Dog Site - Dog Stuff
Dog Forum | Dog Pictures

Go Back   Chazhound Dog Forum > Dog Discussions and Dog Talk Forums > Dog Training Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-14-2010, 09:03 AM
milos_mommy's Avatar
milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 14,555
Default Age to aquire a service dog?

So....originally the plan was to adopt a dog between about 10 months and 2.5 years, and train them as a service dog. (this will be next year at the soonest, probably 2 or 3 or more years from now)

But now it's totally up in the air. I'm thinking a breeder might be the best way to go, I'm also thinking about getting a much younger (3-4 month) puppy to start training.

So my options are:

Get an adult dog from a breeder
Rescue an adult dog
Adopt a puppy
Buy a puppy

The pros of getting an adult dog from the breeder is I'll know more or less 100% what I'm getting...health test, personality, family personality, etc. and the dog will be basically trained.

The pros of rescuing an adult dog is I'll know the dogs personality (I would probably get one who has been in a foster home) and well, it's rescue.

The pros of buying a puppy are that I get to start training the way I want from the very beginning, I know the health history, I can have some idea of temperament from the parents, etc.

Adopting a puppy: Well, it's kind of iffy and a big chance it won't work out. I won't know the parents history and if the dog is likely to develop something like d/a in a couple of months, especially if it's a pittie or rottie pup. I won't know if the dog will get sick. I don't know if it will have the temperament for this kind of work.

But, I could start the training the way I want early, once again, and if it doesn't work out, I could keep this dog as a pet or treat it as a foster and try to rehome it, since he would likely be in a shelter/rescue otherwise.

I didn't really want another puppy, but this might be different...first I'd be away from my family's stupid, secondly I'd spend so much time training and taking the puppy places it would probably be less of a handful during chill-out time.

If I got a puppy I would stick to basic training for a little while, probably not bring the puppy to class until it was 7 or 8 months or even later if it's an older pup (like 5 or 6 months) that I get. We'd work on socialization, ignoring distractions, focusing, and basic obedience, and start guide work, tasks, and reading cues later.

People would be more accepting of a cute, teensy puppy making mistakes in training than an untrained 80 lb dog.

Those of you who have a service dog, how old were they when you got them. (especially if you didn't go through an association)
__________________
"My favorite color is green, green like newly cut grass. When it comes to green with envy, though, you can stick it up your @ss!" ~ Grammy



http://www.adorablebeasts.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-14-2010, 10:08 AM
RawFedDogs RawFedDogs is offline
Show Dog
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: West Georgia
Posts: 216
Default

What kind of service dog do you need? If you have serious need for a service dog, I suggest getting one from one of the reputable service dog orginazations. I used to volunteer with Canine Assistants in Alpharetta, GA. They breed their own Golden Retrievers, labs, and Golden/lab X's. Training begins the day they are born and continue for 1 1/2 to 2 years. They are trained by very qualified service dog trainers who know what they are doing. At that time, they were taught about 95 different behaviors and were socialized to go to movies, restaurants, airports, public transit, malls, and almost anywhere else.

Training is a very tedious and time consuming process and if you are not a very good trainer you can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels without making a lot of progress.

There is no charge for their dogs and if you don't have money, they will furnish food and vet care for the life of the dog. At the time I was there (7 & 8 years ago), their cost/dog was around $25,000 if I remember correctly.

Last time I heard there was about a 3 year waiting list of qualified recepients. I never figured out how they handled that because some people would enter the list pretty high up and others lower down. They had a method of determining who was most in need of a service dog. I do remember one thing. If you had one of their service dogs and the dog died, you went to the top of the list for another dog.

When you receive your dog, you go to a 2 week "camp" where you will be with about 15 or 20 other reciepeints. Each reciepient will be matched up personalitywise and needwise with one of the available dogs that has completed his training. The camp is very intense where you are taught how to control and use your dog to greatest advantage.

This is a super service dog orginazation and I highly recommend them. I don't see any negatives at all except the difficulty in getting one of their dogs.

ETA: If you insist on doing your own training, I recommend getting a very young puppy from a very reputable breeder. The best situation would be to find a breeder with a brand new litter and you could go by daily and play/work with your puppy even before he is ready to leave mom. Don't waste your time w/ adult dogs and I wouldn't go the rescue route. Most of the rescues I have delt with come with their own baggage that you would have to work through first.
__________________
Feeding raw since 2002

http://www.skylarzack.com/rawfeeding.htm

http://dogfoodchat.com/forum/

"Unnatural diets predispose animals to unnatural outcomes"
Dr. Tom Lonsdale
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-14-2010, 10:33 AM
milos_mommy's Avatar
milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 14,555
Default

I don't have a physical disability (aside from some physical problems that come with my mental illness, like dizziness, fainting, etc), it would be a psychiatric service dog. I don't even know if there are any associations that train them yet. I would really like the experience of training my own dog, it's also recommended to train your own PSD for a couple of reason.

Why would I be "wasting my time" with an adult dog? I feel like I'd be "wasting my time" more with a puppy who might develop dog aggression or other behavior problems or just not have the right temperament for this work...with an adult dog I would know what I was getting.

Also, I don't mind working through some "baggage"...plenty of dogs in rescue are perfectly fine mentally and physically.
__________________
"My favorite color is green, green like newly cut grass. When it comes to green with envy, though, you can stick it up your @ss!" ~ Grammy



http://www.adorablebeasts.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-14-2010, 10:50 AM
Fran101's Avatar
Fran101 Fran101 is offline
Resident fainting goat
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 12,255
Default

I would stick with the breeder route honestly

find a breeder that you like, with a breed with traits that you like and talk to them

they may have an adult dog that has SD potential, just talk to them about what being a service dog entails, what they need to know, what personality needs to be like, etc..

If you do go the puppy route, check out the temps of parents. look for obedience titles I guess and things like that, and talk to a service dog org about what they do to "choose" puppies at that age, there are a bunch of tests (how they react to objects like an umbrella popping open, being cautious/stepping back for a sec is normal, but then curiousity and sniffing is good)

Honestly, id go with an adult/older pup (6 months-) from a breeder. their personalities are pretty set and you can start with training. but be sure to find a breeder you trust, build a relationship, and honestly, Id go and meet the dog.
the breeder should be honest about an adult dogs personality, and about their potential.

so it would be help if you could give them a bunch of ways to JUDGE if they have potential.
"how does he do in public places?"
"quick to learn?"
"easy to please"
"ok with other people"
"dogs?"
"loud noises?"

and of course a description about what your dog would need to know how to do
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-14-2010, 10:54 AM
RawFedDogs RawFedDogs is offline
Show Dog
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: West Georgia
Posts: 216
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
I don't have a physical disability (aside from some physical problems that come with my mental illness, like dizziness, fainting, etc), it would be a psychiatric service dog.
I don't have a clue what a psychiatric service dog would do so any information I would give you from here on would be suspect but that hasn't stopped me before.

Quote:
I don't even know if there are any associations that train them yet. I would really like the experience of training my own dog, it's also recommended to train your own PSD for a couple of reason.
Again, I don't know what PSD's do exactly but I do know that the largest percentage of professional dog trainers could not train a service as well as the people who do it for a living.

Quote:
Why would I be "wasting my time" with an adult dog?
Because you will have to unteach a lot of stuff he has picked up from puppyhood on. Not just bad habits although you will have those also, but bad attitudes and bad learning abilities. You see, a dog has to learn how to learn. One that has been taught from puppyhood is good at that. Older dogs have to be taught that as part of their training.

Quote:
I feel like I'd be "wasting my time" more with a puppy who might develop dog aggression or other behavior problems or just not have the right temperament for this work...with an adult dog I would know what I was getting.
If you start with a puppy while still in the litter or a puppy just out of the litter and bring him up properly, teaching him the rules of life as well as the duties he will have to perform, the chances are very great that those problems will never develop. I never saw any problem like you are talking about in the Canine Assistants dogs(and there were several hundred that I saw) and have never seen it in puppies I have raised myself or taught people to raise.

Quote:
Also, I don't mind working through some "baggage"...plenty of dogs in rescue are perfectly fine mentally and physically.
You will be spending time working through baggage that you might or might not ever be able to get a handle on when you could be spending that time teaching the dog what he needs to know. There is a good chance that it would take you longer to train a dog with baggage than it would a new born pup.

Yes, there are plenty of dogs in rescue that are perfectly fine, however often you don't know until its too late. Canine Assistants used to in their early years take shelter dogs and make service dogs out of them. Several of them had to be taken back because they developed problems that the trainers didn't notice during training. After they started their own breeding program and started training the pups from the day they were born, they never had problems like that again.
__________________
Feeding raw since 2002

http://www.skylarzack.com/rawfeeding.htm

http://dogfoodchat.com/forum/

"Unnatural diets predispose animals to unnatural outcomes"
Dr. Tom Lonsdale
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-14-2010, 11:02 AM
Maura Maura is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Mitten State
Posts: 630
Default

Why do you need an 80 pound dog? Little dogs live longer. The smaller the dog, the more welcome he is in more places.

I've fostered several rescue dogs. Two of them came from a breed that would be exceptional psychiatric service dogs, unfortunately, they were from puppy mills and had psychiatric issues themselves. Frankly, I did not consider them to be adoptable, but the agency was blind to their faults. Most of the Boston terriers we get are also from puppy mills, but they still have remarkably stable personalities. The Shiba Inu was a puppy mill breeder, her only fault being oversized. If you have minor needs, more for comfort, a rescue dog could work for you. Be aware that being unhousebroken is common.

If you go through a good rescue agency, they can probably pick out a good fit for you.
__________________
Forever Home: A Guide to ReHoming the Rescued Dog, from Wild Rose Press www.foreverhomebook.net
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-14-2010, 11:05 AM
corgipower's Avatar
corgipower corgipower is offline
Tweleve Enthusiest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: here
Posts: 8,233
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maura View Post
Why do you need an 80 pound dog? Little dogs live longer. The smaller the dog, the more welcome he is in more places.
A service dog is allowed anywhere, regardless of size.
And it depends on the tasks it needs to do, but there are a number of SD tasks that small dogs just cannot do.

I tend to agree with Fran on the older puppy/young adult from a breeder.
__________________
The slayer of all things happy since 2010
Kibble feeder since 1973

Extreme owner of four herding dogs

puzzles, poetry and so much more ~ Doggy Puzzles created by me
sleep!!!
My dog Votes!
proud member of the MUMS 2009 7th place team CISRA 2009 1st place team SUMS 2009 2nd place team
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-14-2010, 11:06 AM
Doberluv's Avatar
Doberluv Doberluv is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: western Wa
Posts: 21,907
Default

I'd recommend taking Rawfeddog's stellar advice.

__________________
"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776





"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-14-2010, 12:26 PM
milos_mommy's Avatar
milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 14,555
Default

I don't NEED an 80lb dog. But I do need a large dog. I need a dog that can support my 130 lbs (not all of it, but still) and a dog that I can lean on, and I'm 5'9. Plus, I want a dog that will dissuade people from approaching me.
__________________
"My favorite color is green, green like newly cut grass. When it comes to green with envy, though, you can stick it up your @ss!" ~ Grammy



http://www.adorablebeasts.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-14-2010, 12:47 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 9,036
Default

I would go with an adult dog from a breeder. I chose an adult because I really don't have the time or desire to start with a puppy right now. Logan is a little over a year, and so within a year he'll probably be ready to be a full time service dog. IF you go with a puppy from a breeder, it's still better than a rescue puppy because you know what the parents and possibly previous litters were like. An adult from a rescue can be good, but what if after the "honeymoon" period and the dog gets all settled in, he's a holy terror, fearful, aggressive, etc.

Getting an adult dog is NOT wasting time. It's insurance against a puppy washing out because it didn't turn out how you expected. Of course it's still possible the dog will wash out, but when you start with an adult the risk lowers because you know what the dog is like. It also saves you all the hassle of puppy raising, and lets you focus on training the dog. This is why SD organizations use puppy raisers.

The bottom line is a PSD MUST have a rock solid temperament. They, above all other service dogs, need to be flawless.

Small dogs are typically huggers or fakers. Sure, there are some legitimate service dogs that are small, but they're rare, and so I think people will assume that a small dog isn't really a service dog, and you'll have more access disputes. Honestly, if you're worried about access disputes, go with a lab. The more exotic the breed, the more people will approach to ask about it, and the more access disputes you'll have.

Quote:
People would be more accepting of a cute, teensy puppy making mistakes in training than an untrained 80 lb dog.
Regardless, the dog shouldn't be taken into public places until fully grown. Lots of people drag prospect puppies everywhere, and that's not the way to do it. Depending on where you live it may be illegal.

Also, I really, really suggest going with a program for your first SD. I would have if I could have found a place that would train what I need in a dog. There are a lot of organizations that train PSDs. I don't know where you live, but I've heard Susquehanna Service Dogs is a great PSD organization.

I'm PMing you a link that should be VERY helpful.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:33 PM.


1997-2013 Chazhound Dog Site