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Here's sumthin' I saw at the pet supply store three years ago. I didn't really like it then, 'coz I could see the side effects.

A lady with her dog was in the store and the dog was wearing an orange fluorescent vest with SERVICE written on it. And the dog was NOT behaving like any service dog that I know. Sniffing all over and pulling...

When asked interestedly by the pet food store owner abt her dog she said that her 'Snookums' (or whatever) goes 'with her everywhere' 'coz she has 'panic attacks' without him/her. It sounded pretty bogus to me... and demeaning to those who must be aided by real service dogs.

Anyway... three years later... this may be becoming more widespread... unfortunately.

Impostor Service Animals Posing Growing Problem - ABC News
 

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With a written prescription from a licensed medical health professional, an emotional support dog does have full public access.
Ya... I think that would be a given. A legitimate diagnosis would be OK by me.

But I think what they're talking abt here is people faking their pets into places by claiming service dog status. The anecdote abt the dog messing 'several expensive Indian carpets' was probably not down to a poorly trained service dog. So maybe a pet??? :confused3:
 

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people with "comfort animals" (who are allowed to have their animals in no-pet housing by virtue of a doctor's statement that emotional support is needed) think their animals qualify as service dogs in public/commercial enterprises. they do not under the americans with disabilities act as revised in 2010. see Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals

beyond the often honest mistakes made by folks with genuine comfort animals, however, there are the many many people who think it's okay to make it harder for everyone else by taking their ill-trained dogs with them everywhere. it's tough enough as it is for folks with genuine disabilities to have their service dogs accepted. but human decency is a very limited commodity when it comes to some people's pets, kids and forms of entertainment.
 
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Actually no ESA do not have federal public access rights but some states do allow them ESA to have public access. Only a disabled person with a dog trained to mitigate their disability have public access rights due to federal law.

The problem with misbehaving dogs is bad in some areas. Some are fakers, some are program dogs, some are owner trained dogs. Any dog that is behaving in manner that affect a persons business can be asked to leave but lots of folks don't seem to realize that. Also wicked grin the handler is liable for any damages the dog causes.
 

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Yes it really irritates me when I see a completely untrained badly behaving dog in the stores posing as a service dog. I have actually even approached some people with my own service dog and have asked them to get better control of their badly behaving "service" dog, because it gives a very bad impression of service dogs in general.
I think that a couple of options that could help solve the problem is
A) requiring all service dogs to take a public access test and having a way to prove that the dog passed this test available to show store employers, restaurants, etc. that way there is no issue with privacy, and if someone really wants to fake a service dog they are going to have to put in the work,time and/or money to do it.
B) to educate people about service dogs. Stores and restaurants should know that if a "service" dog is disturbing the peace, or disrupting/endangering other customers they have they right to kick the dog and handler out of their business.

I really hate it when people take advantage of things and that ends up ruining it for others. If something is not done about service dog impersonation something will happen and that is going to make it a lot more difficult if not impossible for people to train their own service dogs. a lot of people I know would not be able to have a service dog if they couldn't train their own. It is extremely expensive to buy an already trained service dog or hire a trainer, and not all people have the money for it.


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Indeed. This is what I plan to do with my dog, but here in Colorado people really take advantage of it. Having both fibromyalgia and mental health issues I find it will be easier to train my own dog to do just the tasks I need.

I recently asked to lady about her out of control service dog and when I asked her what tasks the dog was trained to do she had no idea what I was talking about. I asked her if she even bothered to research the law before she exploited it.

I almost feel service dogs should be registered with one central system. Would make things so much easier.





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At what age can you train a dog to be a service dog?

I was half contemplating teaching Chell a few tricks when she's older to maybe help my sister out when we go visit (my sister's a quadriplegic) but I also wanted to do hospital visits or old folks visits with her as I think that would be really nice.

So how does one go about starting the process and what kinds of things do I need to make sure she knows? :D
 

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They are not tricks they are tasks and the is far more to it than most being able to perform tasks. The dog has to be trained in public access and tasks. The tasks must mitigate the disability. This is the part I think people fail to understand about the point of having a service dog. My dog will be trained to create a buffer, carry bags, find exits, help me when I am emotionally overloaded, and balance when I am unsteady on my feet.

This is what you need to make sure of with any service dog.


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To add to the mikor's question, how do you go about getting a therapy dog &/or an emotional support dog - I don't mean just saying you have one but what should the dog be able to do & be legitimate?
 

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It takes about 2 years to train a service dog and training starts immediately. Very few dogs are truly fit to be service dogs because they have to have the ability to turn off their normal dog modes and always be on working mode, until they are released. A dog must have a strong working drive and be well behaved, and their handler must always be able to control the dog, no matter the surroundings.

ESA dogs are great but can't take them in most public places.

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A therapy dog is established as a team where the owner and the dog train together and go out to designated places. A therapy dog must be registered. But they also have no rights like an ESA dog. You can't get a therapy dog. But you can get an ESA dog, and the criteria is not very high, just a pet, that brings emotional support. You just need a letter from a Dr or therapist to explain the reason why.

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Therapy dogs can be certified by Therapy Dogs International and they have strict requirements for behavior of the dog and the owner. They can go to hospitals, nursing homes or even libraries to cheer up people etc. Their job is to help folks OTHER then their handler.

ESA are normally pets that provide their owner with emotional support. Their main role in life is to provide a loving presence in a persons life. An ESA can have any amount of training but rarely is it to the level of a therapy or service dog.

Service dogs require 18 to 24 or more months of training depending on their job. Most dogs are not suitable candidates for the job. They are very special dogs who must enjoy doing what they are doing and be willing to and able to work long hours. Even when sleeping many are still "on duty" in their minds. The bond between a team is so strong that retiring let alone losing their four legged partner causes lots of stress in the human. Yes they help their human partner feel better that is part of being a dog but they do so much more they give us life back and there is really on way to repay them.

HOWEVER any dog or person can have an off day and I will not automatically say that a misbehaving dog is untrained or a faker. Especially considering the stunts Jazz has pulled lately gotta love teenagers...
 

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a misbehaving dog and its owner can be asked leave under the ada. don't know about individual states' rules; my state goes by the ada. of course there was the former owner at my condo who claimed his "service" dog was required to be off leash. it cost us lawyer's fees, but it seems that even the fair housing act has protections against fake claims. you have to be willing to invoke them, and, of course, there's no guarantee it won't be expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well thanx all. :) I've learned a bit in this thread. ESA, ADA, Therapy Dog... all stuff I wasn't clear on.

I really hate it when people take advantage of things and that ends up ruining it for others. If something is not done about service dog impersonation something will happen and that is going to make it a lot more difficult if not impossible for people to train their own service dogs. a lot of people I know would not be able to have a service dog if they couldn't train their own. It is extremely expensive to buy an already trained service dog or hire a trainer, and not all people have the money for it.
I totally get that some people must train their own dog. Years of training of a Therapy or Service dog does not come cheap. And I guess I'm sorta sticking my nose into an issue that I don't share... the requirement of the aid of a Service Dog. May I never need one. :adore:

I would not, myself, approach a person with what I thot was a dubious SD... not being in retail, it's not really my business. But I know that various friends in here do require them. And hope that the public acceptance of their need is not diluted by what may be instances of pseudo SDs popping up.

For those who are interested in training their own dog, I know there are members in here who have fostered potential Service Dogs... on their way to being selected for advanced training. I just can't remember now who they are... :(
 

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After seeing my therapy dog at school, another teacher decided she wanted to bring her dog. I explained that Tori was a certified therapy dog and explained the procedure for earning certification. Instead, this woman went online and found an outfit that "certified" her as a service dog. She was able to buy photo id for both her and the dog, a service vest, collar and tag. All identified the dog as a working service dog. Not one bit of training. All it took was $$$. She now takes the dog everywhere, even though it growls and snaps at anyone who gets near them. She thinks it's cute because the dog is "protecting" her.

I am very concerned because people think our dogs have equal certification. Tori does great work with handicapped children and it really chaps me that we may not be allowed to continue because of what this other woman is doing. I wish there was a way to shut the online "certifiers" down.
 

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that person is a teacher? what does she teach? certainly not ethics. if she is bringing the dog to school, i believe the school has the authority to say no if the dog is ill-behaved. i doubt there's any law - state or otherwise - that says "certification" (real or internet) overrides the issues of safety and poor behavior. it's probably easier to say no on the basis of poor behavior, by the way, than to get into whether the dog is really certified. poor behavior can be much more easily proven.
 

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Fortunately she doesn't work with students. She works with staff. I believe the principal is about to "invite" her to leave the dog at home. I'm just a bit concerned that it may turn into a blanket policy banning all dogs. Tori is a dream and the kids love her so I hope we don't get caught in the fallout.
 

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I want to add that in my grooming shop I see a lot of legitimate service dogs. They are not always the best behaved. Especially the poor seeing eye dogs who need to be retired and were not always treated very nice. Two years of training can deteriorate in the trainers home never mind in the hands of regular or special needs people who have no training experience.
 
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