Therapy Dogs

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The following image came across my feed recently, and it made me see red. I ranted about it on Facebook already, but it was still bothering me so much that I had to come and post here as well.

Emotional Support Animal

 

There is so much that is wrong with this.

First of all, there is no registration for service dogs. So paying someone so that your pooch can be “certified” is just a scam. The dog doesn’t need to be certified, but, in fact, the HUMAN does. Someone can ask to see a note from your doctor certifying that you do really need the dog.

Secondly, and most importantly, THIS IS JUST WRONG! I have a big issue with this. If you “register” just any old dog that isn’t specifically trained as a support animal, then you give *all* support animals a bad name. *REAL* support animals have to go through EXTENSIVE training, and the people who have these animals NEED them, it’s not just a convenience for them. So if someone gets this scam of a certification to play the system simply because they don’t want to play by the rules, and then their dog messes a place up, then the next person with a REAL support animal comes along, and the landlord will make up some fake reason to not rent to them because of the dog. They won’t say it’s because of the dog, that would be illegal, but there’s plenty of other reasons not to rent to someone. So now this person with a *legitimate* need can’t get things they *need* because people without a need tried to take advantage of the system and ruined it for everybody. If you actually need a therapy/emotional support animal, pay for the MONTHS of training and get a letter from your doctor!

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No, It’s Not Okay.

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Bentley on the bed where he's not supposed to be

Bentley on the bed where he's not supposed to be

 

As evidenced in a few of my videos, while Bentley is very smart to pick up on “tricks”, he’s still got a ways to go in learning good doggy manners.  We’re working on it though!  But one of the things that drives me crazy is when I try to instill in him good behaviors, and other people contradict me.  For example, I’ll be walking him, and we’ll see a person on the sidewalk, and he’ll jump up all excitedly.  I tell him “no” and “off” and try to get him to sit and behave.  But because he’s a smaller dog (and downright adorable if I do say so myself) people are often “oh, it’s okay!”

 

Um, no, it is NOT okay.  I’m the dog’s owner.  I don’t want the dog exhibiting this behavior, thus this behavior is not okay.  And it’s not okay for you to be undermining all the hard work I’m putting into training him by actively encouraging him to engage in behaviors I clearly am trying to dissuade.

 

Please, if you see someone trying to get their dog to do/not do something, don’t tell them “oh, it’s okay!” and go ahead and let the dog do whatever.  It’s not your dog, not your choice on what it can or cannot do.  You might think you’re being “nice” but you’re just sending an inconsistent message and confusing the dog, not to mention frustrating the owner.

Tie-Outs

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Time for another rant!  This time, on the practice of chaining a dog to something. Generally, a horrible, horrible idea.  Just like fences, chaining a dog leads to frustration and aggression.  Even worse, the dog can get the chain all wrapped around objects and soon a 20 ft chain becomes only 2 feet or so of space to move.  Again, a chain has its time and place.  But that time is measured in minutes, not hours.  I sometimes put Bentley out on a chain when I’m vacuuming because he barks at the vacuum and doesn’t let me get my cleaning done.  So I put him out on the chain in the front yard.  I could also crate him.  But this way, he gets a bit of fresh air.  He’s only out there for twenty minutes or so though.  And at the first whine, bark or scratch at the door, he comes right back inside.  I also check up on him every so often to make sure he’s not tangled in the bushes or digging holes in the lawn.  It is almost used more as a reward for the dog than anything else.  “Here, have a bit of freedom outside for awhile!”.  I also tie him out if I’m going to be outside with him doing some yard work or while I put up the outdoor Christmas decorations.  But I *NEVER* leave him out there for extended periods of time unsupervised.

Retractable Leashes

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Retractable or flexi-leashes annoy me.  As with most things, there is a time and place when they are quite useful.  Your normal walk with your dog is NOT one of them.  Far too often I see these people with their dogs WAAAAAAAY out in front of them, dragging them along.  And then when another passerby, dog or squireel comes along, they try frantically to reel the dog in.  But the problem is that most of these leashes are basically a thin cord that hurts your hands, so grabbing the leash to pull the dog in doesn’t work.  There’s also the issue of hoping your thumb is quick enough to get the latch in the locked position.  So there’s some 15 feet of cord out there, and it gets all tangled up around people giving them rope burns.  Teach your dog to walk nicely at your side!

Good Fences Make Bad Dogs

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Randomly browsing through the Petfinder website the other day, I noticed how certain shelters require you to have a fenced in yard in order to get a dog from them.  This irks me for a number of reasons.

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