Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Heres a question

So heres a question on the blog Adventures of a puppy raiser they ran into a woman who trained her dogs as a "service dogs" and wanted to buy them a cape to wear and they brought up a good question how do you respond to people who ask where they can get there pet a jacket so they can go out in public and how do you feel about people training their own service dogs


  1. Gosh, I want to say I fully support their right to train their own service dog...and I do. Definitely do. But I'm always a little warry about the people who ask me where I bought the jacket and where could they get one. I mean, a lot of disabilities aren't visible so it's not like you can tell if they're lying or being completely honest right off the bat. But at the same time getting a coat is so easy (and that's what truly bothers me) online that I think anyone who is interested in training their own service dog has probably figured out how to do it. As a general rule I smile and just say, "I'm an official puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind and was given this jacket to get this puppy ready for his/her future blind person." It's a cookie cutter answer that I use all the time, but it can be switched around. If the person is obviously joking I don't say it so formal and add a little laugh to my voice. But I've had someone who was completely serious say, "I want to bring my pet into the stores too, where I can get one of those jackets?" In these cases I say it very firmly and remind them that it makes it harder for people with real service animals if people bring their pets into the stores. I even flashed our fancy card and everything. Haha! For me, it's all about reading people's intentions. If they get into a conversation with me about service dogs I'm fairly certain they're just curious and am as friendly as possible. But in cases like that one guy who obviously thought Rocco was my pet and wanted to know how he could cheat the system too I'm friendly but firm. I have cookie cutter answers for most things like this that I can put on different decorations depending on to whom I'm talking. In this case I make it obvious that I really can't help them because I was issued my jacket.

  2. Erin, thanks for the response. I agree with EVERYTHING you said...that's exactly what I tried to do. The woman who asked me told me she ddin't have a disability, but sometimes uses her dogs as therapy dogs, which is a wonderful thing, but doesn't necessitate her taking her dogs into stores/restaurants with her and I don't feel the need a cape labeling them as service dogs because they are not providing her a service.

  3. I don't know. I think that if I was asked this (which I think I might have only once) I would say they should go to a school to get their service dog, not train their own. Most of the time, I think people only ask this because they want to be able to take their pet everywhere, but like Erin said, I can't judge them because I can't see their disabilities.

  4. I think there should be some entity that will certify the dogs. I dont know what that would be....
    I have been asked where someone could buy a jacket before when I was in a Fred Meyer with Dublin, when he was a pup. I told her that they were not for sale, he is a Guide Dog in training.
    I agree with what Bethany said to, people just want to be able to take their dogs with them.
    LOL thats my 2 cents worth! LOL LOL

    On another note, when our puppy club went to the Portland Pet Fair. We talked to a group that was raising their own "service dogs" unfortunatly, these dogs where not very well behaved. The group uses rescue dogs and tries to retrain them. They had a Standard Poodle with them that kept trying to fight with other dogs. And the whole impression of the group as a whole, well they were a group of 6-7 people and on lady in a wheelchair, who had the poodle. They were unkempt and slobbish, not really someone who I would go to for a service dog.
    Its a tuff one, I really am impressed by Guide Dogs breeding program, the animals are exceptional. Good minded and sound. The ones that arent are found good homes.
    So I guess in the end, I dont think that people should raise their own service dogs.

  5. I always tell people I am training my puppy for Guide Dogs for the Blind for someone who is blind and they supply us with the vests. I hate when I see dogs with "in training" or even "service" vests that are not well trained, and usually not actually service dogs.
    It is a tricky question. I think some people go into training their own service dog and just don't know how to do it or don't have the heart to admit they picked a dog with the wrong temperament.
    That being said I fully support people training their own service dogs. Many good service dog schools have long wait lists or cost a lot of money to the recipients. If the person was capable of training a dog and knew how or would go to a professional trainer and get help why not?
    I'll always remember the day a woman in the store came up to me and my Guide dog pup and asked where she could get one. I told her I was a raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind and it turns out she was looking for a service dog. Unfortunately she had narcolepsy and I didn't know of any schools training dogs to help with that so I had to resort to advising her to use Google. (sorry, kind of unrelated but interesting to me)