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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A serious hurdle ... Alaya is in heat!

Quote:
Jon Sabin, president of Seizure Alert Dogs for Life, said that Alaya is one of the top dogs in seizure response in the world, and that she has tremendous pedigree. Her official name is Oleah Grams Von Ajaye.

"She comes from world champion bloodline," Sabin said.

Oleah Grams Von Ajaye - German shepherd dog


Quote and link above from an article
Once-Banned Service Dog in Heat, Not is School
Updated 4:59 PM EST, Tue, Jan 11, 2011
Once-Banned Service Dog in Heat, Not in School | NBC Washington


Original thread on Alaya and Andrew is found here
http://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...9-school-denies-students-service-dog-gsd.html
 

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I am a little curious as to whether Service Dogs are usually male (not female) or whether they are usually spayed or neutered to prevent something like this from happening. I would assume that a disabled person needs their dog with them at all times, and that dogs who are not altered may not be usable at all times - wouldn't it make sense for them to be altered?
 

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I'm a bit surprised she isn't spayed as well unless they want a litter from her hoping her abilities are also found in her offspring?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Everyone in the SD community that I have spoken to so far are very surprised that an intact female was trained and given to a handler especially a 12 year old boy.

Someone posting as the trainer has told some on a SD forum that I am a member of that it wasn't his responsibility and that the family should have had her spayed. He said that having her spayed during training would have taken 10 days away from her training.

He said that she was not spayed before because of her coming from champion lines.

I have two problems with the supposed trainer.
~ He seems to be throwing the family under the train as he is putting the blame on them that Alaya is not spayed.
~ He has threatened a couple of people with not only physical but mental disabilities that he has already notified his lawyer and will sue them if they do not cease speaking about his program in a negative manner. The only things they are talking about are items that have been in the paper from his interviews.
 

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That seems really odd. Was this a dog the family purchased privately or previously owned and had specially trained, or did the trainer select (or even breed), train, and then place the dog?

If the former, the family should be responsible for spaying her. If the latter, he should've spayed her IMHO prior to placement. The organizations I've worked with hold off on altering puppies so they can access breeding stock potential, but they are ALWAYS altered before placement or when it's determined they aren't breeding stock material.
 

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This is getting to be very confusing. I found a different article online that was posted today and claims that Andrew and Alaya went to school today. It is located here --> Epileptic boy returns to school with aide of dog and dad | TBD.com

So, did they go to school today or didn't they? Who's got it right?

Was this a dog the family purchased privately or previously owned and had specially trained, or did the trainer select (or even breed), train, and then place the dog?
From what I understand from what was posted before, the family paid close to $20,000 for the dog and its training from a school / trainer in New York called "Seizure Alert Dogs for Life." From what I can tell, the organization does not have a website but does have a blog.

Two things that I find confusing on the website are the statement that all dogs will be "licensed as Service Animals in NY prior to delivery" and that they do not guarantee that their dogs will alert to any seizures at any point.

I also live in New York and I am not aware of any "NY Service Animal License" excepting the license you get from your local town clerk showing that your animal is licensed in your town/county. These are free for Service Dogs, but I don't understand how this would be relevant for a dog who is going to be working in Virginia or any other state, as the dog would have to be licensed there as required by state law.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It is all getting very confusing and what started out as a force for a 12 year old boy is now being turned into a mass marketing commercial. The trainer has said that he has received 40,000 emails from people around the world interested in getting one of his dogs.

And from his blog is this quote:
San Diego- Mark Viera, owner Von Viera German Shepherds, has joined forces with Seizure Alert Dogs for Life, Inc. to provide Schutzhund BH training and breeding for our seizure alert/response dog program.

Viera has bred and trained some of the best West German Show Line German Shepherds in the world. Viera only breeds from the best dogs in the world.

Viera most recently trained shepherds that won the 2008 and 2009 North American Sieger Show championships

Seizure Alert Dogs for Life: World Renowned Schutzhund Trainer Joins Seizure Alert Dogs for Life

Along with the breeding "from the best dogs" in the world is the equipment that the trainer's business has designed. The whole thing is getting too commercial for me.
 

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How old is Alaya? She sure didn't look like a puppy to me one would think the family would have been aware she wasn't spayed and do so themselves if she was purchased before her first heat. Why would being in heat prevent her from going to school anyway that makes no sense to me?
 

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It wouldn't necessarily prevent I suppose, but she would have to wear a diaper. First heat is usually around 6 mo old for LBD's, so they would've had to purchase her as a puppy to have her spayed prior to her first heat. It sounds like she was an adult when they purchased her.
 

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they do not guarantee that their dogs will alert to any seizures at any point.
I would imagine that is a liability clause....do guide dog organizations and assistance dog organizations guarantee the dog will always 100% do as asked/trained? Honest question here! I would imagine they don't, because it's an animal and not a machine, so I think the above statement is probably just a CYA thing.
 

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I get the diaper thing, but it's not a huge deal at all believe me we use then here,lol I had also assumed a trained SD would be purchased as an adult and not a pup, but then that leads me to believe this is not Alaya's first heat with the family. If they felt it impeded her ability to accompany Andrew to school one would think they would have had her spayed to prevent any further upset to his education especially since they have fought so hard to get in the doors there. Why give the school yet another reason to question whether or not she should be there? I hope this story is bogus since it appears the two were at school today, but it sure is odd.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am a little curious as to whether Service Dogs are usually male (not female) or whether they are usually spayed or neutered to prevent something like this from happening.
I have never heard of any reputable training facility giving/selling an intact male or female to a handler. OT dogs may be but it is not the norm as intact males often need more training and a handler tht can control the dog and keep its mind on the job and not any intact females it comes into contact with and then females must be off the job twice a year while in heat.

I don't really blame the family as they may not have any dog experience nor they may not have known when Alaya was next due into heat. They had only received her in late Nov. I believe and getting her spayed ASAP might not have been explained to them. With getting a new dog and then facing the problems with the school they may have put it on their list of important things to do but not a top priority. I still don't understand why when it was decided not to breed Alaya and to instead put her into a SD training program she was not spayed then. Afterall she was not a pup or a young dog. When sold to the Stevens' family she was 5 years old and there were several years in there (many people prefer to wait until the dog is mature) to have this taken care of. I believe 2 is the age that West German Show lines are considered mature and should have been the point where she was then spayed unless the original breeder was maybe holding her back to see how she developed and if they wanted to keep her for showing or to add to their breeding program. But again, once decided not to show her or breed her she should have been spayed before training as a SD.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
How old is Alaya? She sure didn't look like a puppy to me one would think the family would have been aware she wasn't spayed and do so themselves if she was purchased before her first heat. Why would being in heat prevent her from going to school anyway that makes no sense to me?
and

but then that leads me to believe this is not Alaya's first heat with the family.
Alaya was 5 when the Stevens received her from the training facility from which they purchased her. I believe it was around Thanksgiving -- less than 2 months ago.

Why would being in heat prevent her from going to school ....?
1) Keeping her mind on the job at hand
2) Safety issues for the handler
for the two main reasons.
 

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I would imagine that is a liability clause....do guide dog organizations and assistance dog organizations guarantee the dog will always 100% do as asked/trained? Honest question here! I would imagine they don't, because it's an animal and not a machine, so I think the above statement is probably just a CYA thing.
That's a very good question.

I guess the question is whether the dogs are sold as seizure alert dogs or seizure response dogs. If they train dogs to alert to seizures and someone gives them $18,000 to pay for a seizure alert dog that has been trained to alert to seizures, it stands to reason that the dog should be alerting to seizures as trained?

I get the diaper thing, but it's not a huge deal at all believe me we use then here,lol I had also assumed a trained SD would be purchased as an adult and not a pup, but then that leads me to believe this is not Alaya's first heat with the family.
Based on what has been said in the other thread, the Stevens family only received Alaya in December (or late November), so it is not surprising that this would be her first heat with them. But I do agree that she should have been spayed before being placed with the family to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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That's a very good question.

I guess the question is whether the dogs are sold as seizure alert dogs or seizure response dogs. If they train dogs to alert to seizures and someone gives them $18,000 to pay for a seizure alert dog that has been trained to alert to seizures, it stands to reason that the dog should be alerting to seizures as trained?
Yes, I agree, but what I was referring to was that possibly for legal reasons, they don't or can't guarantee the dog will alert/respond. If the dog misses or just flat out doesn't respond to a single seizure, the organization that trained and provided the dog would/could be held liable in a civil case. Now whether or not they should be wasn't necessarily my question - just that perhaps they don't WANT to be and thus put the provision in there that they can't guarantee the dog will respond.

Does that clarify it a little?
 

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Hello, it was a private agreement we reached with the breeder, and will remain as such, Alayas first heat with us is just that our first time seeing her in heat.

As a responsible owner, we excused her from school that day (Tuesday) and took her to the vet, we missed her appointment in December late that had her scheduled for her Spay, sadly we were a little caught up in a battle that in turn made us miss that appointment.

We were cleared to still send her to school by the vet after some testing it was seen it in no way impedes her ability to detect seziures, we got a few items to make it more clean and rescheduled her appointment for a month from now, the doctor would prefer a few weeks go past after her cycle to allow her hormones to return to normal prior to the surgery.

Alaya and Andrew went to school today (Wenesday) and was fantasic, she alerted to 2 seizures no one saw including me, and demonstrated her obediance skills for the class and teachers, as well as an answer and question session for Andrew in which he very clearly and intelligently explained her role and duties.

The entire class then went on as normal, no one was distracted or interrputed by the dog in the performance of her job.

My personal agreements with the trainer and breeder are not open for discussion and are just that a private agreement made by us and them, having done our end we can now have her spayed and will be doing so in the near future, I appreciate the concerns.

At the end of the day one of the fathers of a student in Andrews class shook my hand and thanked me for the expeirence, turns out his daughter thought Alaya was very beautiful, and spoke alot about it on her way out to the car.

If you have further questions I would much prefer you contact be rather then make speculations that have no real bearing on anything here, shes a service dog fixed or not, and she performed better then expected, as did Andrew, already the school sees no issues after one day and are planning on this being a long stay, versus a trial.

I also ask that you stop refering to my trainers business, he picks his clients and trust me he does in deed get alot of calls, some can pay for 6 or 7 dogs, he does it on a case by case basis and works directly with the family every step of the way, his training in no way is any less just because hes not a free buisness, he cares about everything he does and would provide us another dog in a heart beat if anything ever went bad, Alaya works better then any of us suggested, but there were other dogs waiting to replace her incase she and Andrew did not bond, or alert to his seizures, and we are thankful for that, I will in no way condone false information, or misinformation to be spread about him, myself or my son, thank you.
 

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I will in no way condone false information, or misinformation to be spread about him, myself or my son, thank you.
What false information or misinformation has been posted about the trainer? Anything that has been posted here has been quoted from news articles and the trainer's website, as well as from a Service Dog forum TJ belongs to where the trainer himself has posted.

When you (not you as in Angelo Stevens, but you as in any person) put yourself into the news media on a local or national level, you can not possibly be surprised when people talk about you or your business and ask questions about things that seem strange, unusual, or questionable.
 

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Well I'm glad her heat has not distracted her from being able to do her job...I didn't think it would though honestly. My girl eats less in heat and thats about it,lol other than the diaper she's the same old girl:)

I don't think anyone here has posted any false information about your trainer or family. Expressed opinions different from yours yes, but false information no. There's a hundred ways to see the same thing and on a public forum your going to read about all of them if you chose to.
 
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