not asking about.

1. How often do you meet resistance as to where you can and can't go?

2. What types of etiquette should I consider that may not have been brought to my attention already?

3. Are there any situations that you ran into after you started public access that you would not have thought about prior to it happening?

I can't really think of anything else specific but I do know I've got a little anxiety over this.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 01:01 PM
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Laws on service dogs in training vary state to state.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Xeph View Post
Laws on service dogs in training vary state to state.
Jackie is correct on this. Even if you have Public Access Rights in your state there are others where you will not. Another thing you must remember, in most states even in the owner/trainer can take their dog in none pet areas while "training" this does not always mean the owner can take the dog where they want and when they want. If State Statute says "while training" that is what it means. You can take the dog into a store to buy a loaf of bread - not for the reason to buy a loaf of bread and while doing so take the dog with you - but to use this as an training exercise (mostly proofing) where you are keeping a close eye on the dog to make sure it acts in the proper manner and does any trained tasks that is required of it. Each time the dog is taken somewhere, the type of location, the length of time, and what was the object of the training should be notated on the training log.

Example would be something like:
April 8 - Wal-Mart - 30 minutes - Late at night/few customers
Object: Review walking at side on loose leash while trainer pushes shopping cart.

Notes: Spot did not want to go through the automatic doors and needed encouragement. Recovered quickly once inside. Spot stayed at side while walking behind cart up and down aisles. Behaved nicely while cart returned at front of store. On leaving store, once again Spot needed encouragement to go through automatic doors.

Current Training Objective Met? Yes

Future Training Objective(s):
Needs practice of approaching and going through automatic doors.
Purchase simple item and go through check-out line.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 04:01 PM
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... (b) An animal in training to become a service animal may be taken into any of the places listed in G.S. 168?3 for the purpose of training when the animal is accompanied by a person who is training the service animal and the animal wears a collar and leash, harness, or cape that identifies the animal as a service animal in training. The trainer shall be liable for any damage caused by the animal while using a public conveyance or on the premises of a public facility or other place listed in G.S. 168?3. (1985, c. 514, s. 1; 1987, c. 401, s. 1; 1995, c. 276, s. 1; 1997?443, s. 11A.118(a); 2004?203, s. 62(a); 2005?450, s. 1.)

Chapter 168

Bolding is mine.

So as I stated in my previous post some states have this as part of their statutes on SDs. You may not take your dog with you while you are running errands, doing your shopping, etc. just to have his company or because you don't want to leave him at home. At each and every stop you must have a training purpose for the stop. At all times you must be paying more attention to the dog vrs. your surroundings or doing other tasks. You must be prepared to remove the dog ASAP from the location if the dog is not behaving properly.

During training it is reasonable to pick up a loaf of bread and go through line but it is not reasonable to do weekly shopping. It is reasonable to walk through a hardware store and pick up a weekly sales paper but not to look through paint samples for your interior walls or choose plants for your garden. Remember, your attention must be on the dog. Is he walking nicely, is he ignoring other customers or is he trying to get their attention, is he trying to pull to get closer to a rack display of dog toys, is he sniffing at bags of dog kibble? If he does something like one of the above he must be corrected in a timely manner. If he does something like barking at a customer he must be removed from the store at once.

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 #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 04:20 PM
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When I was raising Ranger for the Seeing Eye (in PA and NJ) I was told by the Seeing Eye that dogs in training did not have the same rights as graduated service dogs. I was instructed to ask for permission to take Ranger into any place. I was also told not to take him to places with food - grocery stores, restaurants etc.. Even with the name recognition of the Seeing Eye and a vest on the dog I still ran into several objections to taking him places. There was really no rhyme or reason. The Walmart near me was very accommodating while the Walmart in the next town refused to allow us admittance. I know that SEPTA (the regional mass transit in the Philadelphia area) has a policy of accommodating service dogs in training, but we still asked for permission when we brought 12 dogs on an outing.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 04:31 PM
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Fiona is a service dog in California. She has completed some of her training and is licensed by the state of California for pain management. While she was in training, I just had a vest or bandana on her and she went everywhere with me. We went to Texas and Washington, D.C.. I never had a problem, except at a Chinese restaurant where they insisted I had to sit outside. I refused and pulled out something that I had printed from the department of justice website. I educated them and they sat us inside. Others have asked if she has a tag. I say yes, and then we are on our way. I take and took her on my weekly shopping trips, because she needed to learn to pull a full cart, but not pull an empty one. I guess I had a training goal in mind I just combined errands. But Ca is a very liberal state, so most people are like whatever.


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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 05:40 PM
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Please remember that there is a big difference on the handler's Public Access Rights in regards to a Service Dog vrs. a Service Dog In Training.

A Service Dog handler has Public Access Rights by virtue of the Dept. of Justice. (Federal Agency - Federal Regulatory Law).

A Service Dog In Training handler only has Public Access Rights through any appropriate State Statute. To make use of this right, the handler must follow all requirements made by the particular state in which the dog is currently present including any ID, equipment, allowed places mentioned by statute, and any limitations as to organization and trainer/handler.

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 #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 05:51 PM
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Ilghaus, thank you for posting that. I think it is important that service dog trainers follow the appropriate rules in each state. I really think that the problems that I ran into with Ranger were due to people who abuse the rights of the service dog in training status.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 05:57 PM
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As noted, it depends on the state. Personally speaking I have raised for two different organizations and had dogs with me daily for years back when I was raising. I took them everywhere and never had a single problem except for a local steak and shake restaurant who did eventually allow us to stay. That was the only problem ever.

I really think it depends more on how you conduct yourself and how well behaved and presented the dog is.


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