Service dog training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Service dog training

I understand that there a lot of people out there who patronize fraudulent service dog registration services online in order to take their dogs wherever they want, and that these people are doing a grave disservice to people who legitimately require canine assistance.

I am interested in the process of getting my dog legitimately trained as a service dog, and whether or not I would be allowed to bring him with me wherever I wanted, as his handler.

I was speaking to dog trainer that told me that service dogs aren't necessarily trained to attack people or sniff out drugs or cancer. Some, such as therapy dogs, are just well behaved dogs who can go anywhere.

In particular, I'd love to fly with my dog in the cabin without having to stow him in the cargo space. He's decent sized (being a German shepherd), and wouldn't fit under the seats of course, but she said I'd probably be seated with him in one of the forward seats with a little more leg room.

How does one get his dog trained and recognized as a service dog, with all the rights and privileges that entails? The trainer told me that simply obtaining his Canine good citizen certification would allow him to be a service dog, but I am not certain that is the case.

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

Last edited by Pattyobrien3; 08-20-2013 at 01:08 PM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 01:47 PM
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 01:56 PM
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First...you have to be disabled. Or at least fall under the definition of a person with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Then your dog would have to be able to complete 3 (I think) trained tasks for you that help you in some way. This can't just be "dog calms me" because I get anxiety. Most of these tasks have to do something physical.

Therapy dogs are not service dogs and do not have public entry rights. Therapy dogs are allowed to go into some places, with the permission of that place (hospital, assisted living facility, ect) and perform a task that more or less entertains and provide therapeutic relief for others.

A therapy dog certification provides the handler with a small amount of insurance from the organization, and also gives the place they want to go a bit of a guarantee that the dog is friendly/well behaved.

You haven't really provided any information on WHY you need a service dog except that you want him with you on a plane. There are many service dog handlers and trainers on this forum that could provide you with resources as to how to train your dog to do certain tasks. But you'd have to provide information on what type of tasks you're interested in training.

So your dog trainer is wrong, the dogs do need to be trained in certain tasks in order to be service dogs. Therapy dog has nothing to do with service dog.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pattyobrien3 View Post
I was speaking to dog trainer that told me that service dogs aren't necessarily trained to attack people or sniff out drugs or cancer. Some, such as therapy dogs, are just well behaved dogs who can go anywhere.
These are not service dogs, they are working dogs (all service dogs are working dogs, but not all working dogs are service dogs). A service dog performs essential tasks for a person with a disability... it's not just a "well behaved dog who can go anywhere." A therapy dog does not have general public access rights the way a service dog does. Sounds like there's a bit of misunderstanding on the part of your trainer.

If you are in need of a service dog, this board is a good place to start-- there are several very experienced trainers and handlers here. However, in the real world, I would also suggest finding a trainer experienced in training service dogs specifically.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 02:11 PM
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That dog trainer you talked to has no clue. You need to be disabled. The dog needs to be trained to assist you, for example, picking up dropped objects because you cannot bend down, pull your wheel chair, assist with mobility problems where the dog wears a mobility harness, seeing eye dog.

A CGC has no special priviledges. A therapy dog is allowed into nursing homes and hospitals with permission, also sometimes special programs for children. Neither of these can fly in the cabin on a plane with you. The only way your GSD can fly on the plane with you is to book a charter flight. There are companies that do this, usually for dog show people. http://www.dogtravelcompany.net/Trav...KC_events.html

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Last edited by FlyAway; 08-20-2013 at 02:16 PM.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 02:16 PM
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SAR dogs can travel in a plane on the way to a disaster site. Forgot about that.

"And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
The trainer told me that simply obtaining his Canine good citizen certification would allow him to be a service dog, but I am not certain that is the case.
There has been grumbling the last several days in one of the groups that I am a member of concerning this topic.

Does your trainer work for one of the larger pet food & supplies stores? Some of the trainers at various stores around the country are telling people that there is a new program in which taking a CGC (through their store) is now all that is needed for an individual to claim their dog is a service dog.
Not true - False - No way.
I just wanted to make sure that I was clear on this.

A CGC is just one way of evaluating a dog. I myself in workshops etc. tell owner trainers (OTs) that a CGC is one of the items that is good to have on a check off list in evaluating if a dog is ready to go from a Service Dog Candidate to Service Dog In Training status. I also myself when evaluating as an individual for my group do not evaluate dogs under a year old. For those I will go through the evaluation steps with the owner and then speak with them on their dog's progress or where it needs some more work. That said, I have evaluated dogs under a year old at AKC shows and to lend a hand to another organization.

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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 08-20-2013 at 04:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 04:13 PM
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Per the Department of Justice:

“Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”



Effective Date March 15, 2011
Signed by Attorney General Eric Holder
July 23, 2010

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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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 08-20-2013 at 04:17 PM.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
I am interested in the process of getting my dog legitimately trained as a service dog, and whether or not I would be allowed to bring him with me wherever I wanted, as his handler.
There are certain cases in which even a fully working Assistance / Service Dog is not allowed to go with a trainer or handler.

For a SDIT it depends on the state in which the dog is at that time located and not based on the home state of the trainer handler as to where they are allowed. State laws cover dogs that are physically in their state boundaries at the time under consideration.

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 #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILGHAUS View Post
There has been grumbling the last several days in one of the groups that I am a member of concerning this topic.

Does your trainer work for one of the larger pet food & supplies stores? .
Yes, in fact, she was working for a Petsmart. She seems sincere, but her saying that a CGC = service dog sounded a little suspect.

I suppose it is off topic, but what exactly does a CGC do, then? Is it just a fancy but meaningless title?
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