About service dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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About service dogs

Lately there are lot of requests on CL from people looking for a puppy to train as their service dog. I have worked with a young woman who bought her future service dog to be as an 8 week old $2500 Aussie mix, supposedly bred for this purpose. She was not experienced in training at all and all I do is pet dog training so I helped her with the basics. I wish this service dog issue would get regulated. How in the world can you train a random pup as your service dog if you don't have a clue (yet) about training?
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:46 PM
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They hopefully go to expert trainers and actually fully train the dog. At least until there is regulation, that's all we can hope for. When regulation happens and I believe it is a 'when', then a lot of people are going to lose their service dogs. Sadly people who do need a service dog as well as the fakes.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:51 PM
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I don't know if I am paying more attention to it or if it really is reaching a fever pitch so to speak. It SEEMS like a lot t of these people want psych dogs and don't seem to uderstand that:

-they must actually be disabled by their condition as verified by a qualified professional
-it is only a dog, it is not capable of superpowers...it will not magically be able to do anything until it has been painstakingly trained for it
-comfort is not a task

They get the dog without first considering "what can I not do myself because of my disability", they get the dog then ask what can I train the dog to do?

Without being too specifically judgmental....I see people putting burdens on these psych dogs that I don't think are fair or acceptable. I think people need to be at a basic level of self care and stability before considering a psych dog. It is not a replacement for a locked ward.

And just so you know I am not just a hater...I will out myself, my dog was for PTSD so she is a psych dog. And partly where this feeling comes from is I helped a friend select a candidate dog and start her in training and then the girl completely destabilized to the point that she was shooting her psych meds for recreation and this poor dog was put in harm's way big time...I was able to get the dog away from her and keep the dog safe but not before she very nearly killed her.

My mistake for being blinded by my friendship with this girl and believing what she told me about some things....

I think there are people who think it is a replacement for hard and miserable work in therapy...
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 05:40 PM
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Also...people using dogs who are not necessarily fit to work but people make the best of it...they have invested so much time by then. They adjust to suit the dog. And pardon dogs who shouldn't be working.

I see posts about people planning to use Caucasian Ovcharkas (sp?) As SDs,...recenlty someone was considering a byb border collie/pyrenees mix (who thought that up)
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 05:54 PM
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I don't know. Some people are desperate to try anything that may help them. Depression and anxiety disorders seem to be on the rise, for whatever reason, so it make sense that there would be a rise in people (not-so-knowledgeable-about-dogs people) thinking a service dog would be an easy fix.

I have panic disorder with agoraphobia and my pup is hopefully starting her psych service dog training soon. I don't have PTSD, and I am constantly afraid that since I don't, if someone random person on the street asks me why I have a SD, I won't be able to explain adequately and the person will think I am a faker.

I emailed a local place during my search to find a nonprofit to help me train or obtain an SD. I got a very rude response from them stating that they only trained dogs for "veterans with REAL mental illnesses" (yes, they emphasized 'real').
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:23 PM
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Are you talking about Service Dogs or "therapy " dogs. I believe Service Dogs are trained to do a service for the owner. Guide Dogs for the Blind, for instance, trains and gives people Service Dogs.Service Dogs are dogs that know when someone's blood sugar is low, or that they are about to have a seizure for instance. The therapy dog is dog someone got to make them feel less anxious.

Last edited by Nurse Bishop; 11-29-2016 at 06:28 PM. Reason: don't want to hurt anyone's feelings
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Bishop View Post
Are you talking about Service Dogs or "therapy " dogs. I believe Service Dogs are trained to do a service for the owner. Guide Dogs for the Blind, for instance, trains and gives people Service Dogs.Service Dogs are dogs that know when someone's blood sugar is low, or that they are about to have a seizure for instance. The therapy dog is dog someone got to make them feel less anxious.

No they are talking about psychiatric service dogs. What you describe at the end is an "emotional support animal" which is a pet that gives comfort to their owner and has no special training. A therapy dog is something else entirely and goes to different facilities such as nursing homes or hospitals to help comfort patients.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:40 PM
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What are psychiatric service dogs trained to do exactly?
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:40 PM
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@CatChandler it is a real issue....there are tons of programs providing PTSD dogs for veterans...none for women with PTSD as a result of rape or domestic violence

Do rehearse ahead of time what you are going to say to people and don't get put on the spot. First of all, you don't owe anybody an elxplanation of your medical history requiring a service dog. If your dog is properly trained, its behavior will set you apart from the fakers.
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Bishop View Post
What are psychiatric service dogs trained to do exactly?
Psych dogs are trained just like any other service dog to mitigate the disability if someone who is disabled by a mental illness. I don't especially love calling PTSD a mental "illness"..it is more like the natural response to a life threatening traumatic incident...but....that is another issue.

People use dogs for deep pressure therapy, some dogs are trained to alert a handler to an impending panic attack before it is too far out of control, dogs are trained to wake people from nightmares, dogs will guide people much like a seeing eye dog if they are in a dissasociative fugue state. PTSD dogs are often trained to guide a handler out of the nearest exit if they are becoming overhwlemed in a crowd. They block space behind their handler in line to keep people from jostling and crowding. They often do a little bit of counter balance if the handler gets dizzy during a panic attack.

I also have a blood pressure thing and I get pretty bad dizzyness from that, but because of the PTSD if someone were to notice and try and be a good samaritan and reach out to steady me that would be a problem. So my dog does counter balance for that, she will lean her weight into the harness, usually into her chest if I am holding the one handle, until I can get steady.

That isn't all...and my dog didn't do all of that, but some....and there are dogs trained more specifically for other issues I just can't rattle them off as easily.
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