[nagdu] Identifying dogs reaching a common ground

Danielle A. Creapeau dcreapeau at gmail.com
Thu Sep 5 20:16:10 UTC 2013

You bring up excellent points Tami... especially about presenting ID
for those with limitted use of their hands.

On 9/5/13, Tami Jarvis <tami at poodlemutt.com> wrote:
> Bridget,
> Are you asking who evaluates owner-trained dogs, or who evaluates
> program-trained dogs? The answer is the same in both cases. The trainer.
> There is no overall standard or oversight, in either case. A trainer
> working for a program is an actual trainer who gets paid. An
> owner-trainer is an actual trainer who is not paid. The professionals
> who train for the programs do only a small part of the actual work to
> finish off the task training. The owner-trainer also does the ground
> work normally done by volunteer puppy raisers for the programs. The
> owner-trainer does more actual training, in other words, than the
> professional trainer.
> Owner-trainers select their prospects much as the programs do. They do
> the socializing and training much as the programs do. They do it at
> their own time and expense. They spend the months and years to ensure
> that the dog is trained for public access, and they do it on their own.
> They are always aware that they may have to flush everything if their
> prospect does not work out. They are aware from the get-go that while
> the programs have entire litters to work from with a 50 percent success
> rate at best, the OT will either succeed or lose everything. They are
> aware that their dogs are not pets. Yes, a few folks do just do a
> slap-on job of task-training their pets. The rest of us do a heck of a
> lot of actual training. You can identify our dogs by observing them.
> Their work and conduct speak for themselves.
> I'm not sure I understand the conviction of so many -- and there seem to
> be a growing number -- about the guarantee of behavior of service dogs
> trained by professionals who work for fund-raising organizations. Some
> of the concerns raised about a number of types of incidents at this
> year's National Convention show that this is not the case. Of the 400
> plus guide dogs there, does anyone know what percentage were
> owner-trained? Of those teams involved in the incidents that were
> discussed after Convention, does anyone know what percentage were
> owner-trained and what percentage of handlers possessed IDs showing
> their dogs were certified by programs with actual trainers?
> I guess I'm puzzled by the assumption by so many that training given by
> a fund-raising organization is a guarantee of any kind. The majority of
> these programs have a reputation for high quality that speaks for
> itself. If a trainer works for one of them, then you can certainly
> assume that trainer is really dang good, among the best of the best. The
> breeding stock of those with long-established lines also has a
> well-deserved reputation for quality. That's because the dogs speak for
> themselves. Most of them, anyway. One doesn't have to go around the
> block very many times, though, to learn that none of it is a guarantee.
> If we wish to outlaw owner-training based on the flaws or real bad
> choices of a few, then what do we do with programs whose teams screw up?
> Flush them, too?
> One thing about presenting ID every time you go in a door: Many service
> dog users have significant issues with the use of their hands. It might
> not be inconvenient for you to pull out a card every few minutes. For
> them, it would be literally impossible. For others, it might be possible
> but would be excruciatingly painful.
> There are philosophical concerns about requiring PWDs to show special ID
> based on their choice of adaptive tools. But the practical concerns are
> significant, as well, I think.
> There is still the cost factor to consider, as well.
> I understand people's frustrations, especially with all these emotional
> and misleading articles popping up all over. Too many times, a program
> rep is interviewed and takes the chance to spout off about how the dogs
> trained by his/her program are guaranteed perfect and are certified!
> They have hundreds of hours of training by experts! I've only read one
> recently where the rep pointed out that their dogs have a thousand of
> hours of public access training and that there is still no guarantee the
> dogs will be perfect all the time. I about fainted. /smile/
> Tami
> On 09/04/2013 09:17 PM, Bridget Walker wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I have some thoughts after following the threads. in my opinion A service
>> dog should be trained by an actual program. Yes that's right I said it.
>> It's not the harness or the vest that makes the dog it is the training. I
>> do not know how anyone can pick a random dog, train it on their own
>> without being a trainer and call it a service animal. Until someone
>> informs me of how a dog that is not trained by an actual trainer gets
>> identified as a service dog I'm sorry I personally can find a reason why
>> there can be conflicts.
>> I fully believe the dogs the guide dog schools breed and train  are what
>> make the dog. The early socialization and introductions the puppies get is
>> crucial and it should all be done a specific way. With that I think this
>> war over fake verses  legit service dogs is beating a dead horse.  I think
>> there most definitely needs to be some kind of certification process for
>> the dogs that are not trained from an actual program. If I could just
>> train my pet as a guide dog is that really ok? I asked a while back who
>> evaluates these dogs and I never got an answer. I don't think it can be
>> just anyone who should make the call over what makes a good service dog
>> that is what  a trainer. Training school is for.
>> Ok a bit off topic there but really I think there is a reason we have
>> training programs and ID cards. Do we need them by law? No, but maybe we
>> just might at the rate everything is going.
>> There are people that take for granted a lot of opportunities including
>> this. I would still like to maintain the ability to travel   with a
>> service dog as a right not a privilege.
>> This is not designed. to say this goes to the fault of anyone specific
>> because if we knew why there was such a conflict I am sure we would be
>> acting on it.
>> I leave it at that.
>> Bridget
>> Sent from my iPad
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