One of many stories here
So there is this service dog agency that supposedly provides seizure alert dogs, german shepherds, to those who suffer from seizure.
People that pay up to 20,000.00 for the dogs, not all but some of them, start to complain that these are not trained to the level they expected and are more like just pets and that they don’t alert to seizures.
One of his dogs that was placed with a child was left unaltered with the job being left to the family who, of course, didn’t get it done. Now I have a previous post on intact service dogs, and I don’t, at the core, have a problem with them anywhere, anytime and anyhow- there are some REALLY compelling reasons not to do early spay/neuter on dogs. BUT, and this is a big but, generally I wouldn’t be placing them out with someone else and especially not a child.
If I keep my dogs intact for a period of time to mature or forever I bear all the responsibility from beginning to end for anything that happens as a result and I am comfortable bearing that responsibility and choosing that for myself and my dog for whatever time period. It is a big responsibility if you are committed to seeing that nothing happens that wouldn’t happen if the dog was altered. What I am not comfortable doing is handing an intact dog to someone else who really doesn’t have a clue. You’re just asking for accidents, incidents from behavior issues that the handler hasn’t a clue how to address and puppies- all of which do not need to happen. No thank you. And for a child, no how, no way, not ever,
A legal investigation ensues.
In the trainers defense, he says that these people are having issues due to a lack of good handling skills, and I have seen that with my own dogs when handed to someone who hasn’t a clue what they are doing. They try to pull stuff until I sharply say their name then they straighten up and fly right. He says there is a return policy (as if dogs are cars or something- but I get it).
Anyway, he is now prohibited by court order for the time being from providing dogs to anyone.
I saw another individual out there wanting to charge the same 20k to guide the person in training their own service dog (blinks), the same thing I do for free and I’m not sure at all there is even the same level of experience there to be doing that….just saying. But hey, for all I know they could put me face down in the dust- I doubt it though.
This is what I have been saying and this is part of the reason why I have been very hesitant to train dogs myself and place them out fully trained. My dogs generally equal or exceed program dogs in the end, but part of the reason I think is not that I am so much more gifted as a trainer than they are, that’s not it at all, I can concentrate on one or two dogs day in and day out and all through the night where they might have a whole handful of dogs or more to work with in a day. The more you pile on, the less each one gets as an individual. Then there is program requirements and restrictions I am guessing that they have to follow. I bet their personal dogs are just amazing creatures.
I get leery whenever I see or hear of someone wanting to charge huge amounts of money for a service dog. Yes, trainers deserve to get good compensation for their hard work, and they hardly do. When there is large money involved it is very tempting to cut corners to get that dog out so you have time to do just one more dog that you can charge large amounts for. Large agencies have a sort of checks and balances system so that less of this can happen and people get decent dogs, individuals do not so there is a much higher risk there.
If a person is going to go to a small agency where you are paying a mint for a trained dog, a whole lot more caution needs to be employed. There is nothing wrong at all in buying a dog trained for service work and it can work out quite well. You don’t pay in full for that dog until you SEE it doing every job that it is supposed to yourself and handle that dog yourself to make sure that everything is in working order that you’re paying all that money for. Like any other service an individual off the street provides you, would you pay for it sight unseen and without the job being done first and inspected to be to your satisfaction? Any small agency or trainer that is charging 10’s of thousands of dollars should have no problem with this and understand the caution. And that includes ME (assuming I ever did train a dog to place out and assuming I actually had the balls to charge a mint for it). It’s just common sense people.
And you don’t, DON’T pay someone a mint for something like guidance training a service dog yourself. The most that is reasonable is a little bit higher than any other dog trainer charges for private classes. Ok, you pay the going rate for training guidance plus a little for the experience that is service dog specific. That is ALL. This isn’t rocket science, it’s specialized dog training, like training for scent work, schutzhund or agility.
And a word on trainers. Some people go to formal classes and similar to learn to train dogs, others learn through a long period of experience and in both types there are those that were born with the gift for training dogs. It was said that this guy’s only experience in training dogs for scent work was raccoon hunting in a scoffing way. The proof is in the pudding not in the certificates someone holds that someone taught them how to make pudding. Catch my drift?
That is further proven by dogs that are strictly owner trained dogs with no help. Many meet or exceed the program dogs, a few are miserable examples. Those people with the finely trained dogs usually have or start out with the same exact documentation on their ability to train dogs as the most horrible trainers- not a darn thing. Until very recently when people started getting together and putting together instructional classes and associations, that is how dog trainers proved themselves….not by graduation certificates from dog trainer programs or membership in that association or another association but by the product itself- usually displayed in competitions. I think that is the most valid way of evaluating someone for any skill…..by critical evaluation of the products they put out. Sabin’s apparently isn’t evaluating out well is what I am seeing.
And I really have to say, It really, REALLY pisses me off to see people take advantage of other peoples disabilities. You have to be a major slimebag to do something like that. SHAME! BAD HUMAN, BAAADDDDD HUMAN! Guess the judge gave him the ultimate irritated “Down!”, “Stayyyyy!” and “Leave It!”.