Author Topic: adopt or buy?  (Read 874 times)

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Offline swimmergirl247

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2017, 12:24:18 PM »
I don't have issues with ESA ion flying but "if it were me and I didn't required a larger dog for task work. I'd go with a smaller dog our of convince, and comfort all around.

An ESA is not a service dog and doesn't need to know any tasks. If the OP prefers a smaller dog that's one thing, but larger dogs can provide comfort too. A smaller dog will be easier to travel by airplane with, but I guess it ultimately comes down to how much the OP will be traveling by plane with his ESA and how much of an impact it makes on him to go the extra effort if he decides on a larger breed or mix. I don't think it matters really and is totally up to the OP's preference if the ESA is well behaved during any future flights.

I'm not disputing that either, maybe a person prefers the dogs head on his lap verse whole body. that sine. totatlly fine. I was saying "if it were me" as I said to the person who has a golden puppy who used to travel with a miniature daushound. its just going to have to work different.

but again I'm wanting clarity from the OP is he flying with is dog because he will be gone a long time or is it because he has a disability and needs emotional support to get through the ordeal?
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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2017, 12:27:35 PM »
but again I'm wanting clarity from the OP is he flying with is dog because he will be gone a long time or is it because he has a disability and needs emotional support to get through the ordeal?

I looked through the thread and didn't see the OP state one way or the other. He said he wasn't concerned about needing the emotional support during flying, but remember that the ACAA allows for ESAs to travel with someone if they require emotional support on the plane but also at the destination. If he's gone for long periods and needs the ESA to remain with him when he is staying somewhere, it's still a legitimate need.
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Offline swimmergirl247

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2017, 12:49:51 PM »
I did know the ACAA had that flexibility. I thought it structly applied to allowing the dog to fly to help the disabled individual travels more comfortable. I mean once you get to your detention unless your living somewhere where the ESA status is required the dog turns back into a "pet" and all the limits that applies. but I guess it could be interpreted as such but then where is the line? curious 
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Offline swimmergirl247

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2017, 01:37:08 PM »
sorry I meant didn't. up there
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Offline Marimar

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2017, 01:22:24 AM »
A temperamentally suited ESA can handle flying with basic training. They need to be intrinsically happy souls (so labs are usually a good choice) and they need to have good manners (lie quietly without mugging neighbors). You can get sufficient training from a CGC class.

Whether ESA or SD handler, the handler must be focused on their dog and stewarding. Do not put or allow the dog in someone's face. Keep dog on floor and bend over to interact with dog. If dog shows stress, if dog growls or gives anyone stink eye, DO NOT BOARD, GET OFF PLANE BEFORE DEPARTURE, don't just hope he calms down. He's asking you for help, so get him out of the situation he can't handle. Boarding is the hardest part. Pay attention to your dog. Nothing and nobody matters but your dog and his comfort.

Pack a fabric muzzle in your carry on. Have your dog practice wearing it and be happy and confident wearing it. In an emergency, like a change of emotional state during the flight, you can guarantee your dog's safety with a well fitted muzzle. You really shouldn't have an unpredictable biting risk after the doors have closed with a dog who has passed the CGC, has always liked people in the past and was happy up to the doors closing.

Biting problems do not appear out of the blue. Not with a lab. People can fail to observe warning signs with pits and pit mixes because they can be very subtle, but not with a lab.

If the dog has met lots of people, if the dog has passed CGC, if the dog has never given warning previously, the odds of a problem after the doors close are less than one in a thousand with a lab you have known and walked in neighborhoods and parks for the last six months.

Don't take a dog you don't know. Don't take a pitbull or pitbull mix. Don't take a dog who doesn't like people. Don't take a dog who has shown aggression toward people in the past. Don't let your dog's face get in close proximity with a stranger's face.

The dog that bit in the news was a pit mix and even so he growled before biting. He was put close to a strangers face (in handlers lap) he growled to say he was uncomfortable and his handler didn't take him off the plane. That bite was handler error. The handler didn't understand his responsibilities to his dog. That situation was avoidable. That's why I'm spelling out handling rules here. What happened to that team does not have to happen. There were several points where it could have been avoided. But the handler didn't know. No villians in that case, just ignorance.


I'm sorry, but the use of breed-specific categorization in this response is completely inaccurate and is a prime example of why certain breeds continue to get such a bad reputation.  Pitbulls are not inherently aggressive dogs and labs are not "intrinsically happy souls".  I've owned both labs and pit mixes (among other pure and mix breeds), and can say without a doubt that both require a lot of work.  Any bad behavior that isn't corrected can manifest into bigger issues down the line. 

Also, pits / pit mixes do not have different or unique body language when compared to labs.  That is just a ridiculous statement.  That's like saying people from the midwest have bigger smiles than those from the south -- it makes no sense.  A responsible pet owner will be educated in the various body cues and know what the changes in hair/tail/ears/vocal/etc. mean.  They will also know how to react to those changes to correct the situation.  If you don't know and you want to own a dog, take a class, take two or even three classes!  Do some research.  Many people underestimate the amount of time and work (and money) that goes into owning a dog and do not take the necessary steps to train their new family member. 

If there is any doubt in a handler's mind on how their animal will behave in a given situation (i.e. if you feel that a muzzle might be needed), just don't do it.  At the end of the day, if your dog is feeling nervous or scared, there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed (which could include increasing the dog's trust in you).  A poorly behaved dog is ultimately a reflection of the owner/handler. 

And just to address the thread's original topic, I think that unless you have a specific medical need that requires a professionally trained service dog, adoption should always be the answer.  The shelters and rescue groups across the country are filled with sweet, loving dogs (many of which are pure breeds) that need a home.  If you really want a specific breed or a specific look of a dog, wait a little bit and research rescue groups or shelters for that dog.  There are numerous purebred rescue groups across the country with dogs of all ages available for adoption.  Don't rush the decision just for a cute face. 

Offline Kirsten

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2017, 02:43:42 AM »
You certainly jumped to a lot of conclusions.  I didn't say any of the things you accused me of like that "pitbulls are inherently aggressive" or that "labs are intrinsically happy souls."  If something I said wasn't clear to you, you should have asked questions for clarification.

I did say that for a person with severe anxiety wanting to ride on an airplane with a dog they needed a dog who was immune to the handler's anxiety and that meant a dog who was an intrinsically happy soul.  The OP is interested in labs and generally speaking labs do tend to be pretty happy and unflappable and an excellent choice for an ESA or PSD.

I also didn't say pit bulls were aggressive but that they could be harder to read which is because they don't telegraph their emotions as clearly as some other breeds.  In particular they have been genetically modified not to complain or show worry, fear, stress, or pain to the same extent that may be normal for typical members of other breeds.  This is because they were historically (and sometimes still are) used in dog fighting and a dog that telegraphed any kind of distress was at a decided disadvantage in a fight.  That means it is NOT okay to push a pitbull and keep pushing him just because he hasn't objected because it can be difficult to recognize when he is uncomfortable for Joe Average dog owner, especially if they've drunk the "it's all in how you raise them" kool aid.   

You've also made some incorrect assumptions about pet owners.  The majority will not be particularly skilled at reading their dogs in situations outside of their daily routine.  That doesn't make them irresponsible, just under educated.  Given the amount of bogus information swirling around the internet about dogs it's not reasonable even to assume that they don't know because they don't care to know or can't be bothered to learn.  The majority probably do care very much to know and have even done some study, but that's no guarantee that they've attained mastery even when they've tried diligently to learn.

A very nice lady today asked me why her dog insisted on sniffing crotches and how she could get her to stop.  If she's fed the message that responsible dog owners already know all of these things then she is discouraged from asking questions and seeking education.  But she knows I wouldn't judge and would simply answer her question, which I did.  There's another in the same knitting group who has asked me about her dog being overly protective in certain situations.  They are both caring, loving dog owners who want to do better.  What more can you ask?  For my part, I welcome all questions and I will help to the best of my ability.
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Online Moonsong

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2017, 11:10:34 AM »
You know, though, people have different body language, too. Some people talk with their hands. Some people tend to speak loudly or quietly. Some people slouch when they're upset, others tense up. Some people avoid eye contact when they lie, some make eye contact.

But it's not really fair to compare dog breeds to 'types' of people. Humans weren't systematically bred to display certain traits. Dogs were. So obviously not all dogs fit into their breed's standard, but because they were bred for specific things they generally tend to show certain traits. Like spectrums. Not all labs will be exactly the same, but there's kind of a lab spectrum of what you can usually expect.

And I think that it's extremely over simplified to say that all dogs use body language the same way. Have you ever heard of external vs internal dogs? External dogs express their emotions flamboyantly. When they get excited, they jump around and get wiggles. Internal dogs internalize their excitement, and it turns to focus. So let's say you have two dogs. You take out their favorite training treats, and both dogs get excited. One will be jumping up and down with their tail wagging at full speed. The other is staring at you intently, waiting for the opportunity to earn the treat. Two completely different behaviors, same underlying emotion.

Not to mention that body language, to some degree, is learned, if I recall correctly. Dogs learn their manners and how to communicate effectively through their socialization with other dogs.

Also, what about dogs whose body language is impaired? Those with cropped ears or tails who can't express their emotions as effectively? What about dogs like my Max; he has very little control over his tail, even though all of it is there. It's basically either up or down, and if he wags it it barely moves. He could have his tail down because he's tired, or because he's scared, but it's hard to tell which because his tail doesn't fully tuck into his stomach when he's scared; it just hangs there. Same as when he's tired. Or confused. Or sad. Or uncomfortable. Or bored.

Every single dog is different. You can't just take a class about dog behavior and be able to read any and all dogs. It's important to learn to read your individual dog.

Let's look at another example. My dogs don't play bow. They stand and bark when they want to play. They still want to play, but it isn't the common behavior associated with playing. Another example; when Max specifically wants to play, he play growls and lunges. I used to think I'd have to wash him over it, but he's gotten better now. Anyways, it looked aggressive as all get out, but I knew that Max just wanted to play because that's how he asks to play. He doesn't fit the standard.



Finally, I also wanted to comment on the shelter dog issue. I don't like the statement that adopting a shelter dog "should always be the answer." People are free to make whatever choice is right for them. For some people, a shelter dog is the right choice. Others would want to go through a breeder. There are plenty of reasons to choose the breeder route, so please don't just discount that. Wanting a service dog is NOT the only reason to go through a breeder. I think that if you want to and are able to adopt a shelter dog; great. But if you want to go through a breeder, then that's great too. To each his own.
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Offline missythewriter

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2017, 11:18:52 AM »
That's why I hate "adopt don't shop," Moonsong. It should be "adopt or buy from a responsible breeder."

I love Thai Ridgeback dogs. But I can guarantee you I won't be finding a purebred Thai Ridgeback in my local animal shelter. I'll have to fly out to a different shelter in a different state to get a dog likely rescued from a meat shop that could have some psychological damage and physical issues if I want a rescued Thai Ridgeback. I don't want to do that. When the time comes, I'll be purchasing my Thai Ridgeback from a breeder. Because I want a Thai Ridgeback.

On the other hand, if I want just a pet of any breed, I'll go to the shelter. The dog in my profile picture is a shelter rescue, and I adore her. But if I want a reliably sound dog, I'll go to a breeder. And that's my discretion. Up to me. Not anyone else. I shouldn't be hated for my decision to adopt or to "shop." Either option, when done responsibly, is great. The dog community is so judgmental, honestly. We all love dogs. Let's just get along.*  :rolleyes:

*Not saying anyone here in particular is being judgmental. Just making a broad statement to reflect the overall feel of the dog training and owning community. Please don't take offense because no, I'm not talking about you, you person reading this.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 11:20:24 AM by missythewriter »

Offline Kirsten

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2017, 11:23:05 AM »
I agree about stating absolutes for everyone.  For me I have a preference for well-bred, purpose bred dogs when I have a specific job in mind but to rescue when I'm looking for a companion, pet, or ESA.  That's my personal preference.  I can explain why this is my preference and lay out arguments in support of my position and even try to persuade people to see things my way, but at the end of the day if someone chooses to rescue for their service dog or to get a well-bred dog for a pet, there are reasons to justify those choices as well and it's their right to make that choice for themselves and to have their choice respected just as I'd like my choice respected.  My goal in pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of a given choice is to try to make sure the individual I'm advising is as informed as possible so they can make an informed choice.  Over the long term, people tend to be better off when they make choices knowing as many potential consequences and advantages as possible.
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Offline Ashany

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2017, 01:18:40 PM »
I fly with my SD and I just want to say this. If it's possible to leave the dog at home, I would do it in a heartbeat. Flying with any dog is a very tricky thing. Before you enter the airport be sure you empty the dogs bladder of anything in a designated area for pets. Trust me when I tell you, nothing will add more stress to your trip than an airport accident. have to consider how insane an airport is, between planes taking off and landing, people everywhere, check in, luggage drop off, intercom announcements, beeps, dings, and constant bleeding noises, airport security is a nightmare in itself. TSA expects your dog to be perfect, you will never again pass through TSA without spending time getting waved with a wand, sent through a scanner or x-ray. Pack as light as possible, use crocs or slip on shoes and find a leash and collar without metal. Otherwise that's extra hassle too. I pack two sets of leashes and vest just for TSA.
Once you get through security, you are halfway there. Now it's all about making it to your gate, finding a comfortable spot and waiting for boarding to begin. I suggest doing a preboard to avoid the hassle of getting the dog settled with everyone else. I also suggest not feeding any treats, water or food until you reach your destination, the dog already be stressed and putting something into it's belly will increase the likely hood of it coming out. Give extra pets, attention, and encouragement instead. Once you are on the plane, be ready take off sound's and noise. Air rushing in the cabin, emergency procedure announcements, people reaching for the dog without permission, the sounds of luggage getting tossed under the plane, etc. Planes taking off are difficult, so is turbulence. The landing is most difficult, remember the dog will feel all this more than you. After the plane lands, you're going to want to wait until everyone deplanes. No sense holding up other passengers. Then you have to get the dog outside, let him settle down, do some doggie business in the designated area. (Airport's will fine you a hearty fine for doing this outside the right area.) I suggest scouting these areas out before your trip online. Now you have to go back and retrieve your luggage. Deal with catching a shuttle to the hotel and checking in.
This is just a basic run down of what traveling with a dog is like. I know the media likes to claim people travel with fake dogs all the time. I just don't believe it, no one in their right mind would put an animal through all that unless it's a necessity. I travel all the time and even I have dealt with unfortunate events in an airport. I pushed my dog too hard once and she ended up having an accident in the airport. It took a year to get the dog over the trauma. I flew the dog to St. Louis for a day this week and followed some great advice from Kristen. Mila handled the day trip like a professional and is back to normal. However, if I wasn't completely reliable on my SD. I would never put her through flying. I have to travel for work, but it's never easy traveling with an SD.

Online SandyStern

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2017, 02:39:45 PM »
I've got to disagree, Ashany.  I fly a lot for business and it is rare that I don't see 2-3 pets wearing brand new NSAR vests, and a host of ESDs.  People are selfish and thoughtless. They have no idea how hard this is on a dog.  And when I chat people up at the gate (I used to do this between SD2 and SD3) they happily admit that they lied to get the dog on the plane.

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2017, 03:00:22 PM »
On amazon there's also a huge number of photo reviews of service dog vests with dogs on planes with a SD vest on, with people saying the vest worked awesome for getting their dog on the plane for a trip. Almost all of them are on the seat and look frightened.

As for the comment that breeds don't matter, they do. GSD's as PSD's are a huge example of breed being a bad choice. Nervous handler and dog with decades of inherent "bite the bad thing" bred into them equals a really bad combination. GSD's are used in service work and can be PSD's, but it takes the specific dog, not the breed, and very breed specific training to accomplish this. You're also going against their bred intent and a lot of GSD's struggle with that either the entire time or at least at one point in their training. I worked Olga differently than I would have a lab just because she is a naturally reactive breed. I introduced new things to her with extra care to foster an appropriate response. A lab would have been a million times easier because they don't need that "let's not bite the bad thing" buffer. She isn't a naturally reactive dog, but it's the random spark of bred intent that I made sure did not wiggle its way to the surface. I also don't believe that adopting is better than buying. If you want a specific breed and traits in a dog, go for it in any way you can. It's not right to sit here and police how people should get their dogs.
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Offline Ashany

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2017, 03:29:56 PM »
I've got to disagree, Ashany.  I fly a lot for business and it is rare that I don't see 2-3 pets wearing brand new NSAR vests, and a host of ESDs.  People are selfish and thoughtless. They have no idea how hard this is on a dog.  And when I chat people up at the gate (I used to do this between SD2 and SD3) they happily admit that they lied to get the dog on the plane.

I need to rephrase this;
 "I know the media likes to claim people travel with fake dogs all the time. I just don't believe it, no one in their right mind would put an animal through all that unless it's a necessity."

What I mean is, the media is always pointing out people who travel with fake SD's. I can't believe people do this because of the overwhelming stress that comes from traveling with a dog. I have seen it first hand, have also had people tell ask me where I got my vest and where they can get one too. I can tell by the way their dog is trying to jump on everything, and has zero leash management skills that it's not a real SD. Between that, the cheap patches and the ID card they have hanging off the dog's leash. I just wrap my head around why they're doing this to that dog. I see these people. I also see them at the end of the trip looking traumatized along with the dog. I can only they learn a lesson and never do it again. If they do, they are very selfish people and I feel sorry for the dog. A dog is not a piece of luggage or a fashion accessory. Before I ever fly with my dog for the first time, we spent hours at airports working past the noises, the obstacles, and around people. I started at small regional airport's, pilots let me sit on the plane and started it up. We also took a flight simulator class that really helped. Thing's I would have never considered before taking that class, like overhead bins being slammed shut.
I know people do it, it's just something I can't wrap my mind around as to why.

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2017, 03:49:46 PM »
Aha! Colloquial speech lets us down again. You meant "I don't believe" as in "I can't believe people are so thoughtless," not "I don't believe that it happens."


Offline Ashany

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Re: adopt or buy?
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2017, 03:55:42 PM »
Aha! Colloquial speech lets us down again. You meant "I don't believe" as in "I can't believe people are so thoughtless," not "I don't believe that it happens."
I'm having a hard time communicating today. So I can see how you interpret it like that.  :biggrin: