Protection for the Wifey! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Protection for the Wifey!

Hello, I'm new here to this website but I figured this was the best sub-category to post this question. I'm a firefighter here in Utah which means I'm gone a good chunk of the week. I work 24 hour shifts which leaves my wife alone at the house. We live in a good neighborhood but the city we live in has a couple bad parts and there's some places we shop that are a little more "shady" than what I'm comfortable with. My wife is a very skinny beautiful woman. Of course, I get very nervous when she has to go shopping while I'm at work. I recently purchased a GSD (male) and I was curious about him becoming a protection dog. I have him signed up for obedience training and the Canine Good Citizenship program and I'm confident he will pass it with ease. He's very well tempered dog and he behaves at all times. My ultimate goal is to be able to have my wife go shopping with my dog without any hassles from the store. Most stores in the area don't care if you have a dog as long as he's a "Service Dog". I don't feel like I need to send him through a full protection dog training class for her to be safe. I figure as long as Sam (my dog) is there, no one will ever want to mess with my wife. So here's my question, is there a way to certify my dog as a service dog without sending him through the full protection training? I haven't even been able to find any protection classes in my area. What are you suggestions? Someone told me you can make your dog your "Emotional Support" animal which is a service dog. In all fairness, he is an emotional support dog because my wife feels much safer with him around. So, what are your suggestions? I know protection training would be the best option but my wife and I are on a limited budget and I heard protection training is very expensive.

Thanks in advance,
George
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post #2 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:11 PM
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If your wife has no medical need for a service dog, it's both illegal and immoral to pass a dog off as one for her. Doing this makes things VERY difficult for people who actually need service dogs in order to live life normally.

It also takes more than your dog "making you feel better" to be an ESA. If that were the case everyone's dog would be an ESA.

Your dog is going to be naturally protective of you and the house. Intruders generally are going to avoid homes with large dogs or where a lot of noise gets made (barking).

Have her carry a taser, or pepper spray, instead. Maybe get her a conceal-carry license and a small gun if that is legal to do in Utah. I know that varies by state. Here you can do that, you can even open carry.
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post #3 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:11 PM
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No.

A service dog has to fulfill a legitimate need for someone who has a true disability. Whoever told you about "emotional support" dogs was full of it.

People who have legitimate disabilities and who need a service dog just to carry out daily functions are very protective of the right to have their service dogs, and someone who doesn't have a disability but who tries to pass their pet off as a "service dog" is viewed about the same way as an able-bodied individual who swipes Grandma's handicapped parking tag so he doesn't have to park too far from the mall entrance.

In addition, even a fully trained Personal Protection Dog is NOT a legitimate service dog. PPDs are not permitted in restaurants and grocery stores like service dogs are. My advice to your wife (speaking as a petite female myself) would be to learn situational awarenes, learn self defense, and get a CCW.


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Last edited by Emoore; 10-11-2011 at 06:18 PM.
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post #4 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:11 PM
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I am be wrong, but I don't think protection dogs qualify as "service" dogs. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge will chime in.

Melinda

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post #5 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clearcreekranch View Post
I am be wrong, but I don't think protection dogs qualify as "service" dogs. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge will chime in.
They do not.


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post #6 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:13 PM
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Can your wife get a concealed carry permit and carry a gun in Utah?

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post #7 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:16 PM
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Firstly, Welcome to the forum.
As long as local businesses aren't too picky about letting dogs in, and yours is well behaved, I should imagine you won't need to get him certified as a service animal.

Also, be warned that German Shepherds may, as a whole be protective, but there are variations in the breed. If My Allie was choosing to be emotionally supportive of something, you can safely bet it'd be the couch.


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post #8 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:17 PM
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How about you have your wife take some personal protection classes? Maybe some gun classes, that way she can protect herself.

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post #9 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:24 PM
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Hi George,

I have a few suggestions:

Send your wife to self-defense classes so as a responsible grown-up adult, she can look after herself. If you see her as helpless and a victim, how can she see herself any differently.

A protection dog is not the same thing as a service dog. A service dog is used to assist people with medical issues and are specifically trained for certain tasks to assist the person who needs them. Personal Protection dogs do not have the same right of access as Personal Service Dogs. Passing a non-service dog off as one in order to be allowed to access public places that are normally off-limits to dogs is against the law, and as such, people who do this are commiting fraud.

You can't just pick up a dog and make it into a personal protection dog. It has to be the right dog, with the right balance of drives, with the right temperament, from a breeder who knows what to breed for when it comes to PPDs. You may get lucky and a random dog from a shelter or a random breeder may pan out, but the probablity of that is pretty low.

Training a dog for Personal protection takes years and full involvement from the handler, and require on-going maintenance training. Best to have the owner/handler do the training so that they have the control over the dogs at all times. Is your wife going to be the one taking the dog to training?

Sounds like you are starting out on the right foot with a well balance dog along with the obedience classes. Having a PPD is a HUGE investment in time and energy, and a HUGE liability in case this dog, thay you got to BITE people, does in fact accidently bite the wrong person. For 99% of the people out there, having a large, well behaved dog at one's side is a superb deterent and about all the protection most people will need,without the added liability.

Lucia


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post #10 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:48 PM
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Agreed with all who said get your wife some self-defense classes.
I'm 5'4" and have taken TKD, and along with that, self-defense (taught alongside TKD and using many TKD methods).
I'm not looking forward to being attacked in the least but I am confident I would at least fight to the death (if the attacker had my death in mind) or survive by brutalizing the attacker with my elbows, knees and hands!

I also have a CCW permit and carry my gun daily. I will not be a victim, and although we have a GSD I don't tote him around to make myself feel safer
Guns fit much better into purses...!
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