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Speaking of creatures with teeth, rather than passing out brochures to offenders (I don't know where you live, but in the SF Bay Area, the abuse of Service Dog privileges is pervasive and rampant), it would be far far better if the rules were clarified, enforced and sent to all businesses. People are afraid of getting sued, and that fear is trumping public health and safety, and that is just wrong. It seems, like in many things, the lawyers make out like bandits and everyone else gets to suffer.
So, sounds like you are not sure what substance is being targeted by the low dogs, just that the dogs can smell a difference and they are trained to respond to that difference.
As to dog size, what I heard you say is that basically large dogs (labs) are used here, and that your trainer friend is "considering" dog size as an issue in crowded space countries. So, in other words, bigger is better, which was my impression as well. If a small dog paws you while you are incoherent from a low Bg episode, how does that help, exactly? When my daughter went profoundly low, it took two of us to hold her up to get some sugar into her. Better have a St. Bernard on the job, and not a Yorkie!
I know that this is a fairly new field, and it holds some promise, but obviously we are still working through the kinks.
And a truly trained low dog is not cheap! And few have the ability to train their own dogs for these specific tasks. I do have one friend who has done so, however. She is the exception, not the rule.
I would be willing to bet money that all of the dogs that I have recently seen being taken on planes (and there was a dog on every single flight; several on a few) and put on a seat are merely emotional support dogs. I need some emotional support when I see these dogs on the plane!
Again, it didn't used to be like this. No one questioned the right of the blind or deaf to have their helper dogs. Those dogs were obviously working, not pets. I am surprised that you, as a dog trainer, have not directly observed cases where the system is being abused. It is really not that hard to tell a trained from an untrained dog. You can have your untrained dogs at home or in the park, there are plenty to go around, just not in our restaurants.
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