|Barked: Sun Oct 28, '12 1:48pm PST |
|I've come across the site before and talked to them previously about for a friend and here is my overall opinion based on those things. First neither of their main trainers are particularly experienced, I see nothing about them to recommend them to me. There is a vague reference to SAR's training for one of their trainers but there is no facts to back it up. In addition their news letters introduce him as a puppy raiser not as a trainer.. I'm funny about when things don't add up.
Next they use shelter dogs and donated puppies while that's an admirable thing the last I talked to them (they're in my state) they claimed to have a 0% wash out rate. In my opinion that is simply impossible and means one of two things to me. Either one they're lying because they want to sound better or two they're putting dogs out in the public that are not suited to the work.
Now.. I take a huge issue with that harness.. it's not sound, and honestly very unsafe, it's not suitable for the work they're using it for. If they aren't still using it they need to get pictures of it off their website, and if they are they need to stop. I have strong opinions on the safe use of a dog in working and I don't feel they really do so. A lot of the pictures in their news letters also show very unsafe positioning for mobility work. A great example of this is the Summer 2010 news letter, the picture of the shepherd helping a woman up on a step is Horrible placement of the hands and can hurt the dog And handler.
Dogs in buggies... several places in their news letters you see pictures of their puppy raiser, often those puppies are in buggies in some store. It is never appropriate to have your service dog in a buggy. Period. They as a program shouldn't support this action, let alone advertise it.
And as a personal afterthought.... border collies. While this will sound silly since I have used more than one border collie as my service dog, but the high number I see in this program worries me. They are not a breed as a whole that is well suited to service work, they are sound sensitive, and can often develop reactivity issues. They can be very hyperactive, and while are smart as a wip don't always take to a new handler easily. In addition I see several of them pulling wheelchairs.. and they are just not big enough. Pulling a wheelchair a Huge strain on a dogs body, and if you are going to use a dog for this you need a dog large enough to handle the strain. And because I've gotten this argument Yes huskies are small, but huskies pull in Teams not alone.
As a whole they aren't a program I'd go with.
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