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I can of course understand someone with a disability wanting to enjoy the zoo, dog is there in service of their human.


The big cats response doesn't surprise me. While I know zoo animals are cared for I always assume they are stressed.


I would think only a very stable dog could focus and continue to work in this type of setting.


That's my thoughts, although not very deep ones. lol
 

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A little disturbing since both animals were so aroused...
Kind of scary to see how fascinated the cougar was by a dog!

From dog owner point of view - at first seems like owners were praising him for reacting?
When he reacted, the people said things in a positive tone so if I were the dog, I would get the impression that my reactions were a good thing.
Later, they praised him again when he was being calm & quiet & brave, and that seems more appropriate.

It was bit crazy to see the little kids running around in front of the cougar and putting their hands on the glass, etc.
It's like the beginning of a Jurassic Park movie...we are so brave with our "captive" animals, don't really respect them.
That is my two cents!
 

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I saw this the other day. Nothing on the dog, the dog did great in my opinion. It is the owner that kind of upset me taunting/stressing out the animal with his service dog.

Good on the dog. Bad on the owner in my opinion.
Yes, I went back and watched it again until the end, and with sound.


I thought the dog did very well but I was disappointed the owner didn't just move on. I don't think there's any positive training gained by this scenario playing out as long as it did.
 

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The dog handled himself remarkably well! Why the owner/handler called his dog's attention to the cat in the first place is beyond me! I think the dog should, and very likely would, have ignored the cat in that setting. Though it's hard to say. I know dogs seem to have very strong instinctual animosity for bears, I would expect a similar instinctual feeling toward a cougar. In any event, it was really sad that the owner didn't just allow the dog to handle the situation naturally, rather than teasing both the cougar and his dog!

On another note, I saw an Akita mix service dog, well over 100 lbs, while out shopping the other day! I was a bit shocked, as Akitas are not exactly known for their even, calm temperament! But this dog conducted himself really well, I was impressed!
 
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A few years back there was a big fuss made in the media regarding a service dog denied entrance to a zoo in my state.The folks at the zoo attempted to be gracious and accommodating and offered to send a personal(human) escort with the owner of the dog.They even had a safe air conditioned space for the dog to remain in the meantime.The owner refused and started a fuss about discrimination.....

IMO it's not safe for the dogs,owners,and the zoo creatures.
 

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There is no way to know the owner’s disability. Lack of judgement could be part of it. I’m bothered they posted pictures of other people’s children without permission. Otherwise, it seems typical of zoos. Animals are teased all the time. It should not happen, but it’s set up to do that in the way it’s designed.
 

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In general, I am not a fan of these zoo enclosures where this goes on. The Sea Otters and Seals seem to like it..but that Cougar is agitated, teased. At the very least put into a heightened state. I like more natural enclosures where people can view them in a natural environment from a distance.

The dog did great, considering. I am pretty sure a large cat of prey jumping at them is not something required for the public access/neutrality test. Thinking that you can even squash the most ingrained instinct of self preservation from any animal just because it is a service animal is seriously unrealistic. So I think he did good, and I think the handlers are totally in the wrong. They should have praised him when he centered himself so quickly, once he was centered...then walk away
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I thought it was only fair for the dog to react. How could you expect even a well trained dog to not react to a predator charging him? That said, I was very disappointed in the owner. I have spoken with security at a zoo regarding bringing a service animal, and under no circumstances would I allow my dog to make an animal (the cougar) that upset without moving on. As soon as the cougar freaked out and my dog reacted, I would have moved on. I wouldn't have stood there allowing the poor cougar to pace. The cougar was clearly stressed out. The owner seemed to be encouraging the behavior and even laughing about teasing the cat behind the glass.
 
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The San Antionio Zoo has a big rock and glass leopard installation with cavelike grottos. It is amazing to me to see the cluelessness of parents with toddlers and little kids. The leopards are actually stalking the running screaming little children, only inches away behind the glass. To that cougar, this was the closest thing to its true prey it has seen in a long time. He really wanted dog meat! And all the clueless people--- I used to like zoos. I don't anymore.

At my Oregon place some people across the river came home from shopping and while gathering the groceries their Labrador went to get on the front porch. Out of the woods ran a cougar, grabbed the dog by the neck and kept running, didn't miss a stride.
 

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IMO any zoo exhibit should have a good barrier physical between the animals and the public. But since we have to please the clueless as well, the animals have to suffer.
Animals behind glass, 1 inch from people is only to make people think that animals are not in cages. I actually hate zoos. I understand that it is educational but still...
The dog does well and looks like a legitimate service animal. The owner needs to be reeled in on a prong.
 

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I see a regular dog. I would imagine my dogs would of been hyper focused and settled down but still super focused like the dog in the video. The owner is a fool and seem to enjoy the friction. It was interesting to see the cougar run over and hyper focus on the dog like a meal and not the little people. Good thing for that glass separation.
 

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I think the zoo is put between a rock and a glass wall. Yes the disabled who use service dogs have an access right but the animals on exhibit need to be considered also. It's hard enough being on display for humans but most become desensitized to that. Zoos put a lot of effort in trying to keep the stress factor down.

I don't know where the fairness and happy medium would be but I would expect a bit more empathy from the owner regarding the effect his dog was having on that cougar.
 
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Honestly? This video made me sick.
The "service dog" was agitated and in no way focused on it's person, except a few cursory glances. It did handle itself well all in all.
The cat was agitated and hyper focused on the dog.
The owner was an idiot, taunting a wild animal for his own amusement and should have been removed from the premises.
I am not a fan of zoos, and IMHO it is us humans who ought to be confined. The dogs owner is proof of that.
 

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It is possible to design zoo exhibits so the visitors can see the animals without causing them stress. I remember the tiger exhibit at the Metro Toronto zoo. The tigers are in a pit with natural vegetation and rocks that they can lie on or use for concealment. They can also go into their dens if they want. There is a metal railing and a wall around the exhibit to keep visitors from getting too close. At the bottom of the wall is a moat to keep the tigers even further back from the humans.

There are some underwater exhibits where the visitors have direct contact with the glass as in this exhibit (sea lions, polar bears) but the animals seem to actually enjoy the interaction.
 

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I personally have a gsd service dog in training and honesty that Servicr dog reactived pretty well he barked because of him trying to protect the owner just like Gsd do as an instinct to protect their “pack” or family and once he realized there was no way of him hurting them he then started to behave like he should now I would have walked away to defuse the situation instead of just standing there but zoos are a really good place to see how well your service dog is doing because their are so many distractions
 

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I don't think either of my dogs would be particularly threatened. This isn't the largest of cats, and there is a barrier. Personally, I don't think I'd put my animals in that situation regardless. We don't know the condition of the handler, or if he really even needs the service animal 24/7. Could be something very minor, and not life threatening or threatening at all for that matter. **** there's service dogs to "remind" you to take medications even. Based on the title of the video alone, which is very clickbait, I'd assume the owner purposely brought his dog there with intentions of recording the interaction. This man stressed out both animals for no valid reason at all based on what we see in this video.
 
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