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Sorry, this is not a direct answer to the ADA thread, but I wanted to check in with people who have a service dog or who are training one. I am planning on getting a miniature poodle as a service dog. I'm in Northern California and wondered if anyone has any input on a breeder recommendations. I see Clarion, Black Pearl, Midnight. Temperament is key, obviously. I think trainability is built in with a poodle : ) ANY help or advice at all is welcome. I plan on going to a trainer to assist with obedience and PAT, but to train myself for my particular needs. I don't know anyone else with a service dog, so as I say, any advice, suggestions are welcome. Thank you.


Honestly, a puppy that passes all the qualifications as a puppy doesn't necessarily mean a slam dunk service dog. Training your own dog requires a lot of work literally everyday for the first two years of its life. Most people don't have the time and it would be easier getting placed by a program. Even then, it is a maintenance process.
I do believe poodles as a breed make excellent service dogs. Ive seen as many poodles as retrievers as service dogs in public places like airports, Disney, or grocery stores. The only issue is finding one willing to please because very smart breeds sometimes require counter condition work. This is probably why you don't see many border collies. I think independence vs willing to please varies inversely to each other.


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It doesn't make sense to me that an employer should have a more intrusive right to ask for documentation than a business owner. Medical information is private (and protected in other ways, such as HIPA) and asking for documentation of a disability seems intrusive, especially in an environment where there is an otherwise well established relationship between the employer and the employee. In this instance allergies should not be a concern since we are talking poodle and there is no cost to my employer since they are not being asked to install a ramp or any other equipment. All of those things are already present on campus because it has done the things it needed to to make all of the facilities here ADA compliant. The piece you linked to about HR620 is disturbing since it clearly takes very simple and straightforward procedures and makes it more difficult for people with disabilities to exercise their rights of access.
i suspect the 'right' to ask for evidence of a non-apparent disability is related to all the other things - such as the right to refuse an accommodation that is very costly to the business. it really is, however, the same standard applicable to housing under the fha. even though my condo association is pet friendly, we have had people try to get around the limitation of two pets by claiming a third dog is a service or emotional support animal. when i rewrote our house rules, i removed the distinction between pets and service/support animals by simply calling them all domestic animals - but left an opening for the hoa to consider exceptions. that would pretty much require some degree of medical disclosure supported by a physician. the problem is almost always that there are non-qualified persons who want to twist the rules to suit their preferences; they make it so much harder for those who truly need an accommodation.

anyway, it sounds as though things will work out well at your school, though that form could use a bit of massaging to send a less obstructive, more understanding message.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
patk, yes in a world where many people will try to game the system I suppose the rules have to raise the bar to try to thwart the cheaters and gamers. At one of the workshops I attended in August one of our lunch conversations was devoted to the idea of people with "fake" service dogs ruining it for folks with legitimate needs for service dogs. One person spoke of getting on a flight and finding a beautifully groomed Saluki sitting in its own seat next to its "disabled" handler. She has been a conformation handler of many breeds for decades and she said clearly this dog was a breed ring dog and that the handler was a faker. That is the kind of behavior that makes airlines and other entities not want to believe people about their legitimate service animals.
 

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I hate fake service dogs. The idea that someone's unruly dog could startle us in a store and hurt Noelle scares me a lot. I mean, a lot. Noelle is 22 pounds. An aggressive dog could kill her. It's hard enough avoiding them on the street, but when I'm in a public place, i have to look around. Also, I get accused of faking. Anyone who has read my thread on this forum knows better. One of the reasons I have this public thread is if I ever got sued, there's a record of Noelle's training in tasks, obedience, and public access.

Lily, I hope you find a resolution with your job. You don't deserve the added stress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I did eventually fill out the part of the form that I thought were in compliance with what could be asked and am still waiting for final resolution. In the meantime I am still bringing Javelin with me and finding new challenges almost every day, like last week when he barked a couple of times at a friend whom he has know since he was a puppy (granted he shouldn't bark, but we are working on it). A guy whose office is a couple of hundred feet down a long hall came out of his office and started screaming at me about how annoying the barking was, how I was a faker just looking to have a pet with me and how I had yelled at his son about skate boarding in the hall (which I don't think I did even though skateboarding on campus is illegal), so I had no right to tell him that why I had the dog with me was none of his business. On that front I went to get into the elevator today and he was in it already. He told me it was going down (our offices are up). I got in anyway saying it was no big deal to go down then back up, which I am happy to say seems to have given this man the chance to tell me he was sorry for his outburst last week, with the explanation that he was having a terrible day that day. I told him that I had been very upset by how vicious his words had felt to me, but that I was happy to now call it water under the bridge. We were together in the elevator long enough for me to also explain something about why I need the dog and that my life would be simpler on so many fronts if I could walk out the door without him.

I also met someone at the elevator later in the day who asked me questions about therapy and service dogs, explaining she had a puppy and she had asked her vet about how to be able to get the puppy to be a service dog to which the vet had replied "send these people $79 and they will send you a certificate!" Really from a vet?!? The woman is a student and I introduced myself, told her where my office was and to pay me a visit sometime so I could explain the realities to her. Hopefully she will show up sometime.
 

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Oh dear. I am glad you were able to patch things up that man. If you see that student, and I hope you do, please get the name of her vet. I will fly to New York and make an appointment so I can explain a few things. A mail order service dog certificate is the same as a mail order doctorate. Yes, I can pay a fee, get a diploma and start calling myself Dr. Click-N-Treat, but that doesn't make me a doctor.

I'm so frustrated by this I am about to dust off my public speaking abilities and start a tour talking to business owners about fake service dogs and how to protect their businesses from fraudsters. And how to welcome real service dogs. GAH! Pay a fee to get a service dog certificate from a vet who should know better? Grumble grumble, rant, grumble grumble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I do really hope she shows up at my office. I see it not only as a chance to help her understand the difference between a pet and a service dog, but to encourage her to do something really wonderful with her pup and get it off to a great start in life. She also asked what therapy dogs did so maybe I can encourage her in that direction. She did ask me a couple of times about what kinds of dogs get to go everywhere, so I am guessing her pup is a small breed or toy designer and that she could be a take it everywhere in a bag type. I hate that, especially if the person claiming that the snarling little thing struggling to bite my face is a service dog. Since I meet a whole crop of new students three times a year among the benefits of having Javelin with me working is being able to help people understand why service dogs are important and hopefully to discourage people from faking.
 
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I completely understand your dislike for people falsely claiming their dogs as service dogs. I agree with you. It's wrong on many levels, the simplest and most basic being that it is wrong to tell a lie. However, not everyone who carries their pooch in a bag is attempting to be deceitful, and not all small dogs in bags are yappy. Lizzy is a very petite mini, weighs less than 10 pounds, and I have a bag that I frequently carry her in when I go shopping. She loves to go with me, snuggles into her bag, and never makes a peep. Because she is in her bag, there is no concern that she will "make a mess" while in the store. I never try to take her in a restaurant, and I also avoid taking her into grocery stores. If I'm asked, I'm completely honest about the fact that she is not a service dog. If then told she cannot be in the store, I apologize and leave without making a fuss. However, this has only happened twice in the year that I have been taking her places. Almost always, she is greeted with a smile, and a request to pet her. In fact, it was seeing the real pleasure that her presence seemed to bring to people that made me decide to pursue her therapy dog certification. (She's got her CGC, but our local therapy dog organization won't evaluate until the dogs are 18 months old, so she hasn't been evaluated yet. We're still working on the training so we'll be ready.)
 

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A few weeks ago I saw a toy poodle with a service dog vest at Whole Foods. This tiny dog was sitting inside a shopping cart. I thought the dog was cute but afterwards realized this is not good etiquette. Small dogs who are service dogs aren't suppose to be inside bags, carts, or chairs. Even if they did a particular kind of alerting, they can do so from the ground on a leash. I don't have a problem with small dogs in bags or strollers but only if they are pets.
I know a lot of people with small dog phobia or dislike and last week at the vet, I met the worst behaved dog in my life. It was a small Maltese that had a serious aggression towards people and dogs. I've never seen a growl that aggressive before. If this was a big dog, it probably would have gotten put down. I think small dogs are capable of the same obedience level as large dogs and can make excellent SD but many owners let them get away with wildly inappropriate behavior due to their size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Lizzy'sMom I am sorry to have painted small dogs in bags with such a broad brush. You are the model of appropriateness, but we all know that isn't the always the case as snow's story illustrates.
 
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Lizzy'sMom I am sorry to have painted small dogs in bags with such a broad brush. You are the model of appropriateness, but we all know that isn't the always the case as snow's story illustrates.
I wasn't offended. Your posting has always shown you to be a fair and reasonable person. :) And, yes, certainly I have seen my share of yappy, snarly small dogs, and I don't like them either! Just had to speak up for those of us - even if we're possibly in the minority! - who carry our small dogs responsibly. ;)
 

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lily cd re, I've been following this thread and hope you can make positive changes with your university. Did you show this form to your friend who is an attorney (who has worked on ADA compliance for several Federal agencies) and did you get their feedback on how to proceed?
 
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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Skylar, no haven't shown him the form yet. I answered the parts that I believed to be allowable to ask and am waiting for a response from the college's ADA person. He has had an electronic copy since late last Wednesday and a paper copy since Thursday, but as of noon neither I nor my chairperson (who signed indicating her approval) has had any answer. I figured I would wait until I get a reply from the college before I ask my friend about it all.
 

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Hi y'all. I am hopeful that it works out for you Lily. I know we hit some massive roadblocks here with Remington, and while the district level was accepting it was the school that was not. I was very disappointed in my boss, who was ready to fire me. I hope all resolves better for you!
 
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Well there is finally a bit of movement although I am not sure in what direction. I got an email that the Affirmative Action Officer wants to meet with me. That is all that it said aside from the phone number to call to set up the meeting.

I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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crossing my fingers for you!
 
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