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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My Sammi
Barked: Tue Oct 8, '13 12:37pm PST 
Hi, Astra! I'm a pretty recognizable breed, I'm a German Shepherd Dog, but I'm more black in my face than tan. People think I'm pretty I guess, because they say it a lot. My person likes to mess with them when they say, "My, how beautiful!". He says to them, "Why thank you! Oh, you mean the dog!" I think they laugh out of kindness, but it's a good ice-breaker.

I think we have it a little easier because I'm a big, dark dog, and GSD's have kind of a rep because we do police work and lots of people think we're agressive. So, people stand a little further back, and that gives us time to get ready for them if they decide to ask about petting me and stuff.

My person doesn't mind, most of the time. I'm a friendly girl, and like being a positive example of SD's in public, and of my breed. He likes that people pay attention to me and not him because of his PTSD, but I like taking him out in public to get his ass out of the house and around people so he can heal!

Also, we belong to a group of veterans that provides rescue/shelter dogs, equipment, food, training, veteranarian services, and anything else a qualified veteran needs-at no expense to the veteran-if he has been prescribed a SD. The veteran's needs and situation are evaluated, and a search of all the shelters/rescues who work with us is done until a perfect match is found for each veteran. So, when I take my veteran out in public and people ask about me, he gets to tell them about the program and how they can donate if they would like to help.

I suppose one of the factors in being a SD is that people will express an interest, some in a positive way, some not so much, and we all have to find our own way to deal with it. We wish you the best, good luck with training your person, and here's to a long career!
Tiaki CGC- SD

I am a Pringles- pilfering pup!!
Barked: Sun Oct 13, '13 12:01am PST 
ARIEL!!!!!! Well with Tia, when they ask about the breed (and if I'm feeling up to talking to strangers) I tell them to be prepared for several hours of exercise, training & mental stimulation every day for at least 2 years. I also tell them that this breed needs a firm hand & sometimes imaginative training techniques. On the petting, it's a big NO while she's in vest (she still hasn't gotten the memo that her breed is suppose to be "aloof"). As far as where they can get one (German Wirehaired Pointer), I tell them that they would have to go out of state for a really good breeder (I just happened to luck out with Tia). It's not a very common breed (they are like #70something on the AKC most popular breed list). Usually the exercise requirements alone scare most people off.

Barked: Sun Oct 13, '13 4:14pm PST 
I don't even have an unfamiliar breed (or color, but for some reason people have NEVER seen a red border collie). I mostly get people who don't know dogs at all and stupidly ask if Sun is a wolf.
Part wolf?
What is he?
Border Collie

One time a guy stopped me directly in the middle of the street expecting a conversation and when I only got to answer him twice before being out of normal talking range, he got mad and shouted a rude thing to me.

If I'm walking I'll answer a question as I go, but I don't stop so if they don't understand me or have more questions, too bad.


Barked: Sun Oct 20, '13 7:04am PST 
I agree with Astra. My daughter's SD is an unusual looking dog any day. He's a Pit/GSD mix with pit head and fur with a more GSD type frame. We did not get him because of his "look" but for functional purpose. We did find one benefit to his look, after a couple of weeks in public. Less "dog savvy" people, who are generally your petter, do not want to pet a pit. They pet the fire out of our friend's hound mix SD, who is a DAD. At 15, and huge social anxiety, my daughter is glad when nobody wants to pet him. They just do their thing. More dog savvy folks aren't concerned with his "type", but they know better than to pet and will compliment her on how well trained and what a good dog he is. Kids are different, because they do read the patches. They are still curious, but we look at it as an opportunity to educate them on SD's. We also like to, if we have time and my daughter is up to it, provide education that not all disabilities are visible. Diesel does seizure alert and mobility.
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