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I just read in the newsletter put out by the service dog organization I volunteer with that one of our service dogs who had only been working for 3 years was retired early. The service dog was matched to a person in a wheelchair who relied on this dog to live an independent life.

The service dog was "on the receiving end of dog aggression nearly 10 times in less than three years." The service dog "was confronted with aggressive dogs, poorly behaved dogs, and pet dogs posing as assistance dogs." These interactions led to an increased sense of discomfort in public places for both his handler and the dog.

“After all of his life-saving and life-changing work, I knew I had to make the right decision for (him),” shares his handler. “He retired prior to his fifth birthday. I lost my best friend and my independence.” (emphasis added)

Only task-trained assistance dogs and their handlers are permitted in public places per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please don't lie about your dog and if you see a fake service dog let the establishment's management know. It takes a community to raise a service dog and it takes a community to protect one.
 

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Kate
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But why was a working dog exposed to other dogs in close proximity?

It's not just people who are told to not interact with a service dog, but if you have a dog - you are not walking up to visit.

Nor should people with service dogs take them where they would be directly interacting with other dogs....
 

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But why was a working dog exposed to other dogs in close proximity?

It's not just people who are told to not interact with a service dog, but if you have a dog - you are not walking up to visit.

Nor should people with service dogs take them where they would be directly interacting with other dogs....
Perhaps the handler went into a store that doesn’t allow pet dogs, and someone else had a fake service dog in the store with them. I could see a whole bunch of scenarios wherein the fake service dog may have the chance to charge, bark at, or attack the real service dog, causing stress and anxiety at no fault to the handler.
 

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Kate
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Perhaps the handler went into a store that doesn’t allow pet dogs, and someone else had a fake service dog in the store with them. I could see a whole bunch of scenarios wherein the fake service dog may have the chance to charge, bark at, or attack the real service dog, causing stress and anxiety at no fault to the handler.
You just don't see multiple service dogs in the same stores though.

And speaking for myself - I take my dogs to petstores where there are multiple dogs in there sometimes - and THESE DOGS DO NOT INTERACT! I'm not approaching other people + discouraging them from approaching.

Ditto dog shows!

Sometimes it's pretty tightly crowded around the ring - but I'm not literally walking my dogs right up to other dogs if I don't want them to interact.

There's more to this story, I think.
 

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Perhaps the handler went into a store that doesn’t allow pet dogs, and someone else had a fake service dog in the store with them. I could see a whole bunch of scenarios wherein the fake service dog may have the chance to charge, bark at, or attack the real service dog, causing stress and anxiety at no fault to the handler.
You just don't see multiple service dogs in the same stores though.

And speaking for myself - I take my dogs to petstores where there are multiple dogs in there sometimes - and THESE DOGS DO NOT INTERACT! I'm not approaching other people + discouraging them from approaching.

Ditto dog shows!

Sometimes it's pretty tightly crowded around the ring - but I'm not literally walking my dogs right up to other dogs if I don't want them to interact.

There's more to this story, I think.
There likely is more to the story, I agree, but as someone that lives in the surrounding Denver area, I have seen multiple service dogs in stores. Were they actual service dogs or just pets passing off as service dogs? I don’t know. But I have seen it a couple times. It seems like everyone has a service dog vest for their dogs around here.

My friend’s boyfriend claims his dog is a service dog, and he takes her places all the time, but she requires an e-collar to behave, and I have seen many behaviors that eliminate her from being an actual service dog. He still claims it and takes her places with her vest.
 

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Kate, go to any airport and you will see tons of fake service dogs and ESAs!
 

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Kate
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Kate, go to any airport and you will see tons of fake service dogs and ESAs!
Admittedly, I haven't flown anywhere since I was a teenager.... :grin2: And can't see myself flying ever again...

But my question here is are these dogs interacting with each other?

For a dog to have TEN attacks from other dogs in 3 years, what were those specific situations?

Most fake service dogs I've seen are ON LEASH! And the biggest complaint is they might be untrained, unsocialized, threatening in appearance or behavior, and pooping or peeing anywhere and everywhere.

With the ten attacks on this service dog... were they by fake service dogs or was this the type of situations that GRF members and others experience? Inability to walk their dog around the block for fear of stray or loose dogs attacking?
 

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Who is to say fake or not- the law is written in such a way that the owner cannot be questioned as to much, besides, is this dog trained to perform a specific task for you...airports have way more ESAs than SDs any day- those dogs are typically not well-trained, but do they provide the support required for an ESA? Probably. True SDs will never be denied flights, entry into restaurants, etc but ESAs can be.
And this particular one, I think it's just a story told w no real evidence- I'm sorry but if your SD is attacked 10 times in 3 years YOU are doing something wrong too.
 

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Kate
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I'm also going to be radical here and point something else out.

Whole reason why we have such a huge mess with "fake" service dogs is more and more we have an increased limitation on dog ownership. People can't get apartments or rentals with a regular dog, but they are permitted by law to live anywhere with a service dog.

This is a primary way that people are abusing the law. And I can't say I blame them because if you can't afford to buy your own home - you can be pretty stuck trying to find places to live that will take your dog or dogs plural.

Additionally, we have increased problems with nuts breaking into cars and harassing or stealing pets in the cars - even when the dogs are just fine. And people cannot leave the dogs home or it would impractical to take the dogs home and go back out, it would be nice if somebody who had both CGC (expanded tested on adult dogs) and temperament testing and current veterinary care on their dogs linked to their dog licenses were able to bring their dogs into stores with them on days or times when it's practical to do so. Make it rewarding for people to keep dogs in training for the first 3-5 years of that dog's life.

Just me thinking outside the box.
 

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Admittedly, I haven't flown anywhere since I was a teenager.... :grin2: And can't see myself flying ever again...

But my question here is are these dogs interacting with each other?

For a dog to have TEN attacks from other dogs in 3 years, what were those specific situations?

Most fake service dogs I've seen are ON LEASH! And the biggest complaint is they might be untrained, unsocialized, threatening in appearance or behavior, and pooping or peeing anywhere and everywhere.

With the ten attacks on this service dog... were they by fake service dogs or was this the type of situations that GRF members and others experience? Inability to walk their dog around the block for fear of stray or loose dogs attacking?

Kate, I have a friend with a real, trained service dog that she actually needs, and I have no trouble believing the claim of ten attacks in three years. My friend flies a lot, and just last month her dog was attacked by a fake service dog in the airport waiting area. Her dog (leashed) was sleeping under her seat and the other dog (on leash but not under control) walked past and lunged at him, making physical contact before the owner was able to bring it under control. She's had similar problems in shopping malls and other places like that (e.g. "service dogs" on extensible leashes), and has witnessed lots of bad behaviour by fake service dogs (e.g. lunging aggressively at children, or barking/howling/struggling continuously during flights).


If people are going to lie about their dog being a true service dog, chances are that they haven't bothered to train it or make sure it's well behaved enough to be taken into busy public places - or even that it's sufficiently under control to be safe.
 

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Kate
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@ceegee - and a huge chunk of what's going on today is people do not train their dogs in obedience. And then there's just no reward or benefit to many for training their dogs. Which is tragic, because majority of people want dogs for companionship. Obedience classes long term is the best way for people to learn how to communicate with their dogs. It's not just bossing dogs around. It's learning how to read and understand their dogs. It's also conditioning the dogs to be around other dogs without interacting. There are important reasons to take your dogs to obedience classes regularly while they are growing up. Not just when they are puppies.

Personally speaking - if my dog was attacked once or twice on an airplane. I would never fly with my dog ever again. And I would make sure people knew why.

If my dog were attacked once or twice in a store? I would never go there again and I would make sure everyone KNEW WHY.

Other thing to consider is some dogs are attacked more than others because of dog communication. IF your dog goes posturing around other dogs, that will cause other dogs to apparently target him. If your dog is certain breeds with a certain face/sound by design (prime examples would be akitas, boxers, bull dogs, etc - dogs who look threatening or sound threatening even when they aren't) - that dog will be targeted more.

The issue I have is we were told this dog was forced into retirement because of 10 attacks by aggressive dogs in 3 years.

And we are told the problem is fake service dogs. This without directly saying those 10 attacks were by fake service dogs.

Not defending people who go the fake route. I just think it glosses over a bigger general issue. I don't think anyone should have to be afraid of walking their dogs out and about because stray, loose, poorly kept (invisible fencing) dogs are a threat.

And I'm trying very hard not to assume this was mistakes by the owner of the service dog. But that is problematic too if that person were approaching other dogs or letting interactions happen while their dog was working.
 

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But why was a working dog exposed to other dogs in close proximity?

It's not just people who are told to not interact with a service dog, but if you have a dog - you are not walking up to visit.

Nor should people with service dogs take them where they would be directly interacting with other dogs....

The dogs are typically working in a public setting and then attacked or otherwise harassed by dogs that have been brought in to the business by owners who are lying about their dog being a service animal.


It should a crime to pass off your pet as a service dog.
 

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To support your argument a bit, @Megora, I moved to my new house in May. Since then, I have been charged/harassed/chased 5(!) times by off leash, out of control dogs just in my neighborhood as I was walking my pup. One of those times required an ambulance to be called. I cannot walk my dogs in my neighborhood without constantly worrying about another dog attacking us. It is entirely plausible that the service dog was attacked 10 times, but not necessarily all by fake service dogs. I see what you’re saying.
 

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Who is to say fake or not- the law is written in such a way that the owner cannot be questioned as to much, besides, is this dog trained to perform a specific task for you...airports have way more ESAs than SDs any day- those dogs are typically not well-trained, but do they provide the support required for an ESA? Probably. True SDs will never be denied flights, entry into restaurants, etc but ESAs can be.
And this particular one, I think it's just a story told w no real evidence- I'm sorry but if your SD is attacked 10 times in 3 years YOU are doing something wrong too.

Fake service dogs in public places have become a real problem. I now ask for a manager when I see what is obviously a fake service dog. The lady in front of me at Safeway had a dog in her purse who was barking at people. I complained. They asked her to leave.


Passing off your pet as a service dog should be a crime.
 

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Fake service dogs in public places have become a real problem. I now ask for a manager when I see what is obviously a fake service dog. The lady in front of me at Safeway had a dog in her purse who was barking at people. I complained. They asked her to leave.


Passing off your pet as a service dog should be a crime.
it is actually a crime in FL.
 

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Passing off your pet as a service dog should be a crime.
Couldn't agree more. What is sad is I now look with suspicion at ANY dog I see with a vest. It isn't right. Service dogs should be regulated and required to provide proof of service through some sort of official document with verifiable information that can be worn on the animal. I'd gladly pay for increased licensing fees to supplement the costs of the program to administer and enforce it.

And don't get me started on emotional support animals. IMHO, this is just an easy way for ANYONE to take practically ANY animal and make it a pseudo service dog. I've listened to conversations and seem the same posted online when someone expressed frustration that they could not get an apartment/house/whatever because they did not allow dogs and someone immediately piped up, "Just get a note from your doctor and they will HAVE to let you live there." So frustrating.
 

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This won't happen- it would require the handicapped person to divulge the handicap, all of which are not visible or obvious. We live in a country that doesn't let anyone feel less-than by PC standards, so the law is that you can only ask what I posted earlier.

I get it- people take advantage. But I have noticed that in FL at least all of a sudden I see fewer SDs and more ESAs. There is no law against wearing an ESA vest but there are hefty consequences for faking a SD.
 

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