Service dogs that are also show dogs?

skittledoo

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#1
This question has been on my mind for a little while now and figured I would ask here.

Josh and I are planning to add another dog once we are settled in NM. The hope is that if everything pans out right, this dog will hopefully end up being my service dog. We are set on a breed already.

I've talked to a couple breeders, but since this breed is not common in the US they keep mentioning wanting the dog shown as well if the right puppy for me happens to be a really good quality show potential pup as well. I'm not opposed to showing at all and actually really do want to show a dog. My only concern is if showing a dog would completely contradict training this dog to be a service dog.

I know there are quite a few people that do show their service dogs as well... I think someone on this forum also does? Is it a bad idea or no?
 

Julee

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#2
It's a thing. It's no big deal. Do it if you're interested in confo. :)

ETA Shannon with Logan does, and I'm not sure if Romy still does, but did at one point.
 

crazedACD

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#3
I'm showing Fiona in breed here and there, and also working on obedience. She absolutely knows the difference between her show lead and other leads. If she knows we are working on stacking/gaiting, she knows. If we are working on obedience, heeling, auto sits...she knows and does this. Shouldn't be a problem :).
 

Dizzy

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#4
They know the difference. Fred knows his show lead and what's expected of him when it goes on.
 

Ozfozz

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#5
As long as you use different equipment for each activity, I don't think there would be much issue with it.
Many service dogs that I have encountered have a "dual purpose" and excel in something aside from being a service dog.
 

Fran101

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#6
For me it wasn't an issue of behavior, merely of time.
But I know it happens and is certainly possible!
 
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#7
Dogs can learn context, absolutely. Squash knows the difference between wearing his x-back and being allowed to pull, and being on a Rally course and being expected to heel.
 

skittledoo

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#8
Ok that's good to know. I'm not set on showing this dog, but I don't have anything against the idea and if I end up with a pup that has really nice confo.
 

Romy

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#9
I tried showing Strider but got really nervous in the ring so Strider went into Service Mode and sat in a perfect heel every time I paused, etc. He even licked the judge's forehead when the judge bent over (he was a short judge) :eek:

If I hadn't gotten nervous he would have done fine. I did pay someone to handle him once to see if he would be better with them, and he was a rock star. But then some lady let her great dane attack him at a show, and ever since then he's hated shows so I stopped taking him.

Kaia was trained as his replacement when he went into retirement. She's a dream show dog. I only took her to handling class once, and it's like she was born with ring training or something. One time she'd been out of the ring for a year and we entered her. Never practiced, not even to warm up before her ring time and she totally killed it. 4 point major. :D

She's also an excellent SD. Her breeder handles her at shows in Bred By. I can't be in the building when she's in the ring because if she gets a whiff of me she starts trying to find me and gets distracted, but other than that is fine. I'm going to work on her CKC and UKC CH after this year and plan to handle her myself. I have handled her when she won Bred By and had to go back in the ring and her breeder had a lot of other dogs that won their classes going in at the same time and it wasn't a problem at all.
 

skittledoo

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#10
The more I've been thinking about it the more I would rather not show this dog. I might choose to do a sport or something along with SD work, but I don't know that I really want to add conformation showing to the list. I do plan on doing conformation with another dog down the road though.

I'm planning to get a Xolo and I keep running into this issue. I want a standard size because I want a large medium/small large size dog. I'm running into a language barrier with a few breeders and other breeders are either very insistent on only selling a dog to show or aren't answering any of my questions regarding health testing etc. I keep feeling like I'm hitting a brick wall with this search and there aren't exactly many breeders in this breed to choose from.

I've been thinking lately that I may have to pick out a second choice breed in case a Xolo doesn't work out for my potential SD purposes. One option that has crossed my mind is maybe adding another Ibizan though I'm not positive how well an Ibizan might work out as an SD. There is one person apparently who does use an Ibizan as a service dog that I would like to talk to and I know quite a few breeders that I can talk to about this and get advice from.

I'm not sure what other breeds might be a good option for me. I tend to prefer sighthounds and select herding breeds. I'm looking for something that is a larger medium size or smaller large breed size. I don't like a ton of coat so naked or shorter sleek coat is preferable. Dog would be helping out with anxiety/panic disorder and dermatillomania. I get very disoriented when I have panic attacks and need the dog to be able to guide me to a safe place if needed and balance assistance when I'm having trouble getting to said safe place. Deep pressure therapy during panic attacks is something that might help me as well. I also need the dog to recognize my skin picking behavior and to interrupt and redirect me to doing something else with my hands. I can't typically stop myself from picking because I tend to zone out when I do it and don't realize I'm doing it.
 

crazedACD

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#11
I was at a UKC show a few weekends ago and there was someone there with a van full of xolos (and another breed, but I forget what else). I know this doesn't help, but surely you can find someone around here with one?

Why don't you want to do conformation?
 

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