GO!

How do I get started?

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.

  
Lily

support rescue!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 3:35am PST 
I would like to get Lily certified as a service dog. Not for others (I would love that but she doesn't have the temperment)but for me to help with my anxiety. I want to be able to bring her everywhere with me. I actually do that already, the only difference is I would not be kicked out puppyrainbow Where do I start and can anyone doing something similar tell me about your experiances?
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Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 6:43am PST 
There is much much more to having and using a SD than taking your dog everywhere with you.

First, you must be disabled to use a Service Dog. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) "A disability is an impairment that substantially limits one or major life activities."

Major life activities include things like caring for yourself, performing tasks, breathing, eating, seeing, hearing, interacting with others, etc.

Your dog must be trained to mitigate your disability, whatever that disability is. It must be trained to perform tasks or do work for you that you cannot do for yourself so that you can live your life as others do.

Your dog must also be trained to behave properly in public.

There is a lot to consider when thinking about owner-training a SD. I suggest you take it very slowly and carefully so that you can set yourself up for success.
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Baby

What'd you say?- I wasn't- listening.
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 12:42pm PST 
First, I hope you read this all the way through, I in no way intend for this to be rude/harsh/offensive and if we were talking in person it'd be easier to see that.

I'm a little concerned, what do you mean she "doesn't have the temperament"? Do you mean in a therapy dog setting where you bring her into hospitals and stuff?

If your dog doesn't have the right temperament for that it would be inexcusable and simply irresponsible for you to use her as a service dog.

First, as previously said, make sure you're legally disabled. Then go get your CGC (canine good citizen). If she cannot pass that test she, in all honesty, has no place to be in public environments that do not allow dogs and will need a lot more training until she actually can pass it.

Wanting to take her everywhere with you seems nice in theory but it's actually a pain in the butt unless you truly need it. You'll constantly get access challenges and rude remarks. And if she isn't 100% trained to an acceptable service dog standard it will just make the lives of other handlers more difficult.

When it comes to handling a service dog it goes beyond just you, you need to think about the other service dog teams that may be impacted by the impression you leave. It's also about your dog. If she doesn't have "the right temperament" it could just be unnecessary stress and make her feel uncomfortable; that's not fair to Lily.

After you consider these points and think honestly about it then start hard-core training, aim for passing the CGC at the very least. Then start thinking of tasks she can do.

Just being there with you to calm you down is not a task. It must be something like... if you have PTSD and people getting too close to you triggers flash-backs/panic attacks, that she will circle or block those people from invading your boundaries to prevent such reactions -- this must be in a non-confrontational way; any form of aggression is unacceptable.
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Pooch ~ I- miss you ~

love forever
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 12:57pm PST 
Really, if a dog doesn't have the temperament to be a therapy dog, does that mean they can't be a service dog?

Pooch for example, had no interest in strangers petting him. He was totally ok with anyone petting him, he'd let them do it with no problem but he just wouldn't pay attention to them when they did. So when I took him to a therapy dog trainer to see what they thought, they said he didn't have the temperament to be a therapy dog. He was great in public, very confident and not afraid of anything, great with people and other animals. It's just he was not interested in getting petted by people he didn't know.
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Baby

What'd you say?- I wasn't- listening.
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 1:18pm PST 
Perhaps it's my fault for making a more general assumption beyond "doesn't enjoy other people" after reading her profile. No need to become offended.

What I should have said, "If she is uneasy and skittish around people and new environments that could be noisy" then she shouldn't be a service dog.

If I'm wrong, I do know the common phrase about making assumptions, then I apologize. But I don't want to be super-dandy supportive of a dog that may not be right for the job.
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Isaac

1278829
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 2, '13 4:16am PST 
There is no certification for service dogs. No official, legal certification, anyway. You can buy fake certifications online but they are worthless and meaningless.

For your dog to be a service dog, first you must be disabled. Are you?

Then, your dog must be trained to perform tasks that mitigate your disability. What things are you unable to do for yourself that your dog is trained to do for you?

It takes about 18 months to train a service dog. To get started, you should talk to your doctor about whether or not you are disabled and if there are things a service dog could do to mitigate your disability. If you are disabled, then you should have an experienced trainer evaluate your dog to see if she has the right temperament to become a service dog. If she does (most dogs don't, though), you can begin working with the trainer to train her. Or you could apply to a service dog program for a dog, which would be much cheaper than working with a private trainer.
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Pooch ~ I- miss you ~

love forever
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 2, '13 1:31pm PST 
I'm sorry Baby- I wasn't offended really, I wasn't sure so I was asking if that was really the case. Maybe I phrased my post poorly.
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 2, '13 2:54pm PST 
At the risk of sounding like a black sheep or making people here angry cause I say something wrong. 1 I don't thing angxiety a lone is good enough to start using a SD most here I think have said that. Though I believe that it can be just as debilitating as most. I know people don't approve but I feel if as long as the dog is not grossly aggressive, and dose a task that medigates your disabilitie that keeps you form everyday life. That is what it is all about after all and that is another statment that is going to get me in trouble. I know, since most here want to think that it is more complicated then that to get a SD trained and working. I have had Sadie essessed at least a dozen times, and I know like everyone else here that you all have to take my word on this; but she has had past all the test to make her so. Though she dose not have accual documentation on it with a paper trail,but we know all that needn't be. We go on the word of others here less some of us know each other in person. But I have had Sadie assessed as I said for the PAT test and CGC ship form very proffessional trainers. I am not bragging about my training abilities I want to say this right off though I do well and have not had complaints on my abilitie to do so well. I have a natural abilitie to understand and work with animals of all sorts. I have had this ever since I was born. As most my family have told me "I could charm a loin out of his meal," I know a lot of people have told me on here that dose not make me able to train a SD for real. But the ADA makes me allowed to. Sadie as I have said all over this forum has pretty much trained herself, "like she just understood that this was why I was bringing her in to my home and life." Why she had to leave her first home. I believe Sadie is a God send she has been the most on target dog I have had and dose what I have asked form her right down to the alert tasks. As I have found out a lot of people on here are a mazed that she has been so easy to do so. I just don't believe in making things so complicated since I have so many complications in my life. I don't understand why people have to make things so complicated as I have said and I know that a lot of people will give me grief over saying all this but I am saying this form my own feeling and understanding.
I am just feeling it is that time in my life I should uncomplicate my life when ever I can. It makes my other disabilities less activated. I hope this makes since to some of you out there.
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Baby

What'd you say?- I wasn't- listening.
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 2, '13 3:55pm PST 
Not a problem, Pooch, evidently I phrased my post incorrectly too =)
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Lily

support rescue!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 2, '13 6:12pm PST 
Lily isn't social with other people but as long as she is with me she is ok going anywhere. I do have PTSD and severe anxiety that makes it difficult to get out of the house most days but if I am able to bring Lily I am usually able to do it although it sounds like there are more hoops to jump through than I first thought. Thanks for the information everyone.
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