Category: service dogs


so if anyone’s wondering why i support people getting service dogs without a formal diagnosis, it’s because i literally have a professional diagnosis and yet it didn’t stop my doctor from being like well… the diagnosis doesn’t say what i want it to say so i’m not going to help you

doctors kind of suck so you do you pal



unpopular service dog handler opinion but i could not give less than an iota of a shit if people brought their well behaved pet dogs into public spaces (especially if they’re not pretending to be service dogs) and i think we in the us should be attempting to raise our standards of pet ownership to that level anyways

#i got into an argument on facebook where i was going to respond with a longer version of this #but then i just lost all energy to continue to argue so now you get to hear it instead

I left these tags on this post last night. Today I commented on a post asking how friendly the service dog group this took place in was and I said not very. I listed the argument I got in yesterday as a reason why.

One of the people I was arguing left two smiley faces on my comment out of the dozens left in that post. I told that person that this was harassment and asked them to stop.

This person proceeded to say that they didn’t think online harassment was a thing and gaslight me by saying their phone glitched and that’s why they left that reply on my comment which is unlikely at best.

A mod of this group, who I did not tag in this conversation or the one last night, then found the new argument and told both of us to get our crap together because they didn’t have time to police childhood squabbles.

This service dog group specifically has “judge free” in the name of the group.

Do not join service dog Facebook groups. Please, if you’re the least be vulnerable to this sort of targeted, harassing and toxic behavior, they are not a space for you. And me saying you’re vulnerable is not a judgement; frankly I think most people are vulnerable to the level of toxicity in these Facebook groups. Do not join them.


I will say that I personally would not want a random vested dog to run up to me to try to bring me to their handler, mostly because Creed has been attacked by loose vested dogs more than once and my instinctive reaction at this point is to get as much distance between my dog and the loose dog as possible. I’d probably go up to the customer service desk in that case and alert them that there was a loose dog in the store and that it was absent an owner. I wouldn’t automatically think that the dog was tasking, again because we’ve been attacked by dogs loose from their owners enough times that I’d assume it was one of those instead. Going to get help is a legitimate task, it’s just that most of the time loose dogs aren’t… doing that.

Chopping this directly from @doberbutts here because I’ve already reblogged that post and it’s long and messy and I don’t want to have it on my blog again.

I want to add onto it; and I also want to note this isn’t directed at you, Jaz, or any one person. There are a lot of things that bother me about that post, chief among them being a white man lying about a 20yr old woman’s situation to shame her, and the implication that there’s only one rule set for disabled people.

But something else that bothers me is the things that service dogs do or the things that happen to service dogs are invalid because of an unfortunate trend by abled people and abled society to make lives harder for disabled people with their apathy, hatred, and fetishization/exploitation of us and things designed to help us.

In the twitter thread, the white man says something along the lines of “I predict this will cause more people to bother me and my service dog” which, yeah, might happen, but that’s not the handler’s fault. It has nothing to do with them, the burden of the choice to do that falls at the feet of the abled person who actually decided to come up to you and your service dog.

In reading @lumpatronics‘ (the OP’s) responses to that thread, I noted that many people were worried that if they saw a dog trying to get a person to follow them, it would be leading them to people who would then attack or mug them; again, fully a possibility. But, also, again, not that handlers fault (or any handler’s fault; that task is a lot more common than that thread is making people think… it was the first task my mentor taught me about for seizure response). Those people who would mug or attack you are fully capable of making their own decisions which lead to them trying to mug or attack you.

Being wary of vested dogs because of past experiences like Jaz described above is valid, dogs wandering around stores do happen and most of them probably aren’t tasking; but again, that’s not this handler’s fault. People made the choice to bring aggressive vested dogs into public, and people make stupid choices about dropping leashes on untrained dogs.

None of this is the handler’s fault. These situations are mostly the result of abled people either being apathetic in learning about disabled people and their needs, or abled people taking advantage of laws put in place to protect disabled people and disgustingly putting them in danger by violating said laws.

The task is a legal one; “The service animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered while in public places unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the person’s disability prevents use of these devices. In that case, the person must use voice, signal, or other effective means to maintain control of the animal.” That is the ADA’s official position. “Other effective means” is the dog tasking. If a person has collapsed and unconscious and their dog is standing over them, barking, the handler is not using voice, signal, or fear to control the dog; they are using the dog’s training. It’s quite the same situation.

You don’t have to follow the dog. If you’re really uncomfortable, or if you think you may be entering a dangerous situation, then don’t. It’s not like training the dog for this work specifically puts a magic forcefield around it that automatically compels you to follow the dog. You should just be aware of the fact that a vested dog obviously and gently trying to get your attention is very possibly trying to get you to follow them to their collapsed and potentially endangered handler.

Raising awareness is important. Not only for that one handler or for any of the other handlers that might use this task, but because it’s (tragically) the only way to help with the apathy and exploitation of disabled people that lead to the above scenarios (the hatred one is a bit more complicated). I think it’s just beyond unfortunate that there are some service dog handlers who would rather blame another disabled person for abled people’s ignorant and selfish behavior, rather than supporting them in raising awareness for our entire community.

mariagvogel: So I’ve seen the post he’s talkin…


So I’ve seen the post he’s talking about around tumblr and twitter, but haven’t seen this on tumblr. I think it’s worth sharing.

(Also remember: do *not* pet service dogs!)

Lmao what a literal load of bullshit. Thankfully, @lumpatronics already made a reply to this crap and I don’t have to get into detail with it. Here it is, go read it.

Instead, I’ll just say: Neither service dogs nor disabled people are a monolith. Stop trying to tell disabled people how to use their medical equipment.


In one of the service dog Facebook groups I’m in, one of the admins posted a “quiz” with two options: one was whether service dogs in training have the same rights as service dogs and the other was whether service dogs in training could access public spaces as service dogs do. You could only pick one.

This is a gotcha question. The gotcha is that service dogs technically don’t have rights; it’s the disabled handler that has the rights and the service dog is just along for the ride. So with that particularly wording, the answer would be the latter.

Some people, of course, said both (depending on the state). Admins, moderators, and other members of the groups proceeded to tell them they were wrong, to shame them, and actually to attack them when they said they didn’t particularly care about the difference.

Honestly this “quiz” is even more distasteful as it takes advantage of people who have processing or reading comprehension issues.

This is just one of the examples of service dog Facebook groups being toxic and why many handlers on here will advise not to join them. It’s such an ugly environment with a truly horrendous mob mentality. Stay away from the service dog Facebook groups, trust me.


but also i think today was the first day where someone asked me whether fable was for me instead of me training him for someone else. 

i was absolutely exhausted and very weak and my hair is an oily mess so i wonder if that’s why they asked


omg i almost forgot but while we were out today, someone asked me if I spoke french to fable and i was like haha no and I thought it was because like. french poodles, right?

but then this guy goes on to tell me about how he knew a guy who “spoke english to everyone else but spoke french to his dog” and i’m like. 

kay thanks why do i care


Unpopular opinion but a service dog shouldn’t be on their best behavior to be a good ambassador for the community. A service dog should be on their best behavior to professionally do the work their disabled handler needs from their dog to keep them safe and healthy.




replied to your



I think I ran into a fake service dog.

Don’t service animals need to be certified? They should be. People who have them should be required to carry something like a doctor’s note or license that gives them the okay to have one.

On a side note, I know a lady with MS who has trained several service dogs, and the one she kept for herself is a standard poodle, which is pretty much the same size as a Doberman. But he is very well behaved, at least.

From what I understand when I looked up the vests, anyone can pretty much get a vest and ‘papers’ for their dog/cat/etc online without training or certification and that anyone can claim to be a trainer (probably to keep people from asking questions or as a ‘gotcha’ to silence people, even if it weren’t illegal to ask). 

It seems like quite a problem right now because it causes issues for those who have legit papers and certification. If I hadn’t seen how service dogs are supposed to act IRL, I wouldn’t have known that the dog wasn’t a legit Service Dog. I’m not a professional but I know the basic actions of one through the kind people who own them. Service dogs are not supposed to lunge at people out of nowhere or try to drag their owners. I’ve found a case where a fake service dog attacked a legit one and the police can’t do anything about it due to the laws put in place to protect those with legit service dogs.

Fake service dogs are giving real ones a bad name as all the owner has to do is flash fake paperwork if asked in order to keep their dog in places they normally wouldn’t take it. It would be illegal under Federal Law for someone to turn down a service animal as only a judge has the right to ask it to perform duties it had been taught. You’re not allowed to ask for proof of training or identification. Now, if my manager had seen the way this particular dog was acting, we would have had the right to ask him to leave. Politely, of course.

However, it looks like some states are trying to cut down on frauds who do this, probably because of non-service animal behavior in public. People are just throwing vests onto untrained animals and printing out fake certification in order to have their animals with them in places pets are not allowed. It’s like if I were to get a vest for Sofia or Asha and take them places they don’t belong under the guise of being service animals when they are neither. They’re my and my roomie’s therapy animals only when we get home.

I’ve never seen them any bigger than a golden retriever here. That’s pretty cool that the larger breeds can be used. I would imagine it would be harder to transport them.

There seems to be some misinformation here that I’d like to clear up.

First: it shouldn’t be up to abled people and non-service dog handlers to discuss whether or not service dogs should be registered or certified. It’s an ongoing discussion in the community. I, personally, say no. For many reasons, but particularly because it would undoubtably cost money and the cost and upkeep of service dogs is already taxing enough on disabled people, a huge amount of whom already struggle to find jobs and make money.

Second, most Standard poodles probably shouldn’t be the same size as doberman. Just saying.

I’d also generally ask you to refrain from speculating whether a service dog is fake. My dog is in training. Today, we were practicing hands free walking in the grocery store. He didn’t have anything that marked him as a service dog (it’s not required); he was only wearing his black mobility harness. He stepped out of place at my side and wagged his tail while we were turning down an aisle because a kid passed us and was talking loudly. By the time I realized what he was doing, he had already fixed himself; this is a good reaction. He’s not perfect and he’ll never be but the fact that he’s gotten far enough to correct himself without me having to do so makes me proud of him. I praised him for doing that. If you had only seen him step out of line and wag his tail, you may have said he’s a fake service dog.

It’s embarrassing, when your dog misbehaves. I get embarrassed when he puts even a toe out of line because I know that’s not what he should be doing. I would be mortified if someone ever made a post like this about us.

There is no federally recognized paper, certification, or vest. There are some that exist through states, counties, colleges, and service dog programs that are legit, but not federally binding.

While there are fakes that attack service dogs and it’s very unfortunate and needs to stop, it’s not true that there’s nothing the owner could do legally in that case. It’s in California, and there’s a penalty against injuring a service dog on the job in California. Service dog handlers should always know their states rights along with their federal ones.

While only a judge can ask what specifically the tasks a service dog is trained in are for (basically forcing the handler and disabled person to expose medical history), it’s not true public entities cannot ask about their duties. It’s one of the two questions public entities (store staff, basically) can ask: 1. Is that a service animal/dog?; 2. What tasks is the service animal/dog trained to preform?

You are only allowed to ask a service dog to leave your business if the dog 1) fundamentally alters your work (rare), 2) if the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, and 3) if the dog is not housebroken.

Any breed of dog can be used; the only effect this may have is not on public access but on housing. But that is also rare. Miniature horses can also be used as service animals in some circumstances as well.

How long do you think till a SDiT can start do…

How long do you think till a SDiT can start doing PA training? thanks 🙂

At very minimum until after they have all their vaccines done. From there it’s dependent on you and what your dog can handle.