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(translation from the first two of the articles discussed.)
Poodle Wins Best in Show at Westminster
I have you guys seen this? So last week I covered some of the PA dogs that were going to Westminster in NY. If you live under a rock you probably don’t know, but if you don’t live under a rock you probably know that a poodle won Westminster Best in Show the other week and his name is Siba.
“Poodle perfection Siba, wins Best in Show at Westminster. New York primed and poised Standard Poodle alluring the crowd at Madison Square Garden, the statuesque Siba strutted off with his Best in Show at the Westminster Club on Tuesday night. A dorm of black puffs and pom-poms the three year old Siba was the absolute picture of what many see as the epitome of a show dog.”
I mean I would have to agree with that if you think of a frou-frou dog what the first one you I think of personally is a poodle.
“Not everyone shared this view, the judge said…Daniel the golden retriever was clearly the crowd favorite. But the golden has never won at Westminster.”
Yeah I was reading this today and I don’t think I covered this last week, where there hasn’t been a golden retriever in the history of Westminster that’s actually won.
“and fans chanted his name as the judge deliberated Bono the Havanese, Wilma the Boxer, Conrad the Shetland sheepdog, and The Wire Fox Terrier also made the final grouping.”
People are thinking there’s a bias towards more exotic breeds, or the ones you don’t see every day. You know golden retrievers are one of the more popular breeds out there compared to poodles.
“Poodles come in three sizes and this was the tenth time one of them has become America’s top dog since 2002. A standard won last in 1991. Siba put on an entertaining performance.”
Listen, what I think of as an entertaining performance with the dog, it’s not in a show ring. That’s got to be the most boring performance for a dog. You just walk around in a circle.
“Siba was doing the downward dog yoga pose before circling the ring.”
Wow a dog stretching. The dog stretched so it’s entertaining! Wow amazing.
“She won’t get much rest either. Siba was set to wake up early to hit the morning TV shows, eat lunch at famed Manhattan restaurant Sardis, posed on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, and perhaps walk onto the stage at Broadway musical, Beetlejuice.”
Wow Westminster dogs, they live in the high life.
“The Westminster winner receives no prize money in a sport where owners can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their pet. Instead the reward is a silver bowl, lucrative breeding rights, and a lifetime of bragging rights in dog law.”
It’s hysterical! I love it we’re just trying to build it up.
The News Gets Service Dog Education Right!
I like to go over the service dog articles because a lot of the time even the local papers get service dogs, ESA dogs, and therapy dogs messed up. Or if they’re specifically talking about service dogs in an article, like this article does, they will slip up and mention emotional support animal or therapy dog and interchange the terms. What I would like to do today is see if they got it right. I will convey to you guys if they got it right, we’ll have fun. Okay so here we go.
“This is the final segment in our series to showcase and differentiate between emotional support animals, therapy dogs, and service dogs.”
Okay this is already looking good. It already sounds like this is a promising article.
“There’s a lot of confusion about what each designation means and where and how animals each of these categories can legally and legitimately be used to assist their handlers or the recipients of their services. This week’s article will focus on service dogs, what they are, how they can be of assistance to others. What is a service dog? The American with Disabilities Act, the ADA, defines the service dog as “a dog that is individually trained to do work to or perform tasks for a person with a disability”. They further define the concept of disability as a physical or mental impairment that “substantially limits one or more major life activities including people with history of such an impairment and people perceived by others as having such an impairment”. Legally they’re considered a medical device, not a pet. What do they do? Under these parameters a legitimate service dog is one that has been trained to assist with demands of daily life the tasks they perform are directly related to the disability or disabilities. Dogs have been helping their handlers since in the 1920s when the seeing-eye dog program began. Today service dogs may retrieve dropped items, open doors, pull wheelchairs, and more. Hearing dogs work for deaf and hard-of-hearing owners to alert to important sounds in their environment. Medical alert dogs can alert their owners to a drop in blood sugar or an impending seizure and may be able to summon help before a medical emergency occurs. Psychiatric service dogs have proven invaluable to veterans returning from combat as well as others with mental and psychological disability such as PTSD, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and more.”
You guys know that, although the most commonly used breeds of dogs trained as service dogs are labs German shepherds and golden retrievers, any breed or mix of breeds can be employed as a service dog. Which is true as long as they are physically able to assist their handler. This is true, however I will add a caveat where people who have a dream type dog and they have a disability, sometimes they will try to fit in their dream dog to fit in with their disability for work. That is not always a good choice. You might have a dream animal of a King Cavaliers Charles Spaniel but if you have a degenerative disease you probably are going to need a mobility assistance dog. Which would be a larger dog than a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
“The most important characteristics they must possess is being handler focused, able to ignore distractions, and remain attentive and responsive to their handler while working. What does it take for a dog to become a service dog? Training time varies ranging from six months to approximately two years and at a cost of often exceeding $40,000.”
That’s not technically true. So the the programs that do charity work and give out guiding service dogs for the a blind, veteran organizations that give out psychiatric service dogs for veterans, they did the accounting on the dogs and it’s anywhere from forty to sixty thousand dollars. This is for the amount of time it take in the two or so years it takes to breed the dog, raise the dog, train the dog, staff time, overhead, food, all training time, the type of training that they’re doing, to get them out in two years.
So it’s not costing anybody that much amount of money to directly purchase a dog, that I’ve heard of. I mean if you know somebody who spent that much on a service dog let me know because that’s information I would like to know about but generally that’s not what the actual like dollar cost that someone will be paying.
Liz has a question in the chat. “How do you feel that our current system in the US could be improved to reduce the amount of service dog fraud and poor and in appropriately trained service dogs?”
Great question Liz! So it’s complicated right? The first thing I would like for you know is that the government needs to agree on what a service dog is, what an emotional support animal is, because the way the laws are now between the FHA, the DOT, and the ADA they don’t all agree on certain things. So for example, the Department of Transportation passed new rules as recently as of January 22nd of this year. They put out new rules for what dogs are able to go onto airplaines or not, what paperwork airlines are allowed to ask for and who you can ask.
So for so for example, if you have a psychiatric service dog the DOT says it’s okay to ask for paperwork. But guess what the ADI says? If it’s a service dog you cannot ask for paperwork! It’s not required at all so there’s already conflict within our own laws and I think that it needs to be fixed first and foremost.
There are some states that are having a bit of a crackdown on emotional support animals because people think that they are service dogs, which they are not okay. I’m gonna repeat that again, emotional support animals are not service animals. They are not allowed out in public, they are not allowed anywhere a pet dog is not normally allowed. They are allowed in housing and transportation however; housing, planes, trains, and automobiles. So I think that’s really where it should start.
Now there are states that are taking it into their own hands and charging people with a misdemeanor, fines, and potential jail time for using an emotional support animal (or any fake service dog) over a service dog. That’s gonna motivate people not to lie and to get their dogs trained, if they actually need a service dog.
“This extensive training prepares the dog to perform reliably in any number of day-to-day situations and may also include training for the individual who will be receiving the dog.”
But that depends on who you go to. However there is no standard. There are organizations out there that have their own standards for service dogs but there is no governmental oversight.
But up in Canada that’s actually different. In Canada the cost for a service is really cheap. Someone was telling me the other day it was as cheap as a thousand bucks. And I’m like, okay that’s that’s actually really good!
I would definitely like to learn more about Canada service dog laws. But I do know it’s a lot more restrictive than the US law because when you are in the U.S. anybody can trim their own service dog. The dogs just have to be well-behaved in public.
“Professional service dog training organizations are located throughout the United States although it is not mandatory for service dogs to be professionally trained. Most individuals are not able to provide the required dedication and training to train their own service dog.”
The AKC is trying to capitalize on the lack of service dog regulation with their own thing that they’re starting up and I’m kind of feeling the ickiness already. Because they are not fear free, force free, they’re okay with you using any kind of tool on your dog in order to get the job done.
To them the ends justify the means and I’m not okay with that. I am very strongly grounded in my values and the ends don’t justify the means for me, sorry. Find another way, get more creative, you can train any behavior with positive reinforcement, any behavior. And if you can’t figure it out then you’re not a good enough trainer.
Okay this is why I don’t like “certified” service dogs. There’s no certification process for service dogs. In the USA you can start your own certification and say your dog is certified. No one’s gonna stop you. But that means you can set your own priorities and pass any dog that you want. There is no oversight and it’s a false sense of security.
“Unfortunately fake service dogs have become an epidemic. Fake service dogs are on the rise. Service dog vests, patches, and backpacks, are available online for a nominal fee. Some for less than $40, some hundred of dollars or more. Not only is this practice unscrupulous but it also does irreparable harm to reputation of reliably train service dogs and their handlers.”
Yep, because people will say “oh I need to see your dog’s ID so I can let you in”.
And of course, no you don’t. It’s not required in the ADA law.
“Currently 19 states are considering legislation to crack down on those who try to pass off their pets on service dogs. But now legitimate dogs are being denied access to public places because business owners have had negative experiences with destructive and poorly trained pets being passed off as service dogs.”
If that happens in a business, kick them out! Again nobody knows the laws, business owners don’t even know the laws. If the dog is disturbing the store, if the dog poops, dog barks, does anything that you know the handler wouldn’t be doing, kick them out! That’s your right, that is 100% your right.
They can’t sue you for that because this is misrepresentation of a service dog and does serious harm to those who rely on their service dogs to assist them in their daily lives.
The author pretty much nailed this article, she did a really good job.