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Can I Switch Her To "Service Dog In Training?"

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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Bellatrix

Crazy Ball'O Fur
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 9:44pm PST 
Hello again,

So I recently decided that I would un-wash out Bella for service dog training because of how good she did on one of our outings when I went to go get my blood taken (I asked if she could come and made sure to stress that she was an ESA not a Service Dog) She used to be reactive off the yin-yang, anytime she saw a dog, she would do whatever it took to run up to them, when she got to them she would play extremely rough. However I've widdeled it down to her food for the most part, because now that she's switched to raw she's like a perfect lady.

So today I decided that I had some extra time so I went to the petsmart to work on some training. She did pretty good, though of course this was her first time, so I wasn't expecting much because of her issues with being over excited. So I was wondering, I don't want to give any service dogs a bad name, so I want to make sure she is behaving well enought before I call her a "Service Dog In Training" however I've had a LOT of problems with people letting their dogs come up to her, or people stopping to pet her while I'm trying to work on something. And I can't just tell them to "Stop petting my dog you're distracting her" Because they didn't know. So I thought I'd tell you all about how her training day went, and you can help me chose if she is ready to be called a "Service Dog In Training" (Which would help me to train her more easily without having as many people come up asking to pet her) or not.

So basically she did pretty good. This was her first time doing any sort of public training, so of course she did make lots of mistakes (Hey, no one is perfect the first time they do something) Her main issues were that she pulled like crazy when we first walked into the store. She was extremely excited and it took a minuet to get her heeling and walking nicely again, though for the whole rest of the time we were there she heeled nicely by my side for most of the time, unless someone called her over to pet her, or a dog came up to meet her. Other than that I did a lot of work with her sit/stay and down/stay while near new people and dogs, and while they were passing by. She did great with that!

At one point we were training near the pet training box thing, and the woman came out to talk to me and said "Hey! You're the one with the beautiful sit, down" And we chatted about doing some classes for free. While we were chating, a bunch of dogs were going into the classroom, and they stoped about three feet away to talk to her for a few minuets. It was funny to see that all the dogs there pulled like crazy to get the Bella, and she just sat there nicely and looked at them like "What's your problem?" Even when she did get to meet three of the dogs she acted wonderfully! She just politley sniffed and when I told her to come back, she did. Even when the one puppy wanted to play, she didn't get all crazy and stayed clam.

The only other notable issues we really had was with sniffing, though I did a lot of work with that while we were there. And a pulling issue every once in a while when she saw another dog/person though again this was her first time training in such a high distraction area (Dogs, people, dog smells, dog noises, dog food, dog toys, ect)

So what do you all think? Is she ready for a "Service Dog In Training" vest, or not yet?
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Mateo

Super Service- Schnoodle
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 10:17pm PST 
I don't think you, I, or anyone on Dogster who hasn't met Bella can accurately answer your question. I advise you talk to a SD trainer who can evaluate her. Just because you paint a decent picture of a dog doesn't mean they are in any way ready for PA. Being a SD involves having task work and obedience down to a science before a PA element is ever introduced. I'm not saying you're wrong, I just think you're attempting to put together a puzzle without finding the corner pieces. Perhaps work on her obedience and dog reactivity (because a change in food and the best trainer in the world still cant make it completely, SDIT-trustworthy better in two months) because the last thing you need is for her to hurt another dog in vest, hurting your and the whole SD community's credibility.
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 10:26pm PST 
I'm going to say no. It was only October that you were still classing her as reactive, and while her improving in leaps in bounds is a wonderful and amazing thing I think you still need to have her evaluated by a professional before you take the step to elevating her to service dog in training.

My usual requirement's are to first have a dog evaluated, because even with a lot of experience behind me I want to have a second impartial opinion, and to have my dogs pass the CGC test or something equivalent. Neither is a substitute for the other, and a vest is a big step. You don't want to rush her, especially if she Is getting better.

I know from experience that it's hard to not get your hopes up. It is really a trial that you have to face though. Hold out a little longer, keep an eye on her and have her tested. Do a training class or two to get her more socialized in places where if she does slip it won't look bad on service dogs.
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 10:29pm PST 
And just a heads up. The last I looked the state you are in offers no rights to PSD's or Owner trained service dogs in training. So the vest or even status as service dog in training isn't going to give you any additional ability to bring her into non pet friendly places.

*Hugs* You know if you need to ask any questions or if you just want to talk you can still talk to me through email, I can get you a list of trainers in your area or point you toward additional resources.
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Bellatrix

Crazy Ball'O Fur
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 11:14pm PST 
Alright, thanks for the answers! (Sorry for any spelling mistakes, my computer is being evil today and doesn't feel like spell checking)

Just to clarify a bit, I'm quite versed in the SD rules here, and I know she wouldn't have any rights. I wasn't in anyway talking about starting to train in places other than the pet store. (I don't want to be going to fast) The reason I was asking about a vest saying she was "In Training" is because when I was working on training a lot of down/stay while people walked by, or heel when walking close by other people, so many people would just lean down to start petting her which defeated my goal of getting her to ignore them. Or people whould let their dogs come up to Bella when I was trying to work on her down/stay with a dog passing. Though I know she isn't ready for any other public training other than the pet store, a vest would help a lot with some of the people who just stop to pet her, which makes it so I can't work on certain things.

All of the training I could possibly do not in public, she has done (Solid sit, down, stay, leave it (In fact she backs away or walks aroung any droped food) tasks (Working on some more though) heel, ect. All with just word cue or just hand cue) Since I stay home all day, so she gets tons of training.

Just to touch on the subject of her hurting another dog. I'm still not extremely versed on what a reactive dog really is, she basically acted like all the other dogs at petsmart. Just pulling to try and play, then acting overly hyper when playing, the same with people. She was well socialized as a puppy (Just about the only thing I did right when she was a puppy) And she has never shown aggression towards any of the tons of different dogs of all different breeds, colors, and sizes, even though she has met a few agressive dogs that growled or tried to attack her, she still has never acted aggressive.

Thanks Happy for the offer! We recently moved to a new area, and around here (From what I've looked up) There are really no SD trainers or any good trainers at all. Though she will be taking classes at PetSmart (The best I can find right now) with a trainer I'm friendly with. She avaluated Bella for a short time while we were walking around pet smart, and put her into the Advanced class where she will get her CGC.
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Pooch ~ I- miss you ~

love forever
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 11:20pm PST 
Also if you are just looking to stop people from approaching with their dogs, there are other options, such as a "dog in training" bandana or harness/vest, that do not have to label them as A SDIT if she is not ready to be one yet and/or is not going into places where pets/ESAs are not allowed if you are just looking for something to help keep people from distracting her when training...

Example:
http://www.dog-flags.com/
http://www.pawsi tivedog.com/DogInTrainingVest.html
http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cf m?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=3093&ParentPage=whatsnew

Sorry, the forum puts random spaces in the urls, you will have to remove those for them to work.

Edited by author Thu Nov 29, '12 11:31pm PST

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Bellatrix

Crazy Ball'O Fur
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 12:46am PST 
Ah, that's a great idea Pooch, thanks for that! This way I don't have to worry about people looking down on service dogs if she does something bad (Though I don't think she will) But it will also help so that I can train her without people trying to pet her! I think I'll just order the vest I want for her if/when she becomes a service dog, and I'll velcro two patches on "In Training" And "Do Not Distract" or "Do Not Pet" That way I can add/subtract patches when needed. happy dance
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Juno

Super Star Puppy- Cadet
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 2:39am PST 
I just wanted to say Bellatrix, just because your state does not give you owner trainer rights it does not mean you cannot owner train.
There are many of opportunities without needing non pet friendly access. Also ask your local businesses. If they don't have health service code then it is up to them. Actually my dentist even said I could train if I like.
After puppy training classes, her public access was two story city hall and library who practically begged to be a part of her training when they found out I was retiring my other dog.
Lowes and Bass Pro Shop is another because they allow dogs. My local Walmart let me practice automatic doors, shopping and parking lots. I was even invited to come practice on the GM side when the store was not busy.
At parks we had picnics at the tables and after like we were at restaurants.
They also have lots of different surfaces at parks to practice on.
Not having OT SDIT rights just means that if you are asked to leave, you have no recourse but to leave.

Edited by author Sat Dec 1, '12 2:45am PST

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Juno

Super Star Puppy- Cadet
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 3:11am PST 
If it helps, I use the IAADP and Delta Society's minimum standards as a guideline to graduate my dogs to full service dog status.

http://www.deltasociety.org/document.doc?id=373
http://iaadp.org/iaadp-minimum-training-standards-for-public-access. html

Every time I take a dog out, be it service dog or otherwise, I ask myself "Does this dog's temperment warrant the anxiety of a possible bad situation?" I mean I cannot afford to get sued and I definitely do not want anyone to get hurt. Minimal embarrassment I can handle (snoring in public, losing focus).
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Bellatrix

Crazy Ball'O Fur
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 5:43pm PST 
Thanks Juno! Yes I've already actually gotten offers to be able to train in groceries and such. Bella already gets train opportunities when we go to places like the dentist and therapy which I get cleared first for her to go because she's my ESA.
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