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Let people pet your service dog

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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Mali

Mali Woo
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 11:41am PST 
Guest; I never absolutely Never, let anyone pet Mali when she is working. As long as she is in harness she is working. If some person were to want to pet her and get Mali to take a step towards them while I was looking the other way… I could very easily fall.

I fell 9 months ago and I am still in PT because of a simple little fall and will possibly have surgery because of it.

Mali is my Mobility, Medical alert and Panic attack service dog. She needs to have her mind on what she does for work not on some passer-by whims. She gets lots and lots of attention at home and meets lots of other people and dogs, when I go to dog club meetings and dog shows and I take her out of harness for a while.

Everyone does not live inside of a small “differently abled” box. Some of us need that equipment you have disregarded along with our highly valued dog. Without Mali’s harness I would be trapped in a wheelchair and have even more limited independence than I have now, and believe me I am limited compared to what I want!
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 2:41pm PST 
Sarge Glad to meet such a sweet mix of breed as you just to say, Yes i agree and and disagree I feel that it is a bit safer though even if the SD is well trained. And same with the idea of allowing people to pet your SD. I love Sadie and know she love me and people all together, but For safty sake for Sadie I agree I pick and choose when and when not to let someone pet sadie. Sadie looks to me for promission to allow her to be petted. When I am educating people about Sadie I will allow petting. I also allow people to pet her when the people ask. But sometimes I will asks people not to pet her too and most the time I give a wide birth with people to show I would not be willing to allow her to be pet. I also have asked people to not go near her even though she is on her run and not obvessly working. Sadie has no real consept that some people are mean cause I have seen her run up to people just to be pet. Though then again she has growled and barked at people in warning not to come near her so that may mean she dose have some idea that there are bad people out there. Just out right saying though that program dogs are trained baddly is just like saying Owner trained dogs are baddly trained. I think that I judge as I go wether or not a dog is well trained and I feel that a dog is as well trained as the owner is able to train the dog.
I have spent my life around dogs and have had many dogs as an adult and all my dogs were well trained that they behaved in a public manner even when they were only used as pets.
Sadie is my first fully used and noted owner trained SD. Though one of my pet dogs I was trying to work on to be my SD for hearing etc. I don't think it is fair that SD uses or the averge person to make judgment to wether this or that dog is well trained or not. What I know right now a lot of programs are trying to get it so that disabled people can not train their own dogs; meaning that if that would to happen that there would be less SDs out there, and people who need a SD would not be able to have one. I feel training and allowing people to pet your SD are all in my feelings are personal details in ones lifestyle. (as well as on and off leash work)
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Member Since
12/24/2012
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 5:37pm PST 
There are two guests here. And people seem to be mixing both of our posts up into one.

I'm not the OP.

When I let people pet Ginger, I ALWAYS tell them that some handlers don't allow their dogs to be pet so no one thinks that it's universal that all service dogs should be pet.

Also, the equipment of which I spoke was geared more towards training and/or not medically necessary. But even so, even if it is necessary, it too can fail. And then if your dog no longer behaves, what's the use of having a service dog when they're not providing a service?
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Sarge

Teddybear
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 6:34pm PST 
Hi Sadie and thank you for the nice comment about Sarge. We think Sadie is very cute dog too and think it's wonderful she is a staffordshire/ mastiff mix. I think that it helps people seeing these dogs helping people to over come prejudice about these breeds.
I do agree that it is up to the handler to decide if they are going to allow their dogs to be petted. I have even seen patches that say Please ask to pet first. It's their SD so their decision to make. I do however think it's better though in the long run for people to learn not to interrupt SD handlers when they are out and about. I have a Do Not Pet Do Not Distract Patch on Sarge for a reason and it's mainly for me. I've had severe migraines for the past several years about 4 to 5 times a week sometimes and so when I have to go to the store a lot of times I'm in pain and nauseous so I just want to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. I also have panic attacks when I'm in a crowd and my back tightens up painfully so I don't like being stopped 20 + times before I leave the store. There are a lot of handlers I've talked to that wish that people would ignore the dog and them and let them get what they need to do in peace. While they are working our dogs are not only our pets but our tools. We want to be able to go in and get what we need without fending off people just reaching over to pet your SD. When Sarge isn't wearing a vest then he runs around and plays and gets all the love and attention he could handle. At that point he is off duty. I've taught my kids that when he's working they can't pet him or distract him either. The biggest issue I have is that every SD, unless their handler is unable to due to a disability should have their dogs leashed. It's the law! It's not a choice for the handler to decide if they want to follow the law. It is for everyones safety even for the dogs. There may come a time when something happens to startle the dog and he could injure himself or another person because they don't have any physical control of the dog. It could be that the dog walks up to someone who is terrified of dogs and when that person trys to run and injures themselves then the handler would be liable. There are lots of reasons to leash the dog. Plus to me it sounds like someone else didn't like their dog off leash either if the police were involved at some point like they said. They stated it like they are proud that they weren't citied because "everyone" likes their dog. Doesn't mean that the police wont do it in the future if they continue to get calls. That's one reason I make sure to keep Sarge close. I've seen and met people terrified of dogs so if I have to walk by and I see they are scared I smile and say he's friendly but at the same time pull him around to my right side or behind me so that he is not close to them and continue on. I'm protecting him, myself, and others by maintaining direct control over him. Just because I have a right to have him with me doesn't mean I can't practice being courteous to others when I can. I've also had an off leash SD come charging at us growling and posturing before. I had to use my own body to try and block and fend off this dog because it acted as if it was going to attack Sarge. I was one step away from kicking it away from us to protect us. The handler came up and stated that their SD has never done that before and acted like they didn't believe it. Today I was in Best buy and we walked by another SD and it lunged and was barking at Sarge. Thank goodness that one was leashed.
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Cheyenne- Starr

Car- ride...Yipee!
 
 
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 9:25pm PST 
Cheyenne is a medical alert dog. She also helps me with panic attacks and my agoraphobia. I do not let strangers pet her mainly because she might miss an alert. She is still in training, but even when I consider her fully trained, I'm not planning on letting her be touched. Thankfully she is aloof and very focused on me, so people talking and making kissing noises at her, doesn't bother her at all. Mostly she looks at me like, what are they doing? Can't they see we are busy shopping? shrug
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SHADOW,- Certified- Service Dog

BORN TO SERVE
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 5:27am PST 
I owner trained Shadow and not I'm doing the same with Ailbe (with professional help for both). In the beginning Shadow and now Ailbe were or are being trained for "NO PETTING". I do this for the 1s year and then when they're at the end of training or at the point where they are completely focused on me then I allow "petting"on command -- "Say Hi" Otherwise they completely ignore people around them until I give them the command. Ailbe is a social butterfly and loves people and at the moment he's not allowed to be petted. Shadow just ignore everyone and then loves the petting on my terms only.

As for leash -- They must be on a leash at all times unless your disability prevents it. Shadow goes off leash behind the cart when I'm shopping. I can't hold onto his harness handle and the shopping cart at the same time. Since Shadow is a mobility/balance dog and I need the support to walk and I can't hold onto two different things at the same time, then having him off leash is within the laws of the ADA. He's completely under voice command when I'm in the store. When I need to walk away from the cart then he's with me for I can use the harness. Ailbe is doing great in his training with cart duty, but isn't ready for not using a leash. When I lived in AZ our city had a rule that working dogs under voice command could be off leash to do their business or for training purposes. Since I have difficulty walking then Shadow was allowed off leash at my apt complex. When I was at my parents home he was allowed to roam the yard and never left it. Since moving here he was doing the same by staying in our unfenced yard. Well, he decided that roaming was going to be a new thing for his 9th year of life. He's now confined to the 10 ft lead in the front yard. My community is an HOA and they want the fencing in the back only, but due to the way the yard is and my disability its not an option. So, under the FHA they will attempt to approve of a proper fence for the front yard. Since I don't have the funds for a couple years I got permission to have the stake and 10 ft lead in the front yard. At the moment the roads around here can be slick plus its uneven and hilly which prevents me going on walks with both dogs. So the only way they can get any exercise is the 10 ft lead.

So, petting allowed after 1 year of intensive training of being totally focused then allowing petting with permission and on command. Leash laws apply for the ADA unless your disability warrants that you can't use it. Then you have city, state and county regulations that require dogs to be on leash. So, guest -- KEEP YOUR DOG ON LEASH!!!

Shadow and Ailbe

Edited by author Mon Feb 4, '13 5:30am PST

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Member Since
12/24/2012
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 5, '13 8:56am PST 
I believe it's up to the county's law of whether your SD has to be leashed or not. In my county, they do not. And since, in this case, the county is granted greater freedom, isn't it what goes?
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Cooper

microscopic mutt
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 5, '13 11:32am PST 
Does your county grant public access rights to handlers accompanied by unleashed dogs? I sincerely doubt it; it's a rare enough situation that I doubt a county would think to regulate it. Therefore if your dog is doing any kind of work in no-dogs-allowed areas - stores, restaurants, malls, grocery stores, doctors' offices, public transit, just to name a few - then the ADA is least restrictive and a leash is required.
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Crazy Sadie- Lady

Im a SD and- proud of it so- there!!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 5, '13 11:42am PST 
At the risk of being misunderstood as hipacritical I am going to say again or close to what I have already said. I for the most part don't mind Sadie being petted as long as i am asked that is for sure. Since I am not blind or completely deaf. Sadie loves people and it is good that she gets that attention that she thrives to have. Sadie is not the sort that she will seek out the desire for it, but if someone is seeking it form her when she is off leash she will sneak over if I tell her it is ok to.
when on leash for the most part she ignores people who reach out to her and like Ginger and other dogs when she is ignoring them they loose intrest in her. The more I take her out the more I see this going on with her. As I said in my own post Sadie has pretty much been training herself all this time. I just incurage her to perform certon behavyors that benifit me. It has been pretty easy going for Sadie and I on that level. I don't know how others train, But I do it as simply as I can (A no Brainer) way. It may not be traditional but it works, It is not like she has to perform for anyone paticular. She helps me and I think that is the whole point of it. I plan to keep up this sorta training with a lil proffesional training here and there.
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Member Since
12/24/2012
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 6, '13 1:35pm PST 
Sadie sounds pretty intelligent and well behaved! Gotta love those dogs that almost train themselves. Capturing the right behaviors make service dog training a whiz.

If letting people pet Sadie works for you and Sadie, then more power to you. Just as long as we don't give them the idea that they can go up and pet any service dog without asking, I don't see a problem. Just as some people are entitled to deciding against having their SDs pet, others are entitled to having their SD's pet if they do it responsibly and it sounds like that's what everyone's doing.
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