|Barked: Mon May 14, '12 10:08am PST |
|The legal line is the dog is a fake if either the handler is disabled or the dog is not task work trained. If both those criteria is met, the dog is poorly trained, but not a fake.
As to what you brought up...
1) I do believe it is best practice to have the dog somehow identified as a SD, however I absolutely do NOT want to see it become law that they have to be. There are to many situations where the identification can get messed up. I'll give you a very good example...During hurricane Katrina, we lost everything not living. Had Harley been a SD at the time, we would have lost his gear. Also, a lot of handlers keep their gear in their car (I do) so they don't forget it. What if your car gets stolen? Then you lose your gear. I also had a situation when Sophie was a puppy where I was taking them to daycare, and had everyone buckled up in their seat belt harnesses. Sophie chewed Harley's harness off of him. Gear can not be replaced very quickly, and a handler should not be denied access while they are replacing it b/c crap happens. And what would the difference have been if this dog was vested other than it would have looked really bad for service dogs?
2) The Flexi...While it sounds like this particular dog should not have been on an unlocked flexi, I do know a handler that used one (her dog is now retired and she in between SDs). She had a stroke, is wheel chair bound with very limited mobility in her hands and arms. Her dog was on an unlocked flexi so that she go move to retrieve as necessary. However, she was very properly trained to do so, and it never caused a problem. If a team is going to use a flexi, they need to be very well trained in it, but there is a place for it, and the alternative is an off leash dog. (And in this case, they would legally be allowed to have the SD off leash).
I don't remember what the other point now. But, you can't regulate out all the bad apples. People who are determined to fake will find a way to do it. What would end up happening is legitimate people with legitimate needs will get hurt.
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