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Discussion Starter #1
In many of our threads there is the term Assistance Dog Candidate or Service Dog Candidate used.

Is this term a legal one? Not really, but it is being used more often in discussions by many including the organization project that I am involved with.

Just what is a Candidate? In the most simple of definitions it is either a pup that is too young or a dog at too low a training level to be called an Assistance or Service Dog In Training.

While an 8-10 week old puppy sporting a cape is adorable looking for the sake of a picture there is no training reason to do so. It is like putting a firefighters outfit on a young child. Mom and Dad love the picture but does that helmet and boots really tell everyone that the child is in the beginning stages of their firefighting career?

Now there are a few exceptions to the above - but those usually only come from a limited group. That group I would say 99.99% are Guide Dog Puppy Raisers who do their training differently and normally make use via agreements (thus the use of their puppy capes) with local businesses.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This is from an ADAP site (ADAP is based on U.S. law for U.S. advocacy and education):

What is a Candidate?

Assistance/Service Dog Candidates
Approximate age – puppy through 12/14 months of age

Puppy and Beginning Obedience training should be completed during this time.
Solid housebreaking and basic manners in the home and to pet-friendly locations are part of candidate training.
The candidate should continue ongoing health checks and getting age appropriate vet work.
Any normal fear imprint stages will be during this time.
Evaluations on the suitability of the dog for working should continue.

A dog being trained as an Assistance/Service Dog is not a rehab project. If a dog shows people or dog aggression or shows shyness or fear when around people acting in a normal manner then the dog should not be elevated from the candidate level.

Until they are fully housebroken, walk nicely on a leash, and show good public manners they should only be going as pets to places where pets are welcomed. It is very important that the candidate not be allowed to form bad habits out in the community at this time.

A candidate should not be dressed in a SDIT cape, wear SDIT patches, nor claimed as a SDIT until ready to be passed up to the SDIT level. Any dog before going out into the public as a SDIT should be able to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluation.
 

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This is from an ADAP site (ADAP is based on U.S. law for U.S. advocacy and education):

What is a Candidate?

Assistance/Service Dog Candidates
Approximate age – puppy through 12/14 months of age

Puppy and Beginning Obedience training should be completed during this time.
Solid housebreaking and basic manners in the home and to pet-friendly locations are part of candidate training.
The candidate should continue ongoing health checks and getting age appropriate vet work.
Any normal fear imprint stages will be during this time.
Evaluations on the suitability of the dog for working should continue.

A dog being trained as an Assistance/Service Dog is not a rehab project. If a dog shows people or dog aggression or shows shyness or fear when around people acting in a normal manner then the dog should not be elevated from the candidate level.

Until they are fully housebroken, walk nicely on a leash, and show good public manners they should only be going as pets to places where pets are welcomed. It is very important that the candidate not be allowed to form bad habits out in the community at this time.

A candidate should not be dressed in a SDIT cape, wear SDIT patches, nor claimed as a SDIT until ready to be passed up to the SDIT level. Any dog before going out into the public as a SDIT should be able to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluation.
I wish some people in my area would read this.

Recently there has been a man and a woman in their 20's putting a service dog vest on a black Lab mix and taking it into grocery stores. The dog always looks scared and walks with it's tail between it's legs. It does not look like a good candidate for a SD.
 

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agree with the above .

usually dogs going in for Service Dog work will be taken in when a certifying agency contacts a provider / breeder with experience , who handpicks a pup that ticks all the boxes of requirements. That dog then may be either taken in by the organization who has experienced raisers who follow guidelines to raise and develop the dog , monitored on a regular basis so that time on an unsuitable candidate is not wasted , until the dog is ready to bring in to the training - certifying agency. There again it is tested . Training and response now becomes customized according to what the dog's purpose will be . Anywhere along the line the dog can be removed from consideration or training changed for another role.
It is at this time that the dog wears the "vest" or identification which allows the dog entry into public areas . The agency is responsible and has to answer to any complaints . (saw dog in training lift leg on grocery shelf)

You don't have the person needing the dog do his/her own training , for many reasons .
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/guide-therapy-service-dogs/267530-my-blood-sugar-fine-not-my-blood-pressure.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
...

You don't have the person needing the dog do his/her own training , for many reasons . ...

I have to disagree with this part of your post as I know some very fine SDs that have been owner trained. But, that saying -- these owners have experience working and training working dogs or are under the guidance of experienced trainers.

I myself hope to get a new pup next year for my "list" which not only include activities in a non-profit organization, as a Certified Therapy Dog, K-9 Team for demos and presentations, and also to be used as an In-home Assistance Dog by myself. If I myself am up to the task I would also like to become involved in competition Obedience and Rally.

I have an experienced and knowledgeable working dog breeder picking the Candidate out for me as I feel that area is best done by a professional expert but the training will be done by myself with progress evaluations done by professional trainers.
 

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these owners have experience working and training working dogs or are under the guidance of experienced trainers.
Ilghaus that is a different kettle of fish.
 

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I feel like there are a majority of people who feel they can train their own service dog, but really don't need to be. I am sure most people training their own dog do not know or realize the amount of assessment a dog needs to pass before being considered a service dog. I like the direction ILGHAUS is heading as far as getting help in picking a candidate for her and then training it from there with regular check-ins with trainers.

I was looking at the same approach recently to help my husband train his next SD. I found a neat program that the Arkansas Department of Corrections started about a year ago where inmates train shelter dogs for AKC CGC standards. I felt there professional trainers who work with the inmates would be able to get me 1/2 way through what I was needing to do for "my standards" of a working SD and I could document all training and public access work before stating his dog was fully trained. One of their professional trainers just recently received qualifications to train SD, so she and the inmates will fully train my husband's next SD.
 

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We are training our own Autism Service Dog with the help from someone who work for and certifies dogs at BC/Alberta Guide Dogs does this still apply to me I feel offended sometimes on this forum so I no longer ask questions when it comes to SD training questions because everyone seems to judge me and say "I cant do it because I am not a professional" but I have help from a professional and he will be going for his CCGCT in the fall :)

It's not "impossible" to train your own service dog but people on this forum will make you feel like it is and make you feel horrible about even trying which is upsetting as I came here for help not to be discriminated against.
 

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you answered yr own question, it makes a great pic.

cashing in on someone with a real disability is as low as stealing a hand bag form an old lady imo.

seems an emerging trend home school yr own SD for a disabiltity that isn't even diagnosed, disgusting for whoever that scenario applies to.
 

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We are training him to be an Autism Service Dog for our daughter who has Autism and was recently diagnosed I am not sure if this comment was directed at me but Autism is not "fake" disability.

you answered yr own question, it makes a great pic.

cashing in on someone with a real disability is as low as stealing a hand bag form an old lady imo.

seems an emerging trend home school yr own SD for a disabiltity that isn't even diagnosed, disgusting for whoever that scenario applies to.
 

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it was directed at any fakers it applies to as per last phrase in last senetence.

if that is not you then it does not apply to you, which is a good thing.

only takes a few fakers for the general public to lose trust which will ruin it for the legitimate people requiring assistance, better to expose the fakers i says.
 

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Thanks lol I just get a little defensive as everyone on here seems to put me down when it comes to training my own service dog its extremely frustrating :( I came here to get help lol and all I get is peoplewarning me my dog will never make it to be a SD.


it was directed at any fakers it applies to as per last phrase in last senetence.

if that is not you then it does not apply to you, which is a good thing.

only takes a few fakers for the general public to lose trust which will ruin it for the legitimate people requiring assistance, better to expose the fakers i says.
 

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Its not impossible to owner train a service dog, but its incredibly hard, anyone outside of an experienced SD trainer cannot do it alone, and most dogs don't have the ability to become service dogs. Then there's the issue that having a service dog isn't all its cracked up to be. Its important to have the full truth out there for anyone looking for it.

Please continue to ask questions. Some people may be jaded, but there are a lot of people out there purposefully and unintentionally abusing the laws out there to protect those with disabilities and their rights to be accompanied by a trained service dog. Its best to be cautious.
 

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Thank you Lin :)


Its not impossible to owner train a service dog, but its incredibly hard, anyone outside of an experienced SD trainer cannot do it alone, and most dogs don't have the ability to become service dogs. Then there's the issue that having a service dog isn't all its cracked up to be. Its important to have the full truth out there for anyone looking for it.

Please continue to ask questions. Some people may be jaded, but there are a lot of people out there purposefully and unintentionally abusing the laws out there to protect those with disabilities and their rights to be accompanied by a trained service dog. Its best to be cautious.
 

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Thanks lol I just get a little defensive as everyone on here seems to put me down when it comes to training my own service dog its extremely frustrating
why waste yr energy getting defensive on a dog forum, kind of pointless, its just about exchange of ideas, nothing to get emotional or defensive about, so really what if others don't like it, unless yr being mean to yr dog it don't really matter.
 

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I have never been rude lol I only get defensive because no one here can truly understand what I go through with my 2 children who mean the world to me they amaze everyday so its frustrating when I get told I cant do something I guess I just need to be stronger :) thanks so much for your point of view and putting it into perspective I appreciate it :)

why waste yr energy getting defensive on a dog forum, kind of pointless, its just about exchange of ideas, nothing to get emotional or defensive about, so really what if others don't like it, unless yr being mean to yr dog it don't really matter.
 

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no prob, autism i know is very real AND can be extremely debilitating, in some children i have seen with it, it can also be seen as a gift cos some of these kids really excell in areas that elude a lot of other kids.

nobody doubts how much you love yr kids.

take care
 

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On top of the Autism my other son suffers from a rare blood disorder only 700 people have in the world called diamond blackfan anemia (DBA) and he requires blood transfusions every two weeks to stay alive he has also had 3 major open heart surgeries and is booked to have another one here in the next few weeks which he may not make it through and if he does he will need another one 2-3 years after that one and I just cant imagine someone so young having to go through so many heart surgeries at such a young age he just turned 2.

My daughter who is 3 is the one who has Autism and without him she would not go into public places I cannot afford to spend the $10 000 - $30 000 for a trained sd from the agencies also they only use labs and goldens which shed more and are not as smart imo :)

Anyway at this time my pup is just a SD candidate and I pray he makes it through the hoops to become a SD for my daughter but if not he will be a loved member of the family either way.

I appreciate all the feedback I get here and from my trainer I cant wait until Argos has his CCGCT in the fall that will be our first step toward getting him at least a title of SDIT.

no prob, autism i know is very real AND can be extremely debilitating, in some children i have seen with it, it can also be seen as a gift cos some of these kids really excell in areas that elude a lot of other kids.

nobody doubts how much you love yr kids.

take care
 

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Curedba

I sincerely hope it was not my post that upset you. I think you are doing an awesome thing by training a SD for your daughter. Having had schooling in both exceptional needs children and SD, I can see where the overlapping is and think it would open doors wider to the possibilities.

I look for your posts on the outings you have had with Argos so please continue to post. You have the medical background with your daughter and the interest to learn how to correctly owner trainer your SD. Most people I know do not have the abilities needed and that is where my comments/thoughts come from. I was once approached to help someone "train and certify" their poodle as a SD for them, because they knew my husband had one. They felt I would lend credibility to their claiming their dog was a SD, but the dog lacked everything (manners, basic obedience, public access hours and even correct vetting). Those are the people I refer to very occasional and I am sure we have all met our fair share of those that could really hurt the SD industry.

I agree completely with what Lin said in earlier posts. So keep your chin up and please keep posting. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Everyone, please try to remember that this thread is about Assistance / Service Dog Candidates -- pups or young dogs that are being picked for further medical testing and evaluations on their possibility to be considered to go up into Assistance / Service Dog In Training.

Candidates are only the first step.

Also remember that we currently have people discussing this issue from two different countries -- the U.S. and Canada -- under different laws and different systems. It is possible that we may even have another member from a third country join in.

When responding with opinions or when reading what someone else posts please try to remember this.
 
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