new to SD's - lots of questions (college, training, invisible disibilities)

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

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Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 6:15am PST 
Something else to consider in terms of cost: It costs thousands of dollars to purchase a well bred puppy, feed it, provide vet care, get help with training (if you have never owned a dog before you will need help at some point) get all the necessary medical evaluations of hips/elbows etc. when the dog reaches the age of 18 months or 2 years, and take care of emergencies. And then what if the dog washes out? What happens if its hips don't pass?

It takes about 2 years to train a service dog, and the wait time with organizations might even be faster. Most reputable organizations will help you fundraise for the cost of the dog, so it will be Way less expensive, and you won't have to deal with the very high possibility of a wash out.
Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 7:13am PST 
Part of my SD's duties are to mitigate PTSD, which is an anxiety disorder, so I'm going to try to answer your question about the challenges of having a SD and an anxiety disorder.

Sometimes, I have to use my SD to help me recover from interactions with the public. However, most of the time, my SD is working to help me function in public, so it is a balance and a choice.

I get many, many questions. In my experience, people are drawn to dogs in places where dogs ordinarily are not seen. The huge majority mean well. I once found myself in the middle of a large circle of admiring people and panicked.

It took practice to learn to manage the public. I learned to smile and answer questions on the move, to hand out flyers about SDs (and keep on the move), to use body language to demonstrate that I was busy with my errand and less interrupt-able.

It is most difficult when I am standing in line because I'm sort of trapped. I have had someone reach over my SD (who was posted behind me to help prevent such a thing) and tap me on the shoulder to get my attention. Zing! I just about jumped a mile high and scared everyone.

It is a balance and one you want to consider VERY carefully before undertaking it.

Where's that- rabbit?
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 8:38am PST 
You don't say which province you are in, but please carefully check your laws/regulations concerning Service Dogs in Canada. Every province is different. Some do not accept owner trained animals..or did not as of 2010.

Need info on service dogs

Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 2:26pm PST 
I have checked the laws for Ontario and as far as I can tell I am lawfully able to train my own dog. In one place I saw it mentioned that SDs must be trained by an accredited trainer but from my hours of searching government websites I havent been able to find a list of accredited trainers. So I would assume I would just need to have a letter proving the training and obviously be able to prove the dogs training should a legal situation arrise.

I have emailed a few programs about their dogs as so many people have reccomended and Im waiting to hear back. As I said before its not so much the cost but the wait time - I would feel alot more productive if I was training rather than waiting. I also do not want to miss the puppy phase and I would like to choose the breed of dog.

Also thanks for the advice about anxiety - it makes me feel a little better about being able to handle the attention.

Super Service- Schnoodle
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 9:24pm PST 
Does the breed really matter? A dog doesn't need to be an uncommon breed or an interesting breed to be a good dog. In fact a more common breed stacks the deck in your favor. I don't have a common dog breed, but that is seven, yes seven washed out dogs down that were uncommon breeds as well. Part of me wishes I'd just gone with a lab in the first place. And believe me, you will get asked ALL the time, "What is your dog's breed?" Talk about anxiety and being a broken record. Honestly, program dog or not, Shiloh or not, puppy or not, you should take what you can get, if you have a time crunch now is not the time to be picky.
Need info on service dogs

Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 11:55pm PST 
Yes the breed is very important to me. If you yourself have an uncommon breed then you should understand that I dont neccisarily want a lab or a golden. Size is important to me, Ive been around mastiffs for the major part of my teenage years and I absolutly LOVE big dogs - and I really dont consider a golden to be big enough that I would feel safe with one. And the reason I would like I Shiloh is because of doing numerous personality tests that match you with dogs, talking to lots of different owners and breeders of dogs, and making a huge list about the atributes, health concerns, lifespan, temprement, and faults about the nearly 15 breeds that I was contemplating and Shilohs stood out miles infront of the others. Before my research I was adiment about having a mastiff - it was through my research that I decided that a Shiloh was the best match to be my service dog - not because I want an uncommon breed - but because I truly believe it will be the best match for me.

And your comment about taking what I can get isnt really very true - realisticly I can choose between a program dog or not. And I can choose to get a puppy or not. Its not about taking what I can get it's about finding what will work best for me - obviously thats why Im here in the first place - to try and find out what that is and have the best chance of suceeding. And I have already spoken in other replies that I have decided to postpone college so that I can have the time to train a SD should I decide to get one.

Super Service- Schnoodle
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 1:50am PST 
My "uncommon breed" is a fluke rescue mix. For all intents and purposes he is a big black dog. If you are worried about attention, I sincerely hope you will take this to heart: EVERY THIRD PERSON CAN AND WILL STOP YOU TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR UNCOMMON DOG. Sometimes it is positive, sometimes not so much. I sincerely hope you choose to talk to Mali's mom, since she is a Shiloh Shepherd SD user and I believe breeder. They are NOT the breed for the casual dog owner. Heck, they aren't the breed for many experienced dog owners, of which you have admitted you are not. You are young, and since you said I should understand with an uncommon breed, I understand wanting to stand out, I'm 19 years old as well, stuck owner training, again, my 7th dog, because I didn't listen to anybody's advice. But that said, there are MANY oversized goldens, labs and even GSDs that top 100 lbs.

Let me ask you this, what exactly HAVE you heard about Shiloh's that makes you think they would be good for service work? I'm not at all arguing that they're good dogs or even good working dogs. I'm saying that if you haven't read about the wild temperament variability, weak nerved tendencies and aggression if ill/improperly socialized, then you seriously need to read again. How many Shilohs have you ACTUALLY met? Because one or two does not a population make.

Like I said, there are plenty of far more established breeds with established working temperaments that are within your size range. Why exactly are you stuck on this "uncommon breed" thing? Because IMO, it will get you in a fat lot more trouble than it will do you good.

How exactly were you planning on picking your puppy? Were you going to do any kind of testing? If so, what kind? Were you planning on having a trainer come with you to help evaluate the dog? If not, why? These are the kind of questions you need to be asking yourself. A SDIT is not only for you, it's for everyone who comes after you. The impression your SD/SDIT leaves in a business is the impression they will carry moving forward. Make it a positive one.
Need info on service dogs

Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 7:27pm PST 
The breeders who I have been talking to are very vigilant about temprement testing both parents and puppys to insure faults like those you mentioned dont occur. I am talking with a trainer about his reccomendations and of course I know not to pick a puppy alone when I have never done this before. And I have read alot about puppy testing - Volhard temprement test, needs to score all / mostly 3's, retrival test, testing for sound sensitivity ect.

You talk as if Im diving into this alone with no experiance and like Im not trying to find the best way to do this which is false. The reason I am here is to ask for help and I have been talking to a trainer as reccomended and I have been doing my breed research and my breeder research. I am by no means jumping into this before I have the full lay of the land so I would apreciate it if you would stop talking to me the way you are because I find it offensive.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 8:10pm PST 
A reputable breeder WILL NOT allow you to pick out a puppy yourself, ESPECIALLY NOT if you're looking for SD material. You are biased. Breeder is not - he/she can look at all the puppies after socialization and temperament test each of them individually and judge which ones are good for show, obedience, performance sports, pet homes, SD work, etc and find them the most suitable homes, so even if you go to a reputable breeder with a trainer, while they will take your WANTS into account, ultimately, the decision will be made by them.

A puppy is a lot of work. And while I love Shiloh's if they're bred properly, I hope you'll be EXTREMELY careful in finding a VERY reputable breeder of this breed to ensure HEALTH AND temperament. You'll want both if you want an SD.

You do HAVE to, absolutely HAVE to consider that with an unusual breed, you're setting yourself up to be hounded by people on what your dog is, and by people wanting to pet your dog, and children running up to your dog while you're running errands or at school or doing anything really where dogs aren't normally allowed. If you get anxious around people, the attention you'll get with an SD will be even further exacerbated by the fact you have a dog somewhere they aren't normally. Public access issues often come up too because certain people don't educate themselves on the laws and will try to kick you out of certain businesses. So Iris's suggestions were great.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. I would also recommend talking to Mali on here.

And good luck! I hope you're getting the answers you were seeking. smile

Mali Woo
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 8:05am PST 

All dogs that are not socialized when they are puppies will have problems with their temperaments., it does not matter what breed they are. The window for socializing a puppy is up to age 16 weeks. After that it goes downhill quickly.

Not all dogs called Shiloh Shepherds are Shiloh Shepherds. I know this can be confusing but it is true. We hope one day when the breed is recognized by the AKC this will all change.

Years ago there was as happens with many developing breeds a split in the breed. This happened more than once. One split happened and King Shepherds came into being, but only because Ma Shiloh sued and forced them to change the name of their dogs. They were out crossing their dogs with other dogs, while our stud books had been closed. What does closed stud books mean? That means we were not bringing any new dogs into our gene pool but they were.

Another split happened but Ma Shiloh decided she could not afford to sue again so she just let them go. Like the King Shepherds they added out crosses and are still adding them many years later. By adding out crosses they no longer really have Shiloh Shepherds. They have whatever you want to call them, I calling them designer dogs. They have even added working GSD from Europe to our gentle soul Shilohs.

Shiloh Shepherds were bread to be companions not an aggressive breed. It is for this reason they make wonderful service dogs and therapy dogs.

The way you tell a as Ma Shiloh put it a “Real Deal” Shiloh Shepherd is by the name of the Breed Club. The Shilohs from the breed founder are I.S.S.R. International Shiloh Shepherd Registry. The others have other initials behind their names.

Our stud books have been closed for many, many years, theirs are still open. They are still bring in dogs from anywhere and everywhere and always hoping to get a “Real Deal” Shiloh to put back into their gene pool.
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