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Discussion Starter #1
Another forum I belong to is not dog related, but has an off-topic discussion area where recently someone started a thread on hobbies. Someone there said that they are currently training their Golden Retriever to retrieve, and then posted the following -

I already trained him to be a certified service dog (not for me, but in general) at 6 months old, so he has all-access to everywhere!
Which brings up the following questions -

(1) How can a dog be a "certified" service dog at 6 months?
(2) How can a dog be a service dog "in general" and not for a person?
(3) How does that equate to public access?

Sounds to me like someone who puts a vest on their dog and takes it everywhere they feel like going.

The person in question is (supposedly) a professional trainer. You'd think that professionals would know better than to bend or break the law whenever it suits them.

They are in FL - not sure what FL's laws are about Service Dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
shouldn't a "certified" service dog already know how to retrieve?
That's a good question. I'm going to post what she actually said about her dog here, just so I don't misinterpret or misunderstand anything that was said by trying to rephrase it. Below are the two posts she made relevant to her dog / training -

well, I train dogs. service dogs, police dogs, drug dogs, pet dogs, personal protection dogs, search and rescue dogs...
He is my first golden, I always had German Shepherds before and they are really good dogs, but I really love my Golden! Plus, he looks real good in the back seat of the Jeep with his ears flapping in the wind! Haha! He goes everywhere with me! I already trained him to be a certified service dog (not for me, but in general) at 6 months old, so he has all-access to everywhere! So, we put on his vest in the morning, jump in the Jeep, and are gone all day! He's my buddy!
 

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NOT an expert...but to my understanding it's not the Service dog that has the access rights...It's the Person with the Disability that has the right to use the tool (the dog) that aides them. A dog that is not with a disabled person is not a service dog, and a SDiT is not accorded the same rights necessarily as a full Service dog.

The American's with Disabilities Act does not apply to service dogs in training. Some states have laws which permit trainers to take service-dogs-in-training to the same places fully trained service dogs can go. However, most states require service-dogs-in-training to be accompanied by a trainer from a recognized program for training service dogs and that they carry credentials which they show on request.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I try not to post strong dog opinions on that particular forum as I've received a warning in that regard previously (that was regarding someone else with a Golden that they shaved down to the bare skin in summer "for comfort" and were "planning to breed because he's such a great dog"), so I know dog opinions are not terribly welcome over there.

I did post the following in re: the quote in my first post here. I wonder if she will respond to it.

That's pretty interesting. If you don't mind my asking, how do you work the "all access" angle in your state if you are not actually disabled?

AFAIK, under the ADA, Service Dogs have public access rights only if they are accompanied by their disabled handler or a qualified, professional trainer. Some states also grant SDITs full access rights, but many don't. (I think NY where I live doesn't, but am not 100% certain.)
Some states allow access if the dog is with its trainer (even without the disabled handler) if the person can prove in some way that they are, actually, a trainer. I don't know whether her states fall into that category. Her locations are listed as Florida and Pennsylvania, Florida being her primary from what I understand.
 

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I have a friend, a former LEO, who was doing the same thing. She was training her puppy to do service dog stuff, then puts the orange harness on the dog and takes him everywhere as a service dog in training. She doesn't do it anymore, just when it was a puppy.

I've read of people who put a vest on their dog so the dog can fly in the cabin with them, also. :(
 

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Here in FL SDITs are allowed in no pets locations if they are actually being trained at that time and not just being taken from place to place.

There is no "general" SD either by Federal or any State laws.

shouldn't a "certified" service dog already know how to retrieve?
Not all SDs are certified. Certification is not legally required as there are no national certification requirements. Training facilities can place a certification on their own dogs which means that this particular dog, trained by this facility, passed their in-house requirements.

As to retrieving, not all SDs have a need to retrieve items and so not all are trained to do so. If a hard of hearing person taught their dog to retrieve then that is not a required trained task for that particular disability. A dog who alerts to an oncoming seizure and then responds in some trained way does not always need to learn to retrieve. On the other hand, the vast majority of SDs are taught to retrieve but I did want to clarify this point that retrieving is not a requirement.


I have a friend, a former LEO, who was doing the same thing.
Well I know individual LEOs who speed or drive while over the legal limit of alcohol. All against the law also.

I've read of people who put a vest on their dog so the dog can fly in the cabin with them, also.
Yes, there are dishonest people with no regard for the law in all walks of life.

And as has been stated neither the SD nor the SDIT have access rights. The owner/handler or trainer are the ones who have access rights - the former as a disabled person and the latter as one training the dog for a disabled person. And it is correct, not all states give access rights with a SDIT to trainers or a SD that is undergoing refresher or advanced work with a trainer.

And as to the person under discussion being here in FL, well to put in nicely there are a lot of scam artists located here - both indidviduals and training centers.
 

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He is my first golden, I always had German Shepherds before and they are really good dogs, but I really love my Golden! Plus, he looks real good in the back seat of the Jeep with his ears flapping in the wind! Haha! He goes everywhere with me! I already trained him to be a certified service dog (not for me, but in general) at 6 months old, so he has all-access to everywhere! So, we put on his vest in the morning, jump in the Jeep, and are gone all day! He's my buddy!
Wow. What a certified :censored:

Everything has already been covered, so I'll just add that people like this make me sick. They ruin it for those the genuinely need service animals. One day we may not have the same freedoms and protection under the law regarding service animals due to these idiots! In Canada for example, only service dogs from approved SD training institutions are allowed. And they are required to carry proof of certification at all times.
 

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Some people are just nim-wits. I don't understand people who 'wanna be', but not enough to actually work for it....so they pretend.

I wonder if I pretend I'm thin long enough people will actually think I am.....
 

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Sounds to me like someone if full of hot air . . . and shouldn't a "certified" service dog already know how to retrieve?
A lot of service dogs are trained NOT to retrieve actually. Unless the person needs the dog to retrieve as a service dog task there is no reason to train for it and in fact it can be detrimental. My sister's husband has a Labrador guide dog and the program he got the dog from told him not to have the dog retrieve (don't throw toys for him) and he is also not allowed to have tennis balls.

As far as the dog having access being a service dog "in general"-- the dog has no more rights than any pet dog to access unless they are accompanied by a person who is legally considered disabled and the dog is trained to assist that person. In some states dogs who are in training are allowed in public when being trained if accompanied by the trainer but it depends on the state, and sometimes they have more specific laws in that case (such as the service dog in training must be with a service dog program, or must have specific ID, etc...) In general the ADA trumps local laws but since the ADA does not over service dogs in training, the local law must be followed.

A "service dog in general" sounds to me more like a therapy dog than anything else, and therapy dogs have no access rights.
 

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Wow... what a sad life for a dog if he can't even play...
No one said they can't play -- just not chase toys. Dog can still run, swim, spend large amounts of time with his owner, is groomed often, best of medical care, proper amounts of good food.
 

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No one said they can't play -- just not chase toys. Dog can still run, swim, spend large amounts of time with his owner, is groomed often, best of medical care, proper amounts of good food.
Still, there is nothing better than playing fetch with a dog. It's just not the same to have a dog and not being able to play fetch.

I don't understand why he can't play fetch. Is it because of the drive? What is so bad about playing fetch? The drive is the only thing that would explain it but I know guide dogs that play fetch all the time once they are off the leash so i really don't get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Also bear in mind that different organizations have different rules and requirements. While this particular school may not allow the dog to play fetch, others may have no problem with it at all. It's the same in the Therapy Dog world, too - Delta Society won't allow any dogs that do bite work (like in Schutzhund) or dogs that are raw fed, while other organizations don't have any problem with it.
 
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