My Service Dog, Jade

Friday, July 6, 2012

Volunteering In Training Class

Well, now that my Jade and I are finished with our training (for the most part) and have been completely certified as a Service Dog Team, we have decided to give back by volunteering with the organization that helped train Jade.  So we are going to class once a week to help the new comers with their training, in any way that we can.  I just felt it to be the right thing to do.

The class we have been assigned to is called the CGC 1 class.  This is the first of three classes that will help these dogs and handlers pass their CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test. After passing this test, they will go on to the Service/Assistance classes to begin training for Service Dog.  This is the same way that Jade and I went about our training, except that we skipped a few classes along the way because Jade already knew a lot of this stuff.

So there is the CGC 1, 2 and 3 class.  Then the dogs and handlers take the exam. Once they pass the exam, they go on to Service/Assistance classes; there are Assistance 1, 2, and 3 classes. Once the dogs and handlers have completed the Service/Assistance classes, they then take the exam for Service Dog Certification. However, in the Service/Assistance training, there are a few tests to pass along the way, including the test taken in the handler's home to ensure the dog is properly trained in manners at home before going on to test for public access.

I am happy about volunteering and Jade accompanies me to the class.  I like watching all the different dogs and handlers learn so much and progress into becoming such wonderful assistance dogs. I think the experience will be enlightening and purposeful.  There is only one problem. Well, two, if you want to get technical.  In this class, there are two pit bull type dogs.

That is a HUGE problem for me. For one, I don't want to expose my Jade to any situation that could endanger her training, or her life, for that matter.  My trainer knows how I feel about pit bulls, so I'm wondering if she put me in this class deliberately.  I don't know, but if she did, I think that is very disrespectful. She knows that Jade was viciously attacked by a pit bull, and she knows we don't want to be around them.  Just having Jade in the same room with these pit bulls could turn out to be a disaster.  Nothing can stop a pit bull once it sets its mind on attacking and killing. They're just too unpredictable. I do however carry weapons, everywhere I go, and will NOT hesitate to use it if I have to. I will NOT let my Jade get attacked again, and jeopardize all the work, time and money we have put into her training.

Too many service dogs are being attacked by pit bulls.  If it were up to me, I would NOT allow pit bulls to be service dogs.  Their instincts to fight and kill are way too strong to be in the role of service dog.  I don't even think pit bulls should be allowed in public, period.  They're way too much of a public safety hazard. Bash me all you want, but I guarantee that most of the general  public agrees with me on this.

So I have been thinking about what to do about this since we attended the first class.  I could just quit altogether, but I'm thinking, before I do that, I might attempt to request a different class, a safer one.  A class with no pit bulls in it.

In my opinion, pit bulls shouldn't be allowed in training classes with normal dogs, ever. It's too much of a liability. I think pit bulls should have their own training classes, just for pit bull type dogs, pit bulls, and pit bull mixes.  They're just not like other dogs, and in a class with normal dogs, it's just too dangerous.

So, I think I'm going to request a different class.  If that doesn't work, well, then, I most likely just won't go back.

Pit bulls have killed over 150 people in the last 3 years, and have attacked and killed many, many more animals, including Service and Guide dogs.