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Service dog questions

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.

  
Monyah

1259549
 
 
Barked: Fri Jul 20, '12 11:44pm PST 
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 9 months ago. Some days are really hard for me and I find it difficult to do much on those days.

I was considering getting a dog to train to be a SD. I've been researching it off and on for several months just trying to get everything sorted in my head.

There aren't any SD trainers in my area that I can find (Oklahoma). I was thinking that the best route would just be to start with basic obedience classes and work our way up with me training the SD stuff on the side. I have trained other dogs (more than sit, come, stay etc) so I have a bit of experience but clearly not SD level.

I was wondering what advice you could offer me on training and stuff. Also wondering if there's any good books or dvds on it. I'm not sure whether to get an adult or a puppy yet either. I'm keeping my options open at the moment.

Also, I've contacted some service dog places in other states. The prices they're asking for some of the service dogs seems really low. Is there a way to tell if they're legit?
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Scooter

Work hard; Play- harder.
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 21, '12 1:38pm PST 
Most of the non-profits don't ask for a lot of money.
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Ollivander

Super Silver- Service Spoodle
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 8:30pm PST 
The teamwork books are pretty good for explaining how to train basic service tasks for people with physical disabilities, you might look into those. But I've found the most helpful way to learn about training a SD is to ask specific questions. So for example you might start a thread asking how to train your dog to take off your socks or something.
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 3:05am PST 
With your particular disability, because I have two friends with Fibramialgia my concern would be on if you would physically be up to the strain of training a dog.

Especially with a very young dog they can be bouncy and get very over excited and would actually cause you More work rather than less during training. Many times young dogs can be boisterous and could jump on you, or knock into you which can also cause a lot of pain. This isn't to say you can't or shouldn't try to train your own dog, just a warning from this side of experience. The Teamwork Books are a very good start for training information. This Channel on Youtube, also has a great deal of information on training service dogs, and service dog tasks. Many of which would be useful for you.

As Scooter mentioned many non profit programs will provide dogs to you for little to no cost. The average waiting list can be long with some, but other's it's shorter than the time it would take for you to raise a puppy and train for yourself, and there's the added bonus of no chance of wash out for a dog.

Having to wash out a dog is something that eventually every handler who trains their own dog will have to deal with. Not all dogs are suited for service work, and the time, energy, and money expended to train a dog can be exhausting as well as depressing when you have to wash out a dog. Make sure before you try to train your own dog that you are up for that.

If you do choose to train your own dog the first thing you will want to do is find a local trainer who preferably has experience with service dogs, if not with service dogs then a trainer who has put a number of titles on their own dogs in different venues and preferably has classes or ties to one of the therapy dog programs. At some point you will need the help of a trainer, and it's good to have one lined up first. Also many trainers will be willing to help you select a puppy or young dog to begin training and they have more experience in evaluating a dog for work.

If you have any specific questions feel free, either way Happy and I wish you the best of luck.
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Monyah

1259549
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 10:22pm PST 
Thank you for all of the info. I definitely plan to get a trainer involved. Difficult part is finding one here with any experience with SDs, so far the only one I found who says she's trained them really didn't seem to know that much. She's actually "giving away" a service dog at the minute. But she said he only knows obedience, not any service tasks. So I'm not sure how he would be a service dog.

I'm going to look at an Australian Shepherd in 2 weeks. He's a champion showdog with obedience titles. His owner is a trainer/groomer and shows. He's been cleared for his eyes, elbows and hips. I'm excited but somewhat worried that it's a "too good to be true" thing. She said she's rehoming him because his conformation isn't what she wants. But I still don't understand why she put so much work into a dog to rehome it. I guess I'll see when I get there.
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Lola, in memory.

Her name was- Lola, she WAS a- show girl..
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 11:52pm PST 
Lots of us show breeders do that, particularly with males. Showing is a hobby and fun, not work, and you want to finish your own breeding but a male has to be SUPER DOG to stay in your breeding program and not all champions are.
She no doubt is looking for a particular trait to keep her line going the way she wants and may feel he is lacking there or she may still have his father and really not need him.
I finished and placed FOUR Frenchie males because I love showing them but I had their sire and grand sire so really couldn't justify keeping more males.
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Monyah

1259549
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 11:21am PST 
Thank you so much for your reply Lola! That does make me feel better. I hope you were not offended. I was just burned once by a show breeder. She came highly recommended and I paid her $1000 for a champion male she was rehoming. After she got the money she tried to trade him out for the 5mth old son, when I specifically told her I didn't want a puppy. Then when I wouldn't take the pup she kept both dogs and my money. So I worry. But I plan to go see this dog personally and exchange money in person so neither her nor I have to worry about it.
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Lola, in memory.

Her name was- Lola, she WAS a- show girl..
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 11:41am PST 
Not offended at all!!! Just that pet people often do not understand rehoming dogs the way show people do it. Most of us can only keep so many, and find great pleasure in rehoming a beloved finished show dog so it can enjoy being an only pet with all the perks that come with that status. We do it BECAUSE we love them, not to "get rid of them", as some people believe!
In fact, while I still co-own Lola, she is living with a friend of mine right now and is being shown. She will be returning for a litter after becoming a champion, but meanwhile, she is an only dog in her new home and loving the life!!
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