To Vest or Not to Vest?

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: Sun Oct 20, '13 7:20pm PST 
We live in a very SD "unfriendly" town. Everytime my daughters SD leaves to work, working harness on. The exceptions are just leaving from the house for a potty break. Of course, even then, he's technically "on duty". Sometimes even the harness, patches and mobility impaired person hanging onto him are not enough. But, the first two items are basically a necessity around here. We have found that ID and ADA cards have helped a teensy bit more. Even though it is not legally required, Diesel's harness signals to him, and some public, that he is on duty - no messing around. He knows if we say "shirt" to him, it's stand still, put his head through the harness, wait for his straps to be harnessed up time. Work time.

Barked: Sun Oct 20, '13 9:21pm PST 
I have been looking for a SDIT vest for Oliver, as my son insists that he needs one as all the dogs in the books we read about guide/service dogs wear them! I also think that as he gets older & we start to work on learning important tasks there will be times where I wont want random people coming up to pet him ,which he loves as he loves EVERYONE, human or animal. Where do you all get your dogs' vests? puppy

Work hard; Play- harder.
Barked: Tue Oct 22, '13 9:20pm PST 
I know someone who did an unofficial study. Which vest color resulted in the least amount of drive-by petting and which had the least access issues where patches were all the same. It was the orange and lime/weird yellow ones with red coming in somewhere behind that.

If anxiety is an issue, vest the dog; though I feel compelled to point out that some of your issues may also be based in breed choice. Smaller dogs get a bad rap, especially if they are worked like a fashion accessory instead of a full partner. When I was working with Bretta (70# Malinois)SDIT, I'd get more crap about


out of the- shiverer comes- the brave!
Barked: Wed Oct 23, '13 5:44pm PST 
No, I was asking more along the lines of taking an SD to an already pet-friendly place (Petco/PetSmart, Parks, Outings outdoors, etc). I'll be getting my PSD candidate, who will be a lab pup from a long line of PSDs, next summer so I want to be overly prepared. My favorite breed is the Rottweiler, and I've trained many of them successfully, but I wanted a breed with a more public friendly image to begin with that way I won't have to deal with as much access issues along with training my first SD. I'm confident that down the line I'll use a Rott though, I've fallen hard for them. big grin
Harley, SD,- CGC, TDI

Super Service- Boy!
Barked: Thu Oct 24, '13 8:03pm PST 
My Harley is a Rott mix (though I know he doesn't look like it). My SD Candidate is a full Rott.

When going to pet friendly stores: Is your dog working (do you expect full working behavior and etiquette) or are you allowing them to be and act like a dog? If you are expecting full working behavior, I would vest. If you are going on a fun, non working outing, I would definitely not vest.
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