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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't see this posted, but thought an actual list of the needed behaviors & skills for any dog who's a candidate for public access as an Assistance Dog AKA SD / Service Dog, might be handy. ;)

IAADP Minimum Training Standards for Public Access


In the UK, 'service dogs' refers to military k9s - in the US, it refers to civilians' dogs who assist their handler in everyday living, as in Guide Dogs for the blind, Hearing-ear dogs for deaf / HoH folks, Medical Alert dogs for seizure / diabetes / other chronic issues, wheelchair-assist dogs who will open doors, retrieve dropped items, & etc.

In some states, SDits [SDit = Service Dog in training, IOW not yet fully trained] when accompanied by their trainers have the same access rights as a fully-trained SD, so long as the dog does not cause problems for others - if the dog barks, bothers other customers / patrons, messes with the inventory, etc, the Mgmt or the owner of premises are permitted to ask the handler to remove the dog immediately; the trainer can return without the dog.

- terry

Terry Pride, CVA, member Truly Dog-Friendly
'dogs R dogs, wolves R wolves, & primates R us.' -- [™ 2007]
 

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I think the biggest distinction that needs to be made is that this is for Service dogs, as you specified, not Emotional Service Dogs, which are becoming far more common.

While ESAs do not have to have the same training requirements (the dog does not need to be trained to assist the handler in any way) ESAs also do not have the same RIGHTS as service dogs.

Just wanted to follow your post up with that difference as a lot of people who can only qualify for an ESA find information like this an assume that their ESA has the same rights as a SD (access to restaurants/shopping/etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ESAs & SDs [or even SDits] have very-different skill-sets & public-access rights

animals used for emotional support are not required to be "trained" in any way; what behaviors an ESA can do on cue might very well be, 'Nothing.'

They also are not task-trained - an SD is there to do a job that includes multiple tasks, which might include anything from reminding their handler to take a Rx to alerting them that someone said their Name, & the handler needs to reply to that person.
Other tasks would be fetching a phone from the charging-cradle, dialing 911 on a speed-dial button phone if the handler is unresponsive, alerting that a seizure is pending or Ur blood-sugar is too high, picking up the dozens of things that fall, roll, or are dropped in a day when U are in a wheelchair, & getting the coin-purse from the cashier after a purchase.

Most ESAs are allowed in *some* public areas; anywhere that a pet-dog is allowed, they can go, too. The hardware store, feed-N-seed, pet supply store, small town post-office?... Sure.
Restaurants, hospital waiting-rooms or exam rooms in a clinic, hotels, a concert venue, movie theatres?... No. Sorry, but no.

ESAs can live with their owners in any apartment building, HOA property, etc, that allows pets; if the bylaws or lease do not permit pets, odds are that an ESA cannot stay, either.

Psychiatric-support animals are in a grey area, & are often covered on a case-by-case basis. A dog paired with a vet who has PTSD may have full access, as the dog prevents paranoic attacks that might culminate in assaults on passersby; a dog paired with a civilian who has panic-attacks may be limited to pets-level access, because medication can be used to prevent the panic episodes that could occur during planned excursions [work, a Dr's appt, shopping, etc].
An agoraphobic person may, by ensuring that their dog meets every training requirement for public-access, ASK individual shop-owners to allow her ESA to enter - but if they refuse, they're within their rights - they have no obligation to permit a dog, no matter how compliant or well-behaved.

Physical disabilities are always more-readily recognized, especially if they are visible - an amputee in a wheelchair with an apparent-SD in harness will not be questioned about their dog, while a blind person with a Guide Dog may or may not be questioned, & a HoH person with a Hearing-Ear dog may or may not be questioned; an apparently able person with a dog is most-likely going to be questioned, especially if the dog does not perform cued tasks.


If U are refused service: in stores or on transit
Getting defensive or irate never helps - if the manager or owner is adamant that they do not want dogs on their premises, SD or not, be sure there are witnesses that U can summon if U want to place a formal complaint, but LEAVE when requested. Trespass will not help Ur complaint. ;)
Contact the relevant city / county / state office, file a complaint with the date & time of the incident, & do it promptly.

Taxi-drivers can also want to refuse service to passengers with SDs; legally, they cannot, as they are public conveyors. They CAN however refuse a drunk, violent, or verbally-abusive passenger - so be polite!
Even if the cabbie insults U or Ur dog, or Ur wife - or the past 3 generations of Ur ancestors! - bite yer tongue, persist politely, & phone the dispatcher to explain [rather than to complain] that U have an SD, & need to go to X destination.
The dispatcher may send a different cab with a driver who loves dogs & is delighted to have a k9 passenger - try to go with the flow & be patient. Surely riding with someone who compliments Ur dog's well-tended coat is an improvement over being driven by someone who claims 'all dogs are filthy, they carry germs...'?

Last but not least:
Don't try to pass-off a pet as an SD, nor an emotional-support animal as an SD. It is a massive disservice to all those who desperately need their SDs to make daily living possible without 24/7 human aides, & it puts their access at risk.
For YOU, it may mean fines or even jail-time.

Frankly, i'm more concerned about the greater risk to rights of access for millions of folks with much-needed SDs, than i am about the fallout for an individual who tries to pass-off their pet or their ESA as a service-dog aiding them with a disability, a medical issue, or another covered problem.
Fake SDs who misbehave in public give all the working SDs & their handlers an undeserved black-eye; it damages their hard-won & hard-earned reputation for reliability & excellence.

- terry
 

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Personally I think this whole issue would be a lot easier if true service dogs were required to have some sort of ID, just like a drivers liscense, that verifies they are actually service dogs and have been trained to provide a medical service for thier owners. That way all a shopkeeper or cabbie or whoever would need to do would be to ask to see the service dogs ID. If he's got one than he's in, if he doesn't have one and he's just an esa or someone trying to sneak their pet in than its up to the place of business to decide if he can come in or not. All it would need to be is a simple ID card with some sort of government logo or national seal to verify the dog is truly a service dog, it wouldn't need to say what disability the dog was trained for, since people seem to not want others to know their disabled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
At least 12 states have penalty-laws on the books already

NOBODY has been fined or [gone] to jail for passing an animal as a service dog.

...


2013 -
Fake service dogs a growing problem - NBC News
www.nbcnews.com/health/fake-service-dogs-growing-problem-8c11366537
Oct 10, 2013 -
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it's a Federal crime to use a fake dog. And about a fourth of all states have laws against service ...


2016 -
Finally, Colorado Is Cracking Down On Service Dog Fraud
Finally, Colorado Is Cracking Down On Service Dog Fraud
Apr 2, 2016 -
Colorado is saying enough to people with fake service dogs. ... that would make it a crime to misrepresent a pet as a service animal in the state. .... “As far as the ADA is concerned, the law is not for emotional support animals,” ...






2017 -
Laws aim to crack down on fake service dogs - CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/service-dogs-laws-imposter-pets-illegal/
Apr 11, 2017 -
Service dogs can provide invaluable help to people who are physically or emotionally impaired, but many people use untrained pets to receive ...



Using a Fake Service Animal Might Get You in Trouble in Texas Soon ...
blogs.findlaw.com/.../using-a-fake-service-animal-might-get-you-in-trouble-in-texas-s...
Apr 26, 2017 -
Under federal law, and many other states' laws, it is a crime to falsely claim a ... Essentially, by claiming a pet is a service animal, a person is faking a ... issue of whether an animal qualifies under the federal ADA protections.




On the Consequences of Fake and Undertrained Service Dogs ...
servicedogcentral.org › Home › Handbook
There are many arguments favoring taking undertrained or fake service dogs into public. ... “Taking an undertrained or fake service dog in public is a victimless crime.” ... I have handled a service dog for less than two months and have already ...


Misrepresenting a pet as a service animal is a crime under new state law
Misrepresenting a pet as a service animal is a crime under new state law
Jan 4, 2017 -
Under the new law in Colorado, it is now a crime to intentionally ... "Under Federal law, under the ADA, a service animal is a dog, and in ...



Massachusetts:
40 co-sponsors for bill
http://www.telegram.com/news/20170203/penalty-proposed-for-people-with-bogus-service-dogs

Laws aim to crack down on fake service dogs - CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/service-dogs-laws-imposter-pets-illegal/
Apr 11, 2017 -
In 12 states, misrepresenting a service animal is already illegal, and Massachusetts could become the latest state to join them, reports CBS ...


Pretending your pet is a service animal? That could soon be illegal
https://www.bostonglobe.com/busines...oon-illegal/Rs36mDVZ8mbSiPLVl89qLI/story.html
Mar 16, 2017 -
Pretending your dog is a service animal is a harmless ruse, right? ... To crack down on the growing problem of fake service dogs, state legislators are ... Modeled after similar laws in Florida & Colorado, the bill filed in ...


Mass. bill STATUS: currently in Judiciary committee
https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H2277


Florida:
Service dogs allowed in stores, restaurants. Fake service animals ...
Service dogs allowed in stores, restaurants. Fake service animals, however, can land you in jail. | Miami Herald
Apr 12, 2017 -
Florida says use of a fake service animal is a second-degree ... animals a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine and up to 60 ...



So yeah - if U wanna fraudulently claim yer pet is an SD, better do it soon - & better know the state penalty beforehand, too. ;)

- terry

 

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How would the licensing agency, if one were created, determine that the dog is legit? To get a driver's license, you have to pass a test. How would a person with a seizure alert dog demonstrate the dog's training as far as the service provided to the disabled owner is concerned?

As far as gatekeepers like store owners or hotel clerks are concerned, I think it's very simple. Ask the two allowable questions: Is that a service dog? What service does the dog provide? If the owner has acceptable answers for both questions, the gatekeeper should just assume the dog is legit. If the dog misbehaves, goes to the bathroom on the floor, barks, or is obviously not under the control of the handler, the gatekeeper can and should tell the owner that the dog has to leave. It doesn't matter if the dog is a legit service dog just having a bad day, if it's being disruptive, the owner of the establishment has the right to tell the owner to remove the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Be careful of further empowering a bureacracy

Personally, I think this whole issue would be a lot easier if true service dogs were required to have some sort of ID, just like a driver's license, that verifies they're actually service dogs & [were] trained to provide a medical service for their owners.
...
- many SD-training organizations & businesses have WAITING LISTS of 3 to 5-years.
- the co$t of a professionally-trained SD is prohibitive; most disabled persons are unemployed, & live on very-limited, fixed incomes.
- recognizing these issues, the ADA allows disabled handlers to SELF-train their dogs, an enormous savings, often the only way they could ever afford a dog, & moreover, the only way they can get one in a timely manner.

- as each disabled handler may have more than one disability, & ppl have widely-varying degrees of disability, training is a custom-tailored task.

- deciding what training is needed, how many hours that should take, etc, is incredibly complex.
Demanding that SDs be reliable, well-behaved in public, & extremely tolerant of noise, crowds, etc, is the broad picture - that's far-more important than trying to micromanage what's taught, how, & for how long, let alone to what standards for each task.

Who will decide which dogs "meet the standard"? - Who will design the standard?
Who gets to confer the I-D card? - How much will it cost the disabled handler?

- terry

 

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Psychiatric-support animals are in a grey area, & are often covered on a case-by-case basis. A dog paired with a vet who has PTSD may have full access, as the dog prevents paranoic attacks that might culminate in assaults on passersby; a dog paired with a civilian who has panic-attacks may be limited to pets-level access, because medication can be used to prevent the panic episodes that could occur during planned excursions [work, a Dr's appt, shopping, etc].
This is incorrect. A psychiatric support dog is a service dog whether it's for a veteran or a civilian. If the dog is trained to perform tasks that mitigate the owner's disability, it's a service dog. There's no condition or requirement based on the specific psychiatric symptoms of the disabled person or what medications the person may or may not be able to take.

An agoraphobic person may, by ensuring that their dog meets every training requirement for public-access, ASK individual shop-owners to allow her ESA to enter - but if they refuse, they're within their rights - they have no obligation to permit a dog, no matter how compliant or well-behaved.
Anyone can do this, agoraphobic or not. For example, folks who live in states that don't automatically grant public access for service dogs in training have to contact store owners and get permission to bring the dog for training purposes, etc.

As an agoraphobic person, though, I'd just as soon stay home with my dog than go to a store. *I* don't like dealing with public access. ;) :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There are grey areas.

...
[The ADA was written] with good intentions when service dogs were exceedingly rare.
The makers of the law never foresaw an explosion of psychiatric service dogs.
Psychiatric SDs may or may not fall under the ADA's protection;
an SD who's paired with a military-vet who has PTSD is definitely covered, but what about the person who suffers from agoraphobia & can't leave the house without [usually] her SD?
[Some psych conditions show-up much more often in one sex vs the other, or more in ppl of one ethnicity than others, etc; agoraphobia is most common in women, just as ADHD is more-often seen in MS than Fs.]

What about the person who has such severe panic-attacks they can become violent if approached or touched, or sink into catatonia - & their SD takes them out of the building if they're headed for an emotional crisis?

ESAs are not protected by the ADA; they do qualify for protection in rented homes, a landlord must permit them, but they can't go anywhere in public where pets are not permitted. They have no special access privileges; it is, however, OK to ask for permission to enter the premises, & the owner or manager can allow or decline.
Restaurants, however, & hospitals or healthcare facilities, are off-limits for ESAs.

- terry

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not sure.

This is incorrect.
A psychiatric support dog is a service dog whether it's for a veteran or a civilian. If the dog is trained to perform tasks that mitigate the owner's disability, it's a service dog. There's no condition or requirement based on the specific psychiatric symptoms of the disabled person or what medications the person may or may not be able to take.
...
I wasn't saying "veterans get special privileges". :p Nothing to do with civvy vs military, current or past service.

Perhaps it's changed; the way it was explained to me, many years ago when the ADA became law, was that if the dog is superfluous when U take a prescription, unless the dog performs tasks that are needed for ADLs, the dog is deemed a luxury item, not an everyday necessity, & does not qualify for ADA protection.

I have no idea if that's still accurate. // My source was a DoJ employee who taught a 3-day weekend course on SD access, handler's rights & responsibilities, training standards, etc.

- terry

 

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Psychiatric SDs may or may not fall under the ADA's protection;
Again, incorrect. If a dog is a psychiatric service dog, it's covered the same as if it were a seeing eye dog or a hearing ear dog or a mobility dog for someone in wheelchair. The nature of the person's disability doesn't matter. There are no contingencies regarding PTSD vs anxiety vs medicated or not medicated vs anxiety with violent outbursts vs other types of anxiety.

All that matters is that the person is disabled in a way that limits his or her ability to perform major life activities and that a service dog trained to perform specific tasks mitigates some of the person's limitations due to the nature of the disability.

[Some psych conditions show-up much more often in one sex vs the other, or more in ppl of one ethnicity than others, etc; agoraphobia is most common in women, just as ADHD is more-often seen in MS than Fs.]
Regarding the bolded, it's really not, you know. It just manifests differently and is more likely to not be diagnosed properly in girls. Not going to debate it with you since it's not relevant to the topic of this thread. Just know that you're very misinformed on quite a few topics related to mental illness and psychiatric service dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Psychiatric conditions & SDs / ESAs

... it's really not, you know.
ADHD just manifests differently and is more likely to not be diagnosed properly in girls. Not going to debate it ... it's not relevant to the topic of this thread. ...
I realize ADHD is not "THE" topic - however, dogs are used to help some children cope, or to reduce the likelihood of a child striking out in frustration; calm, bomb-proof dogs can serve as a buffer & help an affected child both learn & express empathy.

Gender-differences in ADHD Dx are most-marked in childhood - from what i've read, it isn't until adulthood that M:F ratios approach 1:1.

ADHD in girls and boys – gender differences in co-existing symptoms ...
https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-13-298
by EW Skogli - ‎2013 - ‎Cited by 83 - ‎Related articles
Nov 9, 2013 -
ADHD in girls and boys – gender differences in co-existing ... ADHD range between 3% and 7% [1] with a male-to-female ratio of 3:1 in ...



ADHD and Gender Differences - Impact ADHD
impactadhd.com/organize-your-life-and-family/adhd-and-gender-differences/
Nov 18, 2013 -
So, what is the difference in diagnosis of ADHD and gender differences? ... over time the ratio of males to females with ADHD evens out to 1:1.



As a PCA doing in-home care, several of my adult clients have had children with ADHD who were inevitably part of my job - there were 4 boys, 4 clients, 1 girl.

The little girl was the 18-MO younger sibling of a 6-YO boy; her brother was diagnosed at 4-YO with ADHD.
None of my then-clients used dogs to help their children cope; my middle nephew was diagnosed at 6-YO halfway thru the school year, & their Golden did help him be less violent, but bear in mind he had a real love for arson, would threaten to "set you on fire" when he was extremely angry with someone, & once dumped 2 gallons of gasoline from a jerry-can over his younger brother.

their dog was not in any way trained to help; he just provided a bridge to help my nephew learn empathy, & more opportunities to practice it than he would have, without the dog.

I have had 2 clients who used dogs specifically trained to help with their autistic child - they were marvelous.

- terry


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ESAs & access



Emotional Support Animals 'Growing Problem' on U.S. Flights - NBC ...
www.nbcchicago.com/.../Emotional-Support-Animals-Growing-Problem-on-Flights-3...
Jul 27, 2015 -
An increasing number of “emotional support animals” on airline ... with the growing number of ESAs on flights, to the point that they fear the ..
.


Service and emotional support animals | Alaska Airlines
https://www.alaskaair.com › Travel-info
To ensure that both you and your service/ emotional support animal travel easily and comfortably, 48 hour advance notice is strongly recommended, and please review the following information.
Traveling with a service animal.
Traveling with a support animal.
.


The Skinny on Emotional Support Animals - The Ramble

QUOTE from above,
"...in the United States, there are two different protections for ESAs:

One is that the airlines are required to allow you to fly with your ESA and they aren’t going to charge you an extra fee… that includes when American airlines fly to overseas destinations. So even an overseas destination like the UK, that normally doesn’t allow you to travel with an in-cabin dog, will allow you to fly with an ESA.

The other accommodation that’s made in the United States is for housing. Even if a place is not normally pet friendly or normally charges a pet fee, they are required to allow you to have your ESA, & to not charge you a fee."



ESAs aren't permitted in restaurants, hospitals, medical clinics, etc; their protections are specific & limited.
As noted in Gigi's article, regulations can change - check to see if anything is different, now & then. :)

- terry



 

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Who will decide which dogs "meet the standard"? - Who will design the standard?
Who gets to confer the I-D card? - How much will it cost the disabled handler?
Is it not possible for a persons Dr to fill out an application for the dog, approving they its provides a medical service for its owner and have the ADA issue an "id" card for the dog? And why would it need to cost anything? To me, a service dog provides a medical service for its owner to function within society and is no different than a wheelchair or medication.
 

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The first article you linked proves my point.

ADHD in girls and boys – gender differences in co-existing symptoms ...
https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-13-298
ADHD is diagnosed and treated more often in males than in females. Research on gender differences suggests that girls may be consistently underidentified and underdiagnosed because of differences in the expression of the disorder among boys and girls.
You said that ADHD is more often seen in males than females. I said that it's actually not; women with ADHD are just underdiagnosed. My point is that just because it's not "seen" doesn't mean it's not there.

I don't know what any of that has to do with the topic of service dog training other than the very general point that sometimes service dogs are used by people with ADHD, in which case gender of the person and age of diagnosis is inconsequential. :confused:

their dog was not in any way trained to help; he just provided a bridge to help my nephew learn empathy,
Then it was an Emotional Support Animal and not a Service Dog, psychiatric or other. :thumbsup: (I know you didn't say otherwise. Just clarifying.) I'm glad your nephew and his family were helped in that way.
 

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Is it not possible for a persons Dr to fill out an application for the dog, approving they its provides a medical service for its owner and have the ADA issue an "id" card for the dog? And why would it need to cost anything? To me, a service dog provides a medical service for its owner to function within society and is no different than a wheelchair or medication.
Unfortunately, there are already fraudulent doctors willing to fake letters so that people who aren't disabled can claim their dog is an ESA. It wouldn't be any different with whatever documentation is required for a person to get a service ID.

As for why it would have to cost anything, well, everything costs something. Nothing is free. There's a fee to get a driver's license. Wheelchairs and medications aren't free just because a person is disabled and needs them. People with service dogs still need to register them if they live in a place that requires all dogs to be registered or licensed and usually there's a fee for that.

It sounds good on paper, but I don't see it working well in practice. :(
 

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Another thing that perhaps should be clarified regarding service dog training is the concept of alerts vs signals. An alert can not be trained; the dog either has the natural ability to alert to a certain condition or it doesn't. If it doesn't, it never will.

Examples of medical alert service dogs are those that alert to seizures or migraines. Because a service dog must be trained to perform a certain service (task) for the disabled owner, and alerts can't be trained, this doesn't automatically qualify a dog as a service dog. That said, folks who have seizures and migraines severe enough to require a service dog generally also need additional assistance. If the owner experiences confusion after a seizure or during a migraine, the alert dog may be trained to block the owner from stepping off of a curb into traffic. If the owner experiences disorientation, the dog may be trained to guide the person home or to a specific location.

A signal is a trained response to a specific stimuli, so, for example, a person with panic disorder may train a service dog to recognize that he or she is about to have a panic attack so the dog can interrupt the behavior and the person can implement coping skills or other methods of stopping the panic attack before it progresses too far. Similarly, a person with a visual or auditory sensory processing disorder may have a dog that's trained to recognize that the owner is becoming overwhelmed and can lead the person to a quieter or less visually stimulating place to avoid a melt down.

Those may not be the best examples, but hopefully those demonstrate the difference between an alert and a signal.

Diabetic alert dogs are incorrectly named since dogs can be trained to signal the owner to high and low blood sugar events. Technically, they should be called diabetic signal dogs, but that doesn't roll off the tongue as nicely. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Kruger was no angel.

Then [my younger sister's family dog] was an Emotional Support Animal and not a Service Dog, psychiatric or other. :thumbsup: (I know you didn't say otherwise. Just clarifying.)

I'm glad your nephew and his family were helped in that way.
not even that - :rolleyes:
Kruger was just a pet, & not even a very good pet-dog, as pet-dogs go; he was predatory [killed over a dozen of our neighbor's geese, over a 2-year period], he chased cars & horses & joggers on the 1.5-car wide country road, that ran past my mother's farm [my younger sis, her hubby, & their 2 kids lived with my mother], & he was a bully:
he'd hump anybody he could, & at 90# he was big-enuf to really overpower ppl.
If U tried to shove him off when he mounted U, he'd growl, & there was nothing playful about it. :eek:

however, Kruger was a way to encourage Graham to "feel for others" & be less aggressive, single-minded, & grasping; any dog would have done.
I wish Kruger had been a "nicer" dog, but he was nice to his family, at least. :eek:

- terry

 

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Going back to the Psychiatric service dogs not falling under ADA protection, that is just false. Under the American's with Disabilities Act you can find the following, "Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability." (https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleIII_2010/titleIII_2010_regulations.htm (press Ctrl+F and type service animal, it is the 10th result from the top)). Meaning the ADA protects the handler of a service animal so long as it is task trained, some examples of psychiatric tasks that my own service dog does is leading me to an exit, locating a person I am with should I get separated from them, Deep Pressure Therapy, Cover/Block, interruption of skin picking/nervous behaviours among other tasks. But because my disability is not physical/medical in nature, I all of a sudden need to ask permission to go out in public but the handler of a Diabetic Alert dog doesn't even though the dog's job could be done with the help of a glucose meter but my needs can't necessarily be met any other way. Just does not sound fair, and is down right discriminatory. She is a service dog by definition because she is task trained, it is not a grey area. Either the handler is disabled or they are not, and the animal is either task trained(minimum one task) to mitigate their handler's disability or they are not. If yes is answered to both those criteria, the animal in question is a service animal under ADA law.

I also suggest you familiarize yourself with the ADA FAQ on Service Animals.
https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html
 

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But because my disability is not physical/medical in nature, I all of a sudden need to ask permission to go out in public but the handler of a Diabetic Alert dog doesn't even though the dog's job could be done with the help of a glucose meter but my needs can't necessarily be met any other way.
I agree with everything in your post, and I certainly sympathize with you frustration over the fact that psychiatric service dogs often aren't as well understood or taken as seriously as other types of service dogs by the general population and even from within the service dog owner community sometimes.

However, you might want to be cautious saying comments like the above in which you assume that, to use your example, a person with diabetes doesn't necessarily need a diabetic alert dog because a glucometer will work just as well. That's akin to someone saying that a person with anxiety doesn't need a psychiatric service dog because there are anti anxiety medications to prevent or treat panic attacks. We both know that anxiety disorders aren't that simple and neither is diabetes. A diabetic alert dog can do what most glucometers cannot, which is to provide near constant glucose monitoring as well as performing beneficial tasks well beyond what a any glucometer is capable of doing.

Either the handler is disabled or they are not, and the animal is either task trained(minimum one task) to mitigate their handler's disability or they are not. If yes is answered to both those criteria, the animal in question is a service animal under ADA law.
Very well said. :)
 
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