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Today Fiona and I were out and about. We stopped at the store to get dinner. While in the check out line, a little girl ran by. Fiona barked at her. I immediately popped her collar and told her no. She stopped as soon as I corrected her. The dad was understandably upset. My question is, what can I do to prevent this from ever happening again? I am going to guess that the trigger is the running, because she saw other kids today and no barking. I think she wants to chase the little girl.


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I think you gave your dog a correction to let her know not to do that. I guess the thing to do, is to take her to the park while kids are playing baseball, and get her used to seeing kids running. Stay far enough away that she doesn't react and work closer on subsequent visits.
 

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Are you even sure that the barking was directed at the kid or the running movement of the kid? I don't think the father had a reason to be upset, his kid shouldn't be running past dogs period. Going to the park and being around kids is a good idea. I did this with my older GSD and she is really good with any kind of movement and I would correct her if she barked and lunged, but I wouldn't think she was completely at fault if she slipped up. These dogs have prey drives and anything that moves is going to attract them. It can be managed:)
 

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Service dog or not, if the dog was born in May of last year, it is still an adolescent, and can still make mistakes. It can also still be helped by good exposure that does not overwhelm.

They just look big and scary at a year old, they are not always perfect by then. Lots of them just start being brats at 12 months.
 

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Was it a store that usually has dogs in it? If not, it probably isn't a good idea to have Fiona in there if she's still excitable, I think. I couldn't imagine taking Shadow into our local market.
 

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How long has Fiona been a certified service dog? I am really impressed that she is the same age as Ranger and already a service dog. I don't think any of the dogs in the Seeing Eye graduate much before they are 2 years old. If he hadn't failed he would just be going back to the Seeing Eye facility for training in the next month or two. I really don't know who certifies them as I was only involved in the socialization/basic training part.
 

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Fiona got her service dog tag from the state of California once she had obedience down. Her #1 job is pain management. After we bonded, she seem to naturally alert to flare ups. Just yesterday, we were in an obedience contest, the last portion was off leash. When off leash, she walked over to my backpack and sat down and just looked at me. Time to go mom. It could be coincidence but I don't think so. She also seems to know when a dizzy spell is coming. She will sit and lean against me.

But because of the barking incident, I am thinking about slowing down her exposures. Maybe I am going too far too fast.


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I know you want Fiona to be the perfect dog, but in the setting you were in children should not be running, period. You were in a store getting food. Everyone should be upset with the dad of this little girl, not him being upset at you.

If you were in a different environment, a park or playground that may be different but you would also have more open space around you there to avoid running children.

A man down the street from me is almost completely blind, I think he sees shadows and he has a female GSD service dog. She is sassy and protective of the blind man. When they walk up the street, she is sure to let out a warning bark if she sees Molly or any other dog. She does not pull her owner, but he has to give a tug or pop on the leash. She is an excellent dog but not perfect.
 

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Gretchen, one of the criteria for a Seeing Eye dog (i am speaking of the Seeing Eye organization in Morristown, NJ) is that the dog should rarely bark. One of their breeding goals is a dog that rarely barks. If a dog barks too often the dog fails and is dropped from the program. I am really surprised that your neighbor's dog barks at people and other dogs.
 

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Gretchen, one of the criteria for a Seeing Eye dog (i am speaking of the Seeing Eye organization in Morristown, NJ) is that the dog should rarely bark. One of their breeding goals is a dog that rarely barks. If a dog barks too often the dog fails and is dropped from the program. I am really surprised that your neighbor's dog barks at people and other dogs.
Yes many people on this forum have made this comment, but the guy has had this dog for 4-5 years now, it takes him all over town and I suppose it's good outweighs this minor bad thing.
 

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If at all possible I would like to find out about the state certifying your dog, because as far as I know there is no certification federal or state. If this is true your trainer is pulling your leg. All your trainer can give you is a record of what training the dog did and a internet tag with the name of who trained the dog, the owner and the dogs name.
 

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If at all possible I would like to find out about the state certifying your dog, because as far as I know there is no certification federal or state. If this is true your trainer is pulling your leg. All your trainer can give you is a record of what training the dog did and a internet tag with the name of who trained the dog, the owner and the dogs name.
This.

There is no federal or state organizations in the US for certifying legal service dogs. A service dog is a service dog if it acts like a tool and not a dog, and performs three tasks on command that you cannot do because of your disability. Fiona was absolutely in the wrong here and should not be representing service dogs if she is not bombproof in the situations she is being put in.
 
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