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Fake service dogs

Discussion in 'Canine News/Informative Articles' started by JanS, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Fake Service Dogs

    You’re sitting at a cafe with your friend when suddenly a woman walks in with a toy poodle in her purse. The manager at the counter informs her “I’m sorry, but we do not allow dogs”. She replies with a heavy sigh and a “She’s a service dog. She can come with me”. Not knowing much about service dog law, and worrying about getting sued for asking further questions, he sits this woman down at a booth. There, she promptly unzips her purse and places the dog on the booth seat next to her. When the woman’s food comes out, the little dog begs and she feeds her bits off her plate. This dog is not public access trained, and proceeds to bark at those who walk by. This dog is a nuisance and causes many in the restaurant to complain. The manager cannot do anything but inform the unhappy customers that this is a service dog, so he can’t ask her to leave. In the end, it’s the customers who end up leaving.

    Now I walk in with my highly trained service dog pressed against my leg in a perfect heel position, and I’m quickly bombarded by the manager telling me “No dogs! No dogs! We ALL know what happened last time”. Confused, I tell him “This is my medical alert and medical response service dog. Her right to accompany me is protected under federal law.” With a sigh, he seats me at a table far away from others where my dog promptly tucks under my feet, out of sight. When my food arrives my dog is still tucked tightly under the table because she knows she’s not supposed to eat when she’s on duty. She stays there ignoring those who walk past for the remainder of my meal. When we leave, a woman by the door exclaims “Woah, I didn’t know there was a dog here!”

    See the difference?

    Scenario number two occurs at a local grocery store when a man decides to bring his certified emotional support animal into the store with him. Upon entering he flashes a fancy ID card and certification papers. This dog is not as unruly as the first, but he still forges ahead of his handler, sniffs the food on display, and may seek attention from those who walk past. You find this dog adorable, and when he and his owner walk past you ask to pet him. The owner says yes and explains how all he had to do was go online, register his dog, and a few weeks later they sent him a vest, ID card, and certification papers.

    Now I pull into the same grocery store. I’m in a rush to get an ingredient for a dish I’m making so I hurry into the store with my service dog next to me.

    I’m quickly stopped by a manager who demands to see my service dog’s certification card. Remember, this is NOT required by law, and most real service dog teams don’t have them. After 15 minutes of trying to educate, pulling up the ADA website on my phone, back and forth bickering, and drawing more of a crowd than I want to describe… I’m finally allowed in. I grab my ingredient, stand in line (where my service dog obediently moves between my legs to make space for those around me), and I get bombarded by people asking to pet my dog. I explain that she’s working, she has a very important job to do, and she’s not allowed to be pet while on duty. People walk away grumbling and complaining about how rude I was when other handlers like the man they met earlier allow their dog to be pet.

    Moral of the story? Fake service dogs create real problems. The ones who are impacted the most are the true service dog handlers who rely on their dogs every day to help mitigate their disability. How would you feel if everywhere you went, you couldn’t make it 10 feet in the door because people were asking you questions? Imagine how much time that would take out of your already hectic day. Businesses lose customers because word gets out that there are unruly dogs in their store, customers become misinformed and start thinking some of these behaviors are okay, some people even start to believe the lies that anyone can just register their dog online and make him a service dog. The result? MORE fake service dogs. MORE real problems.

    Original source: Woman's Rant About The Damage Caused By Fake Service Dogs Is A Must-Read
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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  2. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I saw this somewhere, can't remember where.
    It couldn't be more true.
    I take Rumor different places with me and yes she wears her vest. I am careful to take her places that dogs are allowed but I still get grief about trying to sneak my dog in.
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  3. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I wanted an angry face icon for this.
    People just do not understand how much it impacts the people that truly need their SD. Or maybe it’s more likely they just don’t give a crap.
    I would never claim my dog was a service dog if he wasn’t just to get him/her in a store or restaurant with me.
    I see it frequently here and I don’t hold my tongue when I see it. I have been told I ought to be ashamed of myself for being rude to these idiots. All I can do is laugh because a dog that sniffs, steals food or hikes his leg while in a store is NOT a service dog!!
    Purse pooches that do nothing but hang in a bag and growl are NOT a service dog. It really bothers me that people manage to get away with it.
    How do you hold your temper? I can’t.
    • Agree Agree x 6
  4. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    It especially frustrating when people are insulted by the no petting thing. They don't seem to understand 'working'.
    Typical conversation
    Rumor wears a vest that says Service Dog Do Not Pet
    Random person (RP) "Why can't I pet her?"
    ME "she's working and shouldn't be distracted from her job"
    RP "Isn't she trained?"
    ME "Clearly"
    RP "Well you don't have to be rude about it. How is she trained? She's just laying there."
    ME "Exactly"
    That conversation are one similar happens every single time I take Rumor out.
    Meanwhile the RP's child or dog is behaving out of control and I realize I am wasting my breath.
    We were at a restaurant that allows dogs on their patio. Rumor laid at my feet behaving herself. Meanwhile 2 tables away was a couple with a Chi in the lady's lap. They were feeding the dog off their plate. When the lady set the dog down he would dance for food. Everyone thought that was so cute. I personally was disgusted by it. First I don't share food with my dogs. Second it was disgusting to me to see people falling all over themselves to feed the dog and watch him dance. Even the waitress participated. I was grossed out to watch her grab the food and feed the dog and then return to work without washing her hands.
    We got up to leave because after watching that the last thing I wanted to do was eat there. Rumor lays at my feet and when I started to get up she jumps up to help me. Getting up and down from a chair can be a challenge for me so Rue helps. The minute she moved several people jumped back. One lady grabbed her kid and told me I really shouldn't have a vicious dog in a place like that. Lots of comments under peoples breath. Even after they saw Rumor was not going after anyone, just helping me up, not one person apologized.
    It's to the point that I am not sure it is worth it for me. I would love to take Rue with me so I don't have to be so dependent on my family. It's just that 9 times out of 10 it is more aggravating than anything else.
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 7
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  5. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Oh, I'm so sorry to hear you go through this, Genny! Makes me so mad!!

    Yes, when it comes to dogs, it can be SO frustrating! Everyone has their way with dogs and their set of notions and (usually not thought-out) beliefs on dogs and how they should be handled. It's like when people offer my Dobe water right in front of me, or make comments like "poor dog!" when he's panting on a warm day.

    I'm reminded of last year when I took Oji to an outdoor festival in our neighborhood. One guy, who looked like a mature, reasonable person wanted to pet him. I don't recall if he asked, but probably not. So he sidles up to Oji and is rubbing and sort of massaging Oji's neck and head against his leg and saying "Oh, Dobie dog. Ooh, Dobie dog..." I guess he had owned a Doberman in the past. I'm like (to myself): Umm, that's a bit too familiar and presumptuous, don't you think? Oji is not a "Dobie dog," he's a European working Dobermann who, yes, will accept that sort of contact from a stranger because he is well-socialized and loves physical touch but come on, man! Your familiarity with the breed does not give you license to be so familiar with my Dobe. Guy had a beer in his hand, which probably explains part of it.

    Worse – way worse – is when a stranger tells my Dobe to sit. It's like: The joke's on you, presumptuous fool. He doesn't know English. I usually say "He barely listens to me. He's not gonna listen to you."
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  6. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Some of what I talk about above happens with children too. So many people have their notions on how to handle kids, and some will make comments (usually women) that indicate they feel they know more about raising kids than I do.

    Particularly frustrating is when I'm at a store and the cashier is not courteous enough to say a word to me, yet they will talk to my daughter. Happened the other day at our lousy Walgreens. The elderly woman did no more than cast her glance my direction and sort of gesture with her expression that her register was open. Not a word to me, but a moment later she was talking to my girl and making a comment on how she is too big to have her Daddy hold her. :machinegun:

    I know, I've strayed from fake service dogs, but it's related in my mind.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    There needs to be some serious investigation done on these companies and people selling service dog certifications and vests. One has only to observe a dog and handler to determine the legitimacy of the dog as an SD.
    I have seen true SD in the grocery stores and they are the ones that totally ignore everyone but their handler. They don’t give eye contact, they are well behaved and totally focused on their jobs. I see people trying to pet them and I have on occasion said to people please don’t ask or try to pet a service dog, they are working. They get all huffy like every dog they see surely needs to be petted or treated by them.
    My two are not service dogs and I do take advantage of stores that allow dogs so I can work them in high distractions places. They always have their vests on that have patches on them. DO NOT PET IN TRAINING.
    Most people respect it but it’s those few PITAS that rush up to them and I have to immediately block access. They get all huffy about it but I try to tell them they wouldn’t like it if I rushed up to their kids to get a hug or give their kids candy. It comes down to respect of ones space and personal property.
    75% of the HD employees carry dog treats in the pockets of their work apron and thank goodness they always ask if my dobes can have a treat. I always decline. I having been working with them to NOT accept treats or water from anyone but my hubs and myself and I resent anyone that just assumes it’s ok to give them one without asking.

    How do we go about helping to pass laws and get some governing over these places that sell fake certifications over the Internet and get them shut down?

    The ones that suffer the most are the ones truly in need of their SD. We need to find a way to stop this!

    I have friends that have ESD and I give them grief all the time when they try to pull stupid sh*t with their little designer, face biting dogs. Please people, sitting on a bar stool getting drunk with a purse pooch is not grounds for saying you have an SD. You need a keeper not an SD!!
    Also when you sit at a table in an outdoor restaurant your dog should NOT try to mix it with other dogs that are behaving themselves. I will take one of mine with me (vests on) when we dine out at the local outdoor restaurants. I have a yoga mat that they must place on and not move. If they didn’t behave they wouldn’t be there. People want to bring their dogs over for a meet and greet. C’mon people we are here to eat and enjoy music not meet your dog, leave us alone!!
    The table we always choose is to the far side and back of the outdoor area so my pups are not overcrowded with people entering or leaving the restaurant. Management has received complaints when I take Bogie because he has an intimidating look and that makes people uncomfortable so they report that. They have never asked me to leave because Bogie is quiet, well behaved and just observant so they won’t ask me to remove him. It is usually tourists that complain. Most of the locals know my dogs and know they are well behaved and well trained.
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  8. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Kids scare me. I try to avoid them unless they approach me. I would never advise parents on child care, even if asked, or make unnecessary comments about their behavior unless they need a harness and leash on them. :D Kids are great as long as they belong to someone else. I will admire from afar. :cool:
    • Funny Funny x 6
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  9. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    I love seeing service dogs in action. It is a shame there are so many fake ones out there. I get it - I would love to take my dog everywhere and anywhere all the time but there are SO many places we CAN take them, I don't need them to walk through a mall with me or go into a restaurant that isn't normally dog-friendly.

    We've actually had pretty good experiences with the the DO NOT PET/IN TRAINING vest we use when we're in close quarters with crowds.

    People ask "In Training for what!" and I just say "ignoring people" as Rubie stands by my side uninterested. That's not a very glamorous answer so people just go, "Oh... huh?" We do let adults pet her and then they ask why the DO NOT PET part is on there. I just tell them that some people make her nervous and there's no reason to put her in that position.

    It's hard for ME, who knows service dogs need to be left alone to do their work, to not want to approach and discuss dogs with the owner so I image the general public just can't fathom NOT approaching.

    YES. When we take the dogs out to eat, we sit where we're out of the way, as best we can. And I HATE when people bring their dogs over to say Hi because their dog is just soooooo excited and won't settle down. My dogs are sitting here, focusing on me, ignoring you. My other favorite is when people say - My dog would NEVER behave this well in a place like this! Well, that's on you, friend.
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  10. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Then train your dog. All dogs need to be trained to be well behaved. It creates a more stable dog.
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  11. Prushanks

    Prushanks Hot Topics Subscriber

    Wow... I seriously just experienced that last Sunday and was going to rant this exact subject!!!
    Was at our local brewery (Captain Lawrence yummmm!!) that recently banned dogs (not sure why) and in walks a husky in a “service dog” vest who was clearly NOT a service dog and an 8-12 week old English sheepdog.... CLEARLY not a service dog.
    I could not stop grumbling about it during the whole time we were there!! Several beers in I nearly went up to them to say something!! It was infuriating!
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  12. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    I might have an explaination for why people don't honor the "do not pet" sign: ignorance. If people barely even take their dogs to puppy obedience, you can bet they don't know SD dogs are trained differently. It's like people thinking cats can't be trained. You just won't know any better until you actually have to do it.
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  13. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    This is exactly what I've been thinking for a long time and I don't know how these places can get by with selling the fake stuff when it's hurting the real dogs.

    We have a lot of dogs come through the airport and many are wearing the vests while others will pay to bring the dogs on legally.
    It is immediately obvious which ones are real service dogs and which ones aren't but of course it's not our job to say anything and in fact we can't.
    I had to do additional screening on one lady with a "service dog" and that thing was jumping up on me clawing me the whole time while the owner said nothing.
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  14. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I am not sure I could have kept my mouth shut. I probably would have muttered under my breath something to the effect of; good thing you aren’t in a wheelchair cause this dog just might drag you into traffic, or; whoever trained this dog needs to be fired.
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  15. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    :spit: (I shouldn't laugh!)
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  16. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I think framed posters should be placed in airports and businesses that show a handler with a true service dog and lists how a true trained service dog acts while in public and then the bottom picture should be of a fake service dog, snarling or trying to get pets and treats from people.
    At the top of the poster it should say;


    At the very bottom it should read as;
    If you see it, report it 800-555-1234
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  17. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I shouldn't either but I couldn't help it because it's true.
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  18. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I think they could start by changing the rules. SD's don't have to be certified yet the untrained dog has it? Something wrong about that.

    RIDICULOUS! I wouldn't be offended at all if I had to show some kind of credentials to get Rumor in some where. I had to train her on my own. It's almost impossible to find training for service dogs. The organizations that do the training are not hard to find if you let them pick the pup. Already have your dog....forget it. I would be proud to show some kind of proof that she passed a test to certify her. We worked hard to get where we are.

    I took Rumor to PT with me today. She was welcome and not one single person attempted to pet her or distract her in any way. I did get lots of questions about her. I don't mind that at all. Everyone seemed to understand she was a service dog and respected that.
    We needed the experience because I wasn't sure how it would go with someone hurting me. Let's just say she was more than concerned at first, but a few commands and she was okay with it.
    All in all she is doing well. Now I just need to find a way to learn what all I need to teach her. I've never had a service dog before and not sure what she needs to learn to help me. With what she does know, she has been a huge help for me.
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 3
  19. NikiL02

    NikiL02 Formerly Nlr02 $ Forum Donor $

    I think there should be a registry with service dogs. A real one operated by each state where the dog has to demonstrate it's ability to work in public, with distractions. Obviously not all of them can show off the service they were designed to do, but since every service dog needs to be potty trained and have to behave I don't think it's that big of a stretch.

    My husband used to work with a guy who had a PTSD dog. The dog was specially bred and spent 4 years being trained in a prison to do it's job. They always seated us in a back corner in restaurants, which was fine when the wait staff didn't forget we were there. Dog was perfectly behaved. They also had to do regular weight checks on him and provide proof of veterinary care, since the guy didn't actually own the dog.
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  20. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    This is how a service dog should behave in public. We are not in public here, just in the backyard when some neighbors came over. She lays at my side looking at me waiting for me to get up. When I get up she stands to brace me. If I have trouble getting up, she will move so I can grab the handle on her vest and she pulls me up. Yes she should have her vest on here so she knows she is working. I didn't have it on because she was off duty but still felt the need to be ready if I needed her.
    good girl.jpg
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