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Author Topic: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs  (Read 1323 times)

MN Blue Skies

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Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« on: July 02, 2014, 07:04:18 PM »
Due to my disability I am eligible for a service dog.  It is a big undertaking and a very long wait (2 to 4 years) but I am seriously thinking about filling out applications to start the process.  Has anyone been through the lengthy process of obtaining a service dog?  Did the dog adjust easily to traveling?  Have you experienced much resistance from parks and businesses?  Thanks for your input.
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

Tom

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014, 07:27:15 PM »
While not service dogs, our dogs adjusted to RV travel very quickly. The key was when they figured out that we'd stop periodically for them to walk and do their thing.

Quote
Have you experienced much resistance from parks and businesses?

I hope you'll let us know if any park or business gives you any problem for having a service dog along.
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MN Blue Skies

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2014, 08:51:14 PM »
The first challenge will be to get through the paperwork and the lengthy process.
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

MN Blue Skies

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 05:10:18 PM »
We have been thinking about this for a long time and it's a big step for us.  We think we have found a dog that will be a good candidate to be trained as a seizure assist dog for me.  We are supposed to pick her up on Saturday.

We have some concerns:

Does anyone else travel with a service dog?  What has your experience been and have you had any challenges especially with owner trained service dogs.

The dog we are considering is 3 years old and 45 lbs.  She is a calm and obedient dog.  She will receive further professional obedience and seizure assist training.  Do you think she is too big to travel long distances with us in our 35' 5th wheel and our tow vehicle which has a Crew Cab? 

Your input and direction to resources will be greatly appreciated. 

« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 05:13:33 PM by MN Blue Skies »
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

Tom

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 05:29:00 PM »
I have no personal experience, but think that a service dog would be very compatible with the RV lifestyle. 45 lbs is probably a little "large", but some forum members travel with much larger dogs.

Our retired guys club has had a talk and 'live demo' of service dogs, and I've made a mental note to ask the question next time they visit.
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UTTransplant

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 05:40:13 PM »
Lexi, the grand dog we have temporary custody of, is 70 pounds (she should be 65 pounds and is on a diet), travels in the back seat of our truck along with the cat towers for the two cats. Any service dog you get will be very well behaved, so as long as she gets along with the cats you should be fine. We let Lexi out for a walk whenever we stop for fuel or our own bio breaks. We do have to be careful when we stop for sightseeing along the road since we don't want to leave the animals in the truck. You won't have that problem with a legal service dog, but you still have the cat to worry about so no change. I think the biggest issue with a dog in a RV or trailer is if they are barkers. Lexi does not bark when we are gone since she has no protection instinct for property. She does bark some when we are with her since her protection instinct is for people. If we had her years ago I would have worked to train her not to bark, but since we only have temporary custody it isn't worth it now. I would encourage you to get the dog if it will help your daily life. Anything else can be managed with training. Oh, and Lexi does sleep in the middle of the floor! When we set up camp, we put up a doggy door with a cat sized opening gate in it. It keeps the dog out of the cat food and litter. Let me know if you want the link, or you can just see it in Lanesboro. You will also get to meet Lexi; she is a sweetheart.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
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chindog

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 08:25:58 PM »
My son and daughter in law both work at a non-profit facility in Georgia that trains service dogs, including seizure response dogs.  Not all the service dogs that successfully make it through the training are good seizure assist dogs, so you are certainly lucky if you have found one.  The animals trained at their facility go through a rigorous process that includes not only assistance tasks (such as retrieving dropped objects, opening and closing cabinets and doors, turning on and off light switches, etc.), but also behavioral training such as obedience and appropriate behavior around other animals (not just dogs and cats, but also horses, goats, etc.)

The breeds they use are generally retrievers and Labradors, but in the past have also used retriever/poodle/labrador mixes.  They have a breeding program, so the puppies are usually selected for potential training before they are conceived. 

I know there is a waiting list that is quite long for dogs that are trained at their facility.  And I think that the dogs usually choose their humans, rather than the other way around.  The training facility pays for the dog's healthcare for it's entire life, so the recipient doesn't have to worry about that expense.  Training for the dog usually takes about a year and a half.

We have been to a variety of businesses (including many restaurants) with our kids when they have had a service dog with them.  There has never been any issue at all with having the dog along.  Of course, the dog always wears "the uniform", which is a service vest that clearly identifies the dog as a certified assistance animal.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 09:24:49 PM »
I've seen many service dogs in service to RV'ers over the years, including guide dogs for the blind, seizure alert dogs, mobility assist dogs, diabetic alert dogs, and others. Lab and golden retrievers seem to be common breed choices for these rolls, particularly those services that require size and/or strength to accomplish their tasks, with smaller dogs more likely to be seen in alert rolls. I don't recall ever being in an RV park where anyone mentioned having run into any resistance at either a park or other business. They have mentioned that occasionally a customer in a restaurant will ask to move to a table further away from them though, either claiming the dog's presence is unsanitary or that they have an allergy. I know they train allergy alert dogs for food allergy products like peanuts, but I suspect an allergy alert for dog allergies would be problematic...  ;)
Dutch
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Rene T

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 09:34:10 PM »
Is there a law that says service dogs can go anywhere with the patient for lack of words?

Update: I just found this:

http://www.dogsforthedeaf.org/assistance-dog-laws/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3-7ivpLO1QIVBjJpCh0WPA9EEAAYBCAAEgJpyvD_BwE
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 09:36:53 PM by Rene T »
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 07:11:09 AM »
Also note that therapy dogs or other animals are NOT the same as service dogs, and are not subject to the same ADA rules for businesses, etc.

More ADA service dog information: https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

MN Blue Skies

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 09:13:15 AM »
I've been researching and thinking about getting a Service Dog for over three years.  A lot of things have changed during that time.  The nonprofit I will be working with has opened its program to "owner-provided" dogs.  That means I choose the dog and I will be responsible for Obedience I and II training.  At that point the nonprofit will assess whether the dog meets the program's physical and temperament criteria and how the dog and I work together as a team.  If we pass the evaluation, the nonprofit will provide a trainer to work with us on the Seizure Response training.  When our training is complete we will take two certification tests. 

The nonprofit we will be working with is an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International and has been training Service Dogs for over 30 years.  I understand that there is a fair chance that the dog will not be able to jump through all the "hoops" but I should have a good feel for that within the first 60 days. 

It seems like a big undertaking but I have decided to move forward.  The dog I have chosen is being spayed today and we will pick her up tomorrow.  I'm both excited and nervous. 
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

halfwright

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 10:04:29 AM »
I am glad to see you going about this the proper way. I have talked to some people who went on the internet, sent money to some company, and got paperwork saying their dog was " certified"' . This allowed them to take it anywhere, which was all they wanted.
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UTTransplant

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 11:48:39 AM »
I've been researching and thinking about getting a Service Dog for over three years.  A lot of things have changed during that time.  The nonprofit I will be working with has opened its program to "owner-provided" dogs.  That means I choose the dog and I will be responsible for Obedience I and II training.  At that point the nonprofit will assess whether the dog meets the program's physical and temperament criteria and how the dog and I work together as a team.  If we pass the evaluation, the nonprofit will provide a trainer to work with us on the Seizure Response training.  When our training is complete we will take two certification tests. 

The nonprofit we will be working with is an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International and has been training Service Dogs for over 30 years.  I understand that there is a fair chance that the dog will not be able to jump through all the "hoops" but I should have a good feel for that within the first 60 days. 

It seems like a big undertaking but I have decided to move forward.  The dog I have chosen is being spayed today and we will pick her up tomorrow.  I'm both excited and nervous.
Lexi and we look forward to meeting her!
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
2014 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 240RKS
2015 Ram 2500 Diesel
http://toobusyforwork.com

Trivet

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 06:34:13 PM »
I am glad to see you going about this the proper way. I have talked to some people who went on the internet, sent money to some company, and got paperwork saying their dog was " certified"' . This allowed them to take it anywhere, which was all they wanted.

That certification means nothing.  The only reason they're able to get away with it is that businesses don't know the law, and even if they did, they're too scared of getting some sort of Twitter rant against them to say anything. 

This article is enlightening on the internet service animal business, and the ridiculousness of these bogus emotional support animals:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/pets-allowed

MN Blue Skies

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 09:01:55 PM »
I want to clarify that this thread is about Service Dogs recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  It is not about Therapy or Emotional Support Dogs. 

I also want to point out that some State and local laws might define service animal more broadly than the ADA does.   (It gets complicated.)

I can understand why businesses tread carefully in the area of Service Dogs.  If it is not apparent that the dog is a service animal, a business may ask two questions:
1) Is the animal required because of a disability?
2) What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?
No other inquiries about an individual's disability or the dog are permitted. Businesses cannot require proof of certification or medical documentation.

I think it is unethical to try and pass a pet off as a legitimate Service Dog. In some cases of faking a service dog the owner can face fines, jail time, loss of government benefits including social security and medicare, and loss of the dog.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 09:22:14 PM by MN Blue Skies »
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

cadee2c

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2017, 12:47:14 AM »
Good for you for taking this step. I would not worry about your dog being too big. Hank is also 45 lbs and you've seen how he is.

We make a few stops while traveling, and then when we stop for the night, Bob hooks Hank to his mobility scooter and takes Hank for a jog around the park. I take him for a walk later, at a slower pace so he can stop and sniff all the interesting smells he has to pass up when Bob is running him.
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MN Blue Skies

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Re: Looking for people who have experience with service dogs
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2017, 03:33:55 PM »
Lexi and we look forward to meeting her!

We look forward to meeting Lexi in Lanesboro.  I love the name Lexi!  Our new dog's name is Trolley.  (Who names a dog Trolley?  Oh well, she is a sweetheart and we have decided to keep her name.)

We have safety questions on travelling with a dog but I will start another thread for that. 

Everyone ... thanks for your support!
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

 

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