This is a very timely post ... I just finished assisting at a 4-day workshop for diabetes alert dogs--some are owner-trainers, but others are families who are keeping a dog during its training and performing some of the scent and obedience training tasks themselves, under the direct guidance of a trainer (see www.debbykay.com).

The instructor stressed to the group that they were representing all service dogs and it was their duty to keep the dog clean, well-groomed, and under control at all times. Even a service dog can be asked to leave if it is out of control or soils the premises. This becomes more important as the proliferation of fake service dogs is making it a real possibility that the handlers would be required to pass some sort of certification test in the future.

However, as someone who lives with several dogs, I see little sense in banning dogs from many otherwise public places. Sure, they don't belong in restaurant kitchens, but a WELL-BEHAVED dog should be welcome anywhere else. Slapping a vest on a dog invites people to overlook bad behavior that, if committed by a human, would surely cause him (or her) to be ejected from the facility. Any dog (or person) who pees in the corner should be invited to leave--after first cleaning up the mess.

More Posts