Postings by Happy's Family

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Service & Therapy Dogs > Question about "fake" SD's
Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 4, '15 4:32pm PST 
I've handled service dogs for a really long time, and done my good share of traveling and I'm not convinced that the 'faker problem' is as much of a problem as big programs *cough cough CCI* and the media makes it out to be.

That said the easiest solution is for business's to educate themselves on when they can ask a disruptive team to leave. If they were educated and removed teams that were out of control or not housebroken then no matter if they are a real service dog or not it would solve the issue.
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» There has since been 6 posts. Last posting by Domino, Apr 14 9:53 am

Service & Therapy Dogs > Just a few questions
Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 4, '15 4:27pm PST 
Take this for what it's worth but my experience with Petco and any of the other big box store trainers is that they rarely are worth going all the way through CGC with. There are no training standards and their actually Training is not very extensive nor kept up to date.

There is a Lot of information online on training, some of it good some of it bad. By all means you should talk to that trainer and see what your impression is and ask for references and to meet dogs that she's trained. Might help, might not.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Domino, Apr 4 6:37 pm


Service & Therapy Dogs > Just a few questions

Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 1, '15 12:20am PST 
Hello Domino and welcome to the forums.

I have not heard anything about that trainer either good or bad. It looks like from the website that she doesn't have a whole lot of experience training dogs let alone service dogs but many people may like that her methods are positive only. She does throw around a lot of names but since she has no actual accreditation it's hard to say if she's trained with them or not.

It looks like she works mostly with veterans if not exclusively with them. I don't know if you served or not but this is something to keep in mind.

I Normally do advise people to train with someone in person. That said I don't know Anyone in Colorado that I could recommend. I am friends with a few handlers in Colorado but near as I can tell the number of good service dog trainers in the area are few if not non existent.

Right now you mostly need to focus on obedience and socialization though and any basic trainer can help you with that. I generally like to recommend for someone to look for a trainer with experience in therapy dogs if a service dog trainer is not available. They will have some idea on the basic requirements of dogs in public and can help you along your journey.

For my clients (I'm in NC so not near enough to help, if you wanted to do online training I have a few people I could recommend) I generally require my puppy clients to go through training classes to work on basic obedience first anyway. I like to put a CGC and now I'd add a CGCA in place of a TDI test before I start working on public access.

It looks like your states public access status for in training dogs is muddy at best, Trainers have access rights with dogs in training but it doesn't really outline what qualifications a trainer needs.

After I go through a CGCA with dogs in training I like to see them start working towards a CD or a RN title, this is Not a requirement traditionally but the working relationship that develops as well as the practice working in busy environments is useful.

This only taps the tip of the iceburg on service dog training and if you need help feel free to message me or you can find my Email on Happy's profile page.
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Domino, Apr 4 6:37 pm


Service & Therapy Dogs > Tips for self training Psychiatric Service dogs

Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 1, '15 12:06am PST 
Guest, your information is wildly inaccurate, and mostly unusable.

Service dog prospects are not standing around on ever street corner. The majority of dogs raised as pets do not have the temperament appropriate. Evaluations with an experienced trainer can be done to determine if a dog is one of those few but as always be cautious because there are more scams out there and people who think they know more about service dogs than they do, than there are real trainers with real hands one experience with service dogs.

There is no requirement under the ADA for a service dog to be spayed or neutered and while for most handlers it is ideal to have a dog altered studies now show that it is healthier to hold off until a dog is physically mature which will differ from breed to breed.

Agility while great bonding with a dog is not a requirement of service dog training and while it can be useful for teaching confidence it is also a good way to injure a dog if you aren't doing it under the supervision of a trainer familiar with conditioning and safe agility.

There is no requirement of 3 tasks under the ADA, and teaching tasks just to teach 'tasks' with no relation to disability is less than useless in real service dogs.

There is no registering or certifying body in the USA. Any certification or registration is worth less than the paper it is printed on when talking about legal requirements for service dogs in this country. There are countries that require certification but those countries also have guidelines (and usually programs) that are also required which differ from our own.

Last. The site you linked is a scam. Plain and simple. I hope no one falls for your 'id your pet take it everywhere' nonsense. Service dogs are about being partnered with a disabled handler and about training, nothing more, nothing less. Any ID only muddies the water for business's and teams.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Happy, Apr 1 12:06 am


Service & Therapy Dogs > Collar or Harness?

Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 15, '15 4:06pm PST 
I absolutely Hate no pull/front clip harness's and would doubt the education of a trainer that recommended them. I've been invovled in the autopsies of dogs that have had them used and the damage it causes to the shoulders and front end as well as the first of the spine is very real and very serious.

Just in case you doubt it Here.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Happy, Mar 15 4:06 pm

Service & Therapy Dogs > Collar or Harness?
Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 17, '15 12:05am PST 
Breezy, on the CGC prongs are allowed for service dogs if it is a part of their normal gear. I use prongs a lot with strong young dogs to learn to give better to pressure.

Sadie as to your question. I use a harness on All of my puppies until I teach the to release to pressure which usually I start around 12-14 weeks depending on the puppy's development. Until that point I like to keep a pup in a harness so they aren't learning the wrong lessons about pulling on a collar.

I do eventually transition all of my puppies I train over to a flat collar but various tools might be used in between the harness/flat collar stage to make the process as low stress and successful for each dog.
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» There has since been 4 posts. Last posting by Happy, Mar 15 4:06 pm


Service & Therapy Dogs > Hello!

Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 14, '15 11:36pm PST 
Socializing a dog is so much more than taking them everywhere with you. Service dog public access training should be done carefully and in small doses at a time. Taking a puppy out with you all day long is counter productive and can actually ruin a dog's desire to work.

The absolute first thing I recommend you do is find a local trainer who is familiar with service dogs and have your puppy properly evaluated. There is so much that goes into service work that you need to know that a puppy has the right temperament for the job before you invest thousands upon thousands of hours in their training.

As for doing public access with a puppy start small, 5-10 minutes twice a week in a new quite place right now is important. You can move this up to 10-15 minutes after 5 months or so, then 15-20 minutes after around 8 months. Sessions need to be about the puppy, not about picking up your dry cleaning or getting milk. They need to be positive based and you need to watch your puppies body language closely for sines of stress or fatigue. Check your state laws, some state laws cover service dogs in training, other's don't. If you live in a state that doesn't cover service dogs in training then find places you can call ahead and get the owner/manager's permission to train. If state law does not cover you this CAN NOT be grocery stores, restaurants or anywhere that sells food. State/federal law will trump health codes but if you aren't covered under state law then health codes apply and you and the business owner could get in trouble.

Keep training fun, and light, and be prepared that even if you do everything absolutely perfect a dog can still washout. Most of your large service dog schools have a wash out rate of 50-70%. These are big schools who have specialized breeding programs to produce exactly the kind of temperaments needed, and health testing done, on top of training programs designed around training dogs by people who do nothing but train service dogs. Owner training has worst statistics and if you aren't absolutely ruthless on your evaluation for washing a dog out then you aren't being fair to the public, to the dog, and most importantly to you.

I'm always willing to help new handlers with etiquette, ethics, training, or just listen to problems so feel free to email me, you can find my Email on Happy's page.

Cheers and the best of luck to you and your puppy.
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» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by Crazy Sadie Lady, Apr 25 7:55 am


Service & Therapy Dogs > Tips for self training Psychiatric Service dogs

Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 14, '15 11:23pm PST 
Honestly with a dog at 6 years old my best tip would be wait until you can add a dog to be specifically trained and raised as a service dog. Service work is mentally and physically demanding on a dog and with training that takes close to 2 years to complete if you are getting the recommended hours of obedience, public access, and task training done.

Two years into training puts your dog at 8 which is at or past the age which most dogs are retired for service work obviously depending on health.

Bond is not the end all and be all, I'm sure a lot of people will tell you that it is but while having a dog that is bonded to you is great it's really not needed for a dog to do their job.

There are a lot of good groups (and plenty of bad) on facebook that are a bit more active that could give you a better idea of what living with and handling a service dog are all about.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Happy, Apr 1 12:06 am


Service & Therapy Dogs > Service dog resources in VA?

Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 28, '15 11:34pm PST 
There is a group on facebook for Service dog Trainer and Organization review, I would ask there. I don't have any contacts in Northern VA that works with owner trainers. You might contact Ravenwood Farm Labs, I know that they produce a lot of service dogs. They are in Kenswick VA (I'll admit that I don't know without googling if that's north or south VA) and they may have some leads for you. Good luck and great job for looking for a trainer.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Toto, CD, RN, CGC, Mar 10 5:07 am

Service & Therapy Dogs > Dog Distraction Tips
Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 28, '15 11:31pm PST 
I would recommend that you both look into the book/dvd's Control Unleashed, as well as the book Fired up, Frantic, and Freaked out. They are great books for people with reactive dogs or even just those who can't concentrate well around distractions.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Happy, Jan 28 11:31 pm

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