My Service Dog is Being Aggressive - Dog Training Advice

Pets & Animals 

My Service Dog is Being Aggressive – Dog Training Advice

Service dogs are a specific dog that is trained to perform a test for a disabled person. All too often people try to pass of their pets as service dogs to gain access to stores, restaurants and airplanes. This makes it hard for people with real disabilities and real service dogs.

Some people want to train their own dogs to actually perform services and then find out that their dog lacks the abilities to be a real service dog. Particularly dogs that are reactive to other dogs and environments.

This is a huge pet peeve of mine and I talk a little about it in this short video!

#servicedogs #fakeservicedogs #aggressivedog

Related posts

31 Thoughts to “My Service Dog is Being Aggressive – Dog Training Advice”

  1. Robert Cabral

    My complete online dog training lessons:

  2. munchkin0518

    There are countless videos of actual service dogs being attacked viciously by fake service dogs in Walmart, Home Depot, etc. It’s enraging and heartbreaking to see these genuine service dogs just trying to turn away and not engage because that’s what an actual service dog is trained to do, while the fake service dogs just tear them apart.

  3. Chip Fox

    You lost me when you said service dogs can’t wear prongs and E-collars and must be bred for the work. There is not a single breed of dog bred solely for service work. Any dog breed/mix can be a service dog, it depends highly on the individual dog and the handler’s ability to train/handle said dog. And literal THOUSANDS of legitimate service dogs are on prongs and E-collars. I’m not sure how utilizing a communication tool somehow suddenly makes a service dog not a service dog anymore, that’s just ignorant and discriminatory, and is spreading misinformation which will no doubt have a negative outcome on the community.

  4. Laura's Life Dog Training & Dog Vlogs

    Wise words.

  5. Cheryl Schaeffer

    Unfortunately, people are finding ways to call their dog a “service dog” or an “ESA” when the dogs aren’t that. The owners just want their dog to be able to go anywhere with them. It just makes it harder for people who have properly trained dogs that perform their function.

    I do want to add that you can take a rescue dog and train it for service work. But you have to be realistic if the dog cannot perform well. I was involved in the rescue of a dog from Egypt. Long story short, that dog went to a person who was willing to put in the time and effort to train her (under the guidance of a trainer who knew how to train service dogs… not every trainer knows how… and today this dog is excellent at her job providing the services she needs to provide for this woman.

    This dog knows when her vest is on, she’s working and distractions cannot happen. When it’s time for the vest to come off, then she can just be a dog. It took a lot of work to get her to the point where she could go anywhere and nothing could distract her. I would add that her own also didn’t allow people to distract her dog. The vest is clear that she’s a service dog and to not engage her.

  6. Catherine Abramson

    This is So important!

  7. acontemplative1

    Good vontent

  8. Hoping For The Day

    As a service dog handler, I wish handlers would recognize when their dog will not make a suitable service dog. Service dogs should never be aggressive, at all, or reactive. I see too many handlers with reactive or aggressive SDs and it’s gross.

    But I also use a prong on my SD and many other handlers do, doesn’t make them untrained or a fake. I use one for my own security, and has worked without one.

  9. Linda Z

    I think people are confusing emotional support animal with service animal. People are calling just about anything an emotional support animal to get into apartments, get on public transportation, bring them into grocery stores etc. The fair housing act expressly specifies that an emotional support animal is not a pet. Yes, it makes you feel better but it’s not an emotional support animal, it is a pet. And it is decidedly not a service animal. Anyone can buy a service animal vest and even an ID card on Amazon. It means absolutely nothing.

  10. Amazing Mazey Rottweiler

    Thanks for the video Robert – an important issue, and sadly it has to be said to people that try and pass their pets off as service dogs. I have seen quite a few people with reactive small service dogs, unfortunately usually sat in a shopping trolley. I would be petrified and hypervigilent trying to work such a dog.

    A service dog has to be bombproof with people, other dogs, noises etc. So many times kids have ran over to my dog and hugged her before their parent could step in. Once a 6’5 huge bloke (with Downs) ran over and grabbed her very tightly in a massive hug, which would have sacred quite a few legitimate service dogs, but thankfully my dog just wagged her tail happily at him.

    I’m not 100% against some people working a dog in a prong though. I have seen some people with very large, powerful dogs such as Great Danes used for counter balance and bracing in prongs. Does the dog need a prong? In reality no. You or I could work the dog in a flat collar or harness, but the person in question may worry that if the dog pulled and they fell, they would shatter bones etc, so they feel safer having the dog in a prong – just for peace of mind, even if not actually required. Who am I to say they should not use that piece of equipment to make themselves feel better, if the dog legitimately is calm and sensible enough for the job?

  11. PaPa's Woodshop

    True! True! and True! You sir are the best. I am a fairly good trainer. I have had more than one person ask me to train a service dog for them. My answer every time is “I am not qualified to do that”. I know my limits. Every trainer needs to admit when they are out of there depth and send the customer to the right people.

  12. Amanda East

    Last year, I was objecting to a person trying to pass a protection dog off as both a protection dog/service dog. I found that most people had no understanding of dog training or working dogs, and why I would say “that a service/protection dog isn’t a thing or at least not a good thing,” even after I explained why.

  13. Genesis 1:1


  14. Bruce Ferguson

    I’m gonna go ahead and say fake service dog.

  15. shawneboy

    Fearful of people? This is not a service dog. It would’ve flunked out from any good trainers program. Cmon now

  16. Jeni


  17. Jannell Meagher

    Spot on! My Cooper is identical to Jimi. I worked with a guide dog organization. All dogs chosen are bred on campus for a host of reasons. One cannot rely on a rescue dog or home bred dog for reasons of poor genetics, behavioral issues, specific assessments, etc. The list goes on. These dogs take up to two years for perfection in structure and impeccable house manners. It was a pure honor to work with, raise, match, graduate and cry as these guys walk off with their forever best friend. There is absolutely zero tolerance for aggression, poor impulse, distraction, etc. It saddens me that pet owners go to such lengths to pass their pet off as service dogs in buildings they have zero access rights to. These people ruin it for those who live their life with one. Trust me, a poorly trained/fake service dog is easy to spot. Thank you Robert. It hits a nerve.

  18. Carla

    Yes yes yes!!! It hurts to wash/retire a SD, but it is critical to do if they aren’t bombproof. I had to retire my SD way too early after he was attacked, while on leash, by our neighbor’s dog pack. He had fear aggression after that towards most other dogs. And while I needed him, it was in both of our best interests for him to stop working.

    So many people can be dramatically impacted by a subpar SD, not just the dog and handler. It’s irresponsible to work a dog who isn’t bombproof.

  19. Maddy The Service Dog

    I have a feeling Tony won’t listen to this. Well, when his dog bites someone or worse bites the face of a child. Tony’s dog will be taken away by animal control and will be euthanized and Tony could do jail time.

  20. sonny & smokin joe

    Nice glad to hear this message

  21. Leroy Bridges

    I have a service dog that is awesome. He helps me when I have the shakes and difficulty walking. He helps me with my ptsd. He was attacked by 4 dogs when I went to my little sister house. He is now on the defensive when he sees other dogs, no matter big or small, not all the time. I do allow him to be a dog, too. When he first meets another dog, he is aggressive, but then he will accept them once he establishes that there is no threat to him or myself. When he has his vest on, he is all business. He is great with kids. I have had him for 8 years, and he is 9 years old. Is there any way to help him?

  22. Poodle Eyes

    As someone who is blind and uses a guide dog, I really appreciate you spreading proper information like this.

    We have had several occasions where children or even adults have run up to us, grabbed my dog, kicked her, hugged her, and many other inappropriate interactions. My dog has been selectively bred and carefully trained to ensure that she is neutral in environments that would cause many dogs to be overstimulated and react badly. It isn’t fair to the dog, or the person, to have a dog who cannot handle the job. If a dog is acting aggressively towards people, it is stressed, and cannot handle what you are asking of it. It can also hurt members of the public, which is absolutely inappropriate.

    A service dog must both be able to perform its tasks, but also exist neutrally in public. You can’t just have one or the other, you must have both.

    Thanks again for addressing this important topic!

  23. Lee Grass

    Does sound like it’s a pet turned into a service dog. So many people are doing that these days very sad never ends well. Almost every service dog I see is not really a service dog.

  24. Kevin Bailey

    It takes a long time and a lot of patience.
    I’m 2 years into a rescue service dog venture and finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
    It’s not for everyone.

  25. Edith Smith

    Any aggression is unacceptable. If I am not in control of you or you yourself then you aren’t my dog.

  26. Derek Torres

    A very thought provoking video


    These fake service dogs are going to make it a lot harder for real service dogs.

  28. Rico4you

    Love that Tee and Cap…got mine from your shop and when out training my Mali girl… people ask me wow nice…the tee, cap and of course my Mali! 👊🐾💯👍

  29. Coach Z

    How about it’s not a service dog it’s a pet

  30. Jessica Byland

    Thank you for your guidance on this, Robert Cabral. I work in a hotel and deal with false service dogs and their owners every single week.

  31. Cheeky Chops

    If ur service dog is aggressive or fearful it’s not a service dog if u ask me .

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.