My Service Dog, Jade

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another Pit Bull "Service Dog"

Okay, back to pit bull "service dogs." Without reading through my entire post first, please watch the video below, and see if you can determine what's wrong with this picture?  Even if you know absolutely nothing about service dogs, you should be able to guess a few things, that is, if you have any common sense whatsoever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suHsyoP_td0

Okay, ready to discuss?

Here goes...

First of all, the "service dog" is a pit bull type dog.  No, the ADA regs do not have any regulations that state you cannot have a pit bull as a service dog; however, common sense, and a lot of trainers will tell you that the pit bull is not the best breed of choice for a service dog.
There are a few reasons.
ONE: many, many people frown on pit bulls as they have quite the reputation for attacking, mauling and killing, which is well deserved if you ask me.  Therefore, don't expect to have a pit bull as a service dog without ever having to take a whole lot of flack for it from the general public.  Remember, a service dog is going to accompany you just about everywhere you go, that is,  if you're truly disabled and your pit bull is a REAL service dog. Don't expect that, even though it is against the law, businesses won't ask you to leave with your pit bull as there are children around and it's not safe.  That happens when you have chosen a pit bull as your service dog.  Sure, that IS illegal (to ask you to leave just because your service dog is a pit bull), but it has been done, and unless you want to have a confrontation with a whole lot of business owners upon entering their business with your pit bull "service dog," choose another breed. Sure, you can get a lawyer, make a fuss and sue them, but is that really what you want to go through every time you go out with your service dog?
TWO: Most trainers will tell you that pit bulls aren't the easiest dogs to train for the purpose of service work.  They were bred for the purpose of fighting in a pit, bull-baiting, and bear-baiting, and let's face it, they're NOT on the list of the most intelligent dogs. I'm not saying they're not trainable, but they're definitely more difficult to train.  I'm not saying that Labs and Goldens are the only breeds used for service dogs, but they're much easier to train and higher on the list of intelligent working dogs...as are GSDs (German Shepherds) and many others.  Pit Bulls are also very unpredictable. A responsible pit bull owner will tell you not to EVER trust your pit bull NOT to fight with another dog...after all, it's what they were bred for; and they'll tell you to carry a break stick when you go out with your pit bull.  Now, is that what you want to have to deal with when you're out with your "service dog?"

So that's the first thing that's wrong with this video...plain and simple, that "service dog" is a pit bull.  I'm willing to bet that this lady is going to catch some flack from someone at the mall, be it a manager or simply a customer that knows what pit bulls are capable of.

Another VERY important thing that is very wrong with the "service dog" in this video is that it's NOT neutered! WHAT?! One of the first requirements for every training organization that I've ever researched that trains, or helps you to train, service dogs is that the dog is spayed and/or neutered.  Why in the name of all that is holy would this handler NOT have her "service dog" neutered? Even the IAADP (The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners), which sets the standards for service dogs states, "".... Working assistance dogs are spayed and neutered to guarantee that sex drives will not interfere with their work ethic. Thus, they are eliminated from the breeding and gene pool."
Most trainers and/or training organizations will require a written document from your Vet stating that your dog is in tip top shape, spayed/neutered (and the date if available), and up to date on all required vaccinations (and the dates given). There is absolutely NO reason that the dog in this video shouldn't be neutered.  How do you think this pit bull "service dog" might react should it run into a female dog in heat? Do you think it might become uncontrollable? Aggressive? It would, at the VERY least, become very distracted and unable to perform its job! Who needs their service dog lunging to the end of it's leash, become highly distracted, and possibly aggressive, when it sees or smells a female dog in heat?  That's just good old common sense!

Last but not least, here's the thing that REALLY bothers me most about this video...the handler, which has an invisible disability (which I question anyway, just due to the fact that she chose a pit bull for a service dog), obviously hasn't been through any professional training with her "service dog." This is because any good trainer, who trains service dogs, will tell you that it is extremely dangerous to take your service dog on an escalator!! Again, why in the name of all that is holy would you put your service dog in this kind of danger, not to mention anxiety for the dog.  If you have half a brain, you know that dog's feet aren't like human feet, and most of the time, they aren't wearing shoes.  If you've ever seen the beginning step or ending step of an escalator you would know that it's very easy for a dog's toes/feet to become trapped in the escalator when getting on or getting off.  This is why every mall you have ever been to, has elevators.  This moron chooses to put her "service dog" in danger of serious injury just to avoid having to go a few extra steps to locate the elevator.

So when you hear of someone like myself doubting that a service dog is a REAL service dog because it's a pit bull, now you know why.

I still have yet to actually witness (in real life) a pit bull service dog in action.  If I ever do enter a business and witness one, you can bet I'm gonna find the exit real quick.  I bet a lot of other people will too.

This? 

Or This? 

Yes, we know.....kind of says it all, doesn't it?