Fake Service Dogs Do a Disservice

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If you’re wondering where to find a service dog vest and paperwork, you probably want to bring your dog in public. As a dog lover, I totally understand. I would love to bring my dogs inside restaurants, hold them in my lap during flights, dodge airline pet carrying fees and landlord restrictions, but finding service dog paperwork to be able to bring your dog with you in public is wrong. Before you click past this article, please take a moment. Hear me out first, then make your decision. I’m not judging. Just allow me to explain the other side of the coin.

It Makes It Harder for Actual Service Dogs

Rigorously trained service dogs go virtually unnoticed in public places. They are quietly working. When they’re not working, they’re comfortably lying at their person’s feet. This is why they’re allowed in public places. They perform a specific task per ADA regulations for their disabled friend and mingle with society politely.

Untrained dogs that have acquired a service dog vest and paperwork by purchasing online do not perform a specific task for their owners, which is an ADA requirement. While some dogs are polite, the majority are disruptive–barking, growling and even lunging at other dogs, children and adults. These outbursts chip away at the well-respected and trained service dogs. Please, let’s not botch this up for them. Disabled people need their service dogs, so let’s preserve their right.

Unfair for Your Untrained Dog

When polled, dog owners purchased service dog vests and paperwork online because they want to bring their dogs with them everywhere. For clarification purposes, when I mention untrained dog, I’m talking about a dog that has zero training or has only graduated from basic group classes with a dog trainer. In short, these dogs have not been exposed to stressful situations in small doses to teach polite manners per service dog training protocols.

Instead, untrained dogs are brought onto airplanes flooded with scary situations. Some dogs shut down while others become terrified and begin to bark, whine, howl and show other signs of discomfort in stressful situations. On a flight to San Diego, an adult Yorkie that was sitting on her dog owner’s lap had diarrhea and pooped all over her owner’s dress, seat, purse and other passengers in mid-flight. The entire plane smelled of feces. As the poor dog owner cleaned up the mess, she kept saying loudly, “This is not like her. She’s never done this before. She’s a service dog, you know.”

And Yes, We Can Tell He’s Not a Service Dog

Puppies drowning in large service vests, show dogs pulling on leash, dogs jumping on passengers, dogs having a hard time settling on a plane, dogs constantly whining under the table at restaurants don’t go unnoticed. It’s pretty obvious. Sorry.

Unfortunately, most offenses reported are due to dog aggression instances where untrained service dogs become afraid, begin to growl, lunge or even bite. During or after these fearful displays, you’ll hear his dog owner say, “Wow, this is not like him. He likes people and children.” He may tolerate people and children at home in a calm situation, but when exposed to them during stressful situations, he’s unable to cope.

Do know concerned citizens report these instances to authorities and the ADA with pictures and videos.

Before You Order a Vest

Now that you’ve heard our side of the story and how untrained service dogs are detrimental to the public, hopefully I’ve convinced you to put down your credit card and make plans to keep your dog at home. It’s not that I think it’s unfair. It’s just morally wrong and you could face hefty fines and jail time. It’s not worth it.

If you do decide to move forward with the purchase, there’s an uprise, as millions of people are angry with fake service dogs. And these folks will report it. Many states have passed fake service dog bills, so there’s legal merit to stand on.

It’s not worth it.

Originally posted on Dog Training Nation.