SERVICE DOGS - Why are FAKE Service Dogs Such a Problem

Pets & Animals 

SERVICE DOGS – Why are FAKE Service Dogs Such a Problem

A REAL Service DOG is a dog that is professionally trained to provide a service to someone who is handicapped. What is a SERVICE DOG? This is an important question because now a days there are so many FAKE service dogs. Anyone who wants to bring their pet dog on a plane, in a store or to a restaurant will go online and get FAKE Service dog credentials and vests and pass their dogs off as SERVICE DOGS.

This poses a huge problem for REAL SERVICE DOGS. In this video I interview DEREK who really needs a service dog to live his life. You’ll meet Tonka who was trained as a service dog by Canine Companions. THIS IS A REAL SERVICE DOG.

Listen to Derek’s story why he really needs a service dog, how this dog changes his life and gives him the freedom he deserves. FAKE service dogs put people like Derek and his dog at risk. This is a serious problem that needs to be understood.

If you need a REAL SERVICE dog you need to make sure the dog was bred and trained to be a real service dog, not just a pet dog that you slap a vest on and pawn it off as a service dog.

#servicedog #realservicedog #fakeservicedogs

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65 Thoughts to “SERVICE DOGS – Why are FAKE Service Dogs Such a Problem”

  1. oldgamerchick

    Awesome video thank you for sharing. Ms Michal

  2. jo bond

    Here if a dog bite a working dog bang bang and it stays dead legally

  3. Theodore Hyatt

    So glad you were able to get a dog like him God Bless

  4. mehrad bb

    I cried in 11:50,i really love you sir i really do,lots of to you and your family you are a game changer dear robert cabral💕💕💞😻🥵🙏💚💜❤️💙♥️💯💥💐

  5. Kyaevus

    Hello! Fellow dog trainer and service dog handler here. I’m immensely frustrated with how you went about this interview.

    Yes, people bringing their pets into stores is a problem. We have been attacked and lunged at by multiple other dogs. But insinuating that owner trained dogs are fake service dogs is seriously disheartening. A lot of programs will not give you dogs for psychiatric reasons. A lot of them also won’t work with you unless you have a solid diagnosis. And you have to fundraise and pay for those dogs. Thats 20,000 to 60,000 dollars that many disabled people simply do not have. In 2016, 20.9% of people with disabilities in the US lived on or below the poverty line. Even above that line, that is simply too much to afford. And the waiting lists can be up to 3-4 years in some cases, and that’s after you’ve paid.

    Owner training provides people like me the opportunity to have a crucial, amazing piece of medical equipment that we would otherwise never be able to obtain. Most people don’t know how to train proper basic skills let alone public access work, I understand that, however most of the owner trained teams I run into are trying their damn best to train properly.

    You don’t have an issue with service dog teams, you have an issue with people who don’t even attempt to train their pet and then bring it places it shouldn’t be. I also have an issue with these people, but I would never call their dogs service dogs, as that’s not what they are. As a fellow dog trainer, I challenge you to educate yourself properly on service dog laws, and teach people how to determine a pet from an owner trained team that is having a slight focus problem, instead of fear mongering about something you clearly know the bare minimum about. People like you who police things that they have no right policing are just as much of a problem as people who take advantage of a lax system and distract legitimate working dogs.

  6. Mitchell Kasdin

    Yep fake papers. Amazon for the vest and Ebay for the fake papers. A real service dog won’t bark since they are trained and socialized. having driven Uber you can’t question anyone about a service dog? Even bringing that up and denying them a ride will get the driver Deactivated. Now the question is: does a “therapy dog” count as a service dog? It’s pretty simple to get a note from a therapist saying Fluffy or Teddy the Mini Poodle 🐩 is legit. I think this all happened when the airline decided to not allow or charge non registered dogs for a plane ticket? So everyone went out and decided they would have a service dog. Bad for those that truly need a working service dog.

  7. jpaleblue

    Such an awesome interview. Loved meeting Derek and Tonka. An incredible duo. Very inspiring. Tonka, you are an angel, sending you both hugs.

  8. TheDominoEffect

    Just so you know you can “get a dog from a shelter” and train it as a service dog. Any type of dog can be a service dog, actually my dog is an American pit bull terrier mix who I got from a shelter and I trained him to be my service dog. And by train I mean actually train. He performs tasks, he heels by my side in public, he knows how to act in public, he doesn’t “run up to people and kiss them” he stays by my side unless he performs his “go find” task in which he finds my girlfriend and he pulls me to her. Service dogs do not need to come from a program as long as they have the right training. Service dog training takes an average of 2 years from the start of training. But ANY dog breed can do it. Not every dog has the capability to do it but if they have the temperament, want, and love to work then they can be.
    And my service dogs been attacked 3 times by fake service dogs that shouldn’t have been where they were. It’s not the dogs fault it’s the humans fault for bringing the dog in. But some of your info is not correct. Follow domino on Instagram @Domino_the_sd .

  9. Mark Turner

    Beautiful! What an incredible animal

  10. Josh Jackson

    I know Derek and tonka personally here from NZ! Nice!

  11. Gary Pudup

    Robert, my wife and I are big fans and subscribers…thank you, thank you, thank you for taking this on. These people who try to pass off their pets as service dogs are scum. We have a five year old sweetheart Akita we love to death. We would never think to take her into stores or restaurants as a service dog.

  12. Lindsey Costa

    My GSD goes with us on errands, he goes inside dog friendly stores all the time(we don’t even ask if they sell or serve food), but people constantly ask if he’s a service dog because they don’t realize how many retailers are dog friendly and he sometimes wears a utility vest(black with no patches stating service dog). We always respond, “No, he’s a pet.” We’re really lucky he’s well behaved enough to go with us, especially since he became epileptic recently, so we can’t leave him home alone until his meds are balanced, but fake service dogs still try to meet him when we are trying to avoid them and they sometimes pee in the stores.

  13. buckleyscooter

    I was disappointed when I watched this video because you never asked him how much money he paid for the dog or exactly how he acquired the dog. I know you said canine companions but not all people with disabilities can afford an already trained dog. I am a brittle diabetic so my sugar goes up and down very rapidly. I am also very limited financially. I prayed for an answer and ended up training my own pitbull mix I adopted from a local shelter. He was very easy to train to use his nose and is a wonderful example of a service dog. I too get frustrated when I go to Walmart and have to deal with the barking of (non service) service dogs. I offer advice to people on what to look for in a service dog like temperament and patience and does the dog want to serve. People are amazed at my dog (Glock)’s ability to serve my needs.
    I am pleased that you did addressed most of the major issues people with disabilities face when owning a service dog.

  14. Edson Jerez

    Who can possibly give thumps down to this…I wonder!!!!

  15. Kal Kobra

    Unfortunately it’s NOT against the law until then ppl will claim their dogs are service animal!!!

  16. NoneYoBusiness

    just to reiterate, service dogs for anxiety and PTSD are extremely helpful and many are just as well-trained! are they not supposed to be “rewarded” for doing things? expected to see him give the dog some kind of reinforcement besides “good boy” – is that enough for dogs of this caliber? also surprised by his leash correction, again might the dog respond better if rewards were given intermittently? i guess it might be difficult to present food or toys… just thinking out loud, learning so much from your channel thank you thank you thank you!!

  17. Kaitlyn Mills

    As a TRAINED physc service dog handler/user , i deeply appreciate this 💕

  18. gazgibster

    Robert you bring us some great videos
    keep up the great work this was excellent.

  19. SawBlade Entertainment

    I had gotten a puppy. that ended up starting to help me a lot. and i started training a bit with her to help with my problems after my doctor suggested it, but she was an easy to hyper dog no matter what. why i didn’t ever use her as a service dog. we would go to pet friendly places with her or i stay home most the time. but just helping me at home was a big deal and effect on my life. I’m looking to try to get a new puppy now. and hopefully this one will fit better. I have to at home train but I’m looking into a lot of the training and places to maybe help me train the dog. cause if i can’t get it to do the tasks at least at home to help me. it just a nice pet to have around then but doesn’t enhance my life as much as a service dog would. Had more freedom with what little i could do with my old dog. And it is heart stopping when another dog goes to attack the dog you depend on for a lot. was at a pet shop. person infront of me let her dog that was trying to attack my dog go and it charged at us. good thing is. i tugged on my dog to get her behind me and she listened. but stuff like that shouldn’t happen.

  20. Aly ?

    As a 16 year old handler this helps alot and hopefully will bring awarness that bringing ur “pets” or fake service dogs can harm other handlers and their SD.❤Thank you Robert!

  21. Dawner Yumnam

    That Dog is Zen. No woofing around.

  22. Steve

    I saw a woman who said she had a service dog and it was pulling at the leash barking up a storm….I loudly told my wife that the woman was full of sh!t, loud enough so she could hear and of course I looked right at her so if she looked at me I could lock eyes so she knew who called her bluff. I too get enraged by that crap! I need to work on my anger management….

  23. Steve

    Those selfish people are the same one’s that have handicap placards that don’t deserve them….they are selfish!

  24. Teresa Love

    I want to thank you so much for doing this video I myself have a service dog for medical and people will try to touch talk to the dog even after you ask them politely not to there is so much ignorance on service dogs we depend on these dogs to help us in time of need I could go on and on about this again thank you and love your videos

  25. Nerfunkal

    I absolutely love this video! I’m a C6-C7 incomplete quadriplegic, I’ve been watching these videos for a while and I have wondered if I could manage a service dog and what types of things one could help me with. I also wonder if I could ever properly own a pet dog. Thanks for the inspiration to let this be something I look into more seriously.

  26. elisa Tigon

    I do appreciate the highlight on the topic, but If I have someone to be interviewed, I would to hear more of his side and his life experience with the Service Dog. I know you are very passionate with strong opinions about the BS service dogs, but ask the questions without leading to your opinion. The gentleman was doing his best there. 🙂

  27. Matthew King

    I absolutely agree there are a lot of fake service dogs out there but it’s pretty ignorant and rude of you to just make that assumption that most service dogs out there are fake or that their handlers are faking their service dog. Seriously who are you to make that judgment on anyone just because you’re a dog trainer get over yourself.
    Just to be absolutely clear I absolutely agree with you if a dog that is supposed to be a service dog is jumping and lunging barking or growling or in any way aggressive towards anyone that absolutely 100% I agree with you. Where I disagree with you is seriously where do you get off saying that most Service Dogs Out There are fake I’m pretty sure you haven’t been with every single service dog out there and spent any significant time more than a couple seconds in passing when you see a service dog. The only ones you are remembering are the bad ones which again like I said I agree with you those are clearly fakes and should not be portrayed as a service dog.

  28. Bonnie Blake

    Have someone put a foam cover over the water bottle. much easier for dog to pick up.

  29. Bonnie Blake

    I have MS and Sherman knows when I am standing to lay and lean against me so that I do not lose my balance, He got me brave enough that I go out into public and take care of my personal needs. I was a recluse and only did drive up windows. I now actually get exercise because of him. I chose Sherman because of his breeding and potential.. Sherman provides three major services for me. He ignores other dogs when his vest is on

  30. R C

    Great video, not sure if it’s possible to get rid of all the “fake service” dogs. Based on the comments I see people with different scenarios and perspectives. I think that every responsible owner that wants to train a service dog must temperament test the dog on different stages. Having a non profit organization or professional doing this test would probably be best. The dog would have to pass several real life tests and obedience courses to ensure it has the capacity to be a service dog. Once those tests are passed they can receive a special badge from the organization that certifies it has passed a certain level of training for service. Having this badge perhaps can help steer people in a better direction.

  31. Vaughn Armstrong

    My Assistance Dog has been attacked by other pet dogs in dog friendly shops in his jacket. In saying that mine has equipment association jacket on and he has a working collar he knows his behaviour and his job. Jacket off and flat collar on, give the free command and he knows. We had the same with military working dogs equipment association if consistent can work. He’s a high drive dog but for me and my medical condition it’s what I need. Most others couldn’t/wouldn’t want a dog like him. They can be one of the final pieces to the treatment puzzle. That’s why the organisation paired him with me. He was one of their longest prospects and in training but they needed the right person to match him too.

  32. Carla

    Here are my thoughts on the issues:

    (1) If we want to reign in the abuse of service dogs in the US, then we first need to start with how the ADA defines “disability”. It is very broadly defined and essentially allows anyone to be labeled as “disabled” and “need a service dog”.

    (2) Psychiatric service dogs are greatly beneficial, but that is where the vast majority of systemic abuse lies. Anyone can “fake” a service dog, but this has been my experience (obviously not all, so don’t get your panties in a wad). But join some social media groups… You’ll notice that the vast amount of owner trainers who want to rush into public access, refuse to wash their dogs for legitimate reason, and don’t do near enough training are those who have Psych SDs (and perhaps this is also that they are disproportionately owner trained because there are few organizations available who train psych dogs except for veterans).

    (3) Speaking of program dogs… With the explosion of service dogs in recent decades, many people have seen this as a way to make hard cash. Not all programs are legitimate. In fact, many are scams. I know of a few programs that claim to train a service dog in just SIX months!! What?!?! I know of others that pull from shelters to rehabs dogs for service dog work, and they have no credentials to be doing this work. I know of one who claims to work with reactive dogs and “fix them” so they can become service dogs. Please don’t fall for these scams!!

    (4) This gentleman is 100% correct. If you are one of the people throwing a vest on your pet just so you can take it everywhere you go, stop! And if you have a dog in training who isn’t quite ready for public access, then take a step back and do some training in pet friendly locations until the training is solid. Owner training is legal in the US, but that doesn’t mean you take a 3 month old puppy in the grocery store for training. It hurts those of us with task trained service dogs. I have a spinal cord injury, too, and I need my dog. I had to pull mine from public access almost 4 months ago because he was attacked, and we’re still working through anxiety he developed. I don’t know if he’ll ever be able to work fully in public again. Our dogs are our lifelines!

  33. Marea Miller

    Awesome video as always! just wanna add my mom’s service dog is (among other tasks) a seizure alert dog, so a distracted dog can be very harmful for her health. Also- fake service dogs don’t just distract, they make peoples attitudes much more hostile and threaten the ability to continue having real SDs. Workers tend to assume the dog is fake because most dogs are, and get really rude.

  34. Mark Nalliah

    Thank you Robert Cabral for sharing this even being in the UK we are starting to see fakes where they have bought jackets and you can clearly see they have no training. Saddens me to see people use disabilities to gain something where they are clearly not disabled or need a service dog. I remember my uncle seeing eye dog may they both rest in peace!

  35. Manuel T

    Great video! I see so many people come to a restaurants and they have a dog wit them, And the servers/manager ask sorry no pets allowed and they reply it is a SERVICE DOG just to get the dog in side the restaurant. Then dog start barking.

  36. Dad Dare

    Awesome video

  37. EyeLUVMYPitbull Peaches

    Can someone answer this who has a lot of experience with female dogs? I have a all natural 7 month old pitbull…this is the first day of her first heat cycle. So far it’s no big deal which is awesome.

    I have done a ton of research but I just dont entirely understand what I’ve read. Two things: if this is the first day of her first heat cycle when will she be interested in male dogs ( I know some females never show interest but I’m asking just to know). The second thing I need clarity on is length of time. Am I to understand she may be in heat for 30 days…so it’s over in April?

    She’s not terribly swollen back there…will she swell more? So basically by april she will be totally finished this first heat?

    I am not planning on breeding her.

    One last question….is she done growing…my baby is quite small but I love her anyway lol

    So when will her next heat be?

    Okay, I’m not planning on breeding her but I also haven’t sworn it off. She just natural and no cuts nor surgeries for her most likely. I may reconsider my choice if she seems to suffer from frustration…I’m hoping she is the type that breezes through her heats and had sparce interest in males lol 🙂👍❤

  38. Luis Pineda

    I work in a retail store & people come in with their non service dogs all the time, we tell them they can’t come in with the dog and first thing they say “ it’s a service dog “ since there’s no way to disprove the claim we let them in . Personally I wish their was some type National Visual license owners can carry . Sadly there’s has to some type of accident for change to happen .

  39. Krecia Bain

    I love your work Robert. However, as personal assistant to a man who has a bona fide Guide Dog, I attest to the fact that the human attached to the Service Dog does not fly free. Thank you for the outstanding work with dogs that you do!!!

  40. Cheryl Schaeffer

    Please understand that not all service dogs perform physical tasks. There are legitimate service dogs who do things like detect changes in epileptic patients, diabetics, and so on. Some of these dogs DO come from shelters and rescues and get trained. I know of 2 such dogs. It is a disservice to them and others like them who are changing lives despite not being bred and raised from puppy hood to be a service dog.

    I hate the fake services dogs too…very much so, but please be careful with your words that you don’t make life harder on those whose legitimate service dogs don’t fit your limited definition.

  41. paul dow

    What’s the point. Is Robert going to determine what dogs outside of companion dogs Inc. Are true blue.
    Maybe check if the disabled parking label is not bogus. Too.
    I Like the spotlight on the gentleman and his companion but not the part trying to put words in his mouth about your opinion of other people with needs differing from what you feel.
    Just my take. No offence.

  42. Gus Da Goose's Mom

    The fake service dog thing is INFURIATING. And many people are confused by emotional support dogs and service dogs which are two totally different things.I don’t know why this has become such a problem over the years, but I do notice that some places are worse than others — like WalMart. Thank you for bringing attention to this problem

  43. Ken T.

    I bought a harness for my Eddie off of amazon. When it arrived it automatically showed up with 2 service dog patches included, it’s bullshit.

  44. Susanne Ulman

    First of all, you basically implied owner trained service dogs aren’t real service dogs. I have met a lot of shitty program dogs, and you disgust me by belittling owner trained dogs.

  45. Koushik Ghosh

    So moving…

  46. Israel Shirk

    Love this, Robert. One of the things I’d add is that the most insidious thing about people with fake SD’s is that they really increase the fear/stress level of those having invisible injuries (brain injury, real PTSD, etc) from going out in public due to the number of people who challenge you, etc – even with a dog that’s equally accommodations-trained as the dog here.

  47. Grace McCracken

    Service dogs do not need to come from a program! They absolutely can come from a shelter. I agree that a lot of dogs you see with a vest are not legitimately trained. However, I got my service dog from the shelter as a puppy and I have worked alongside a trainer for public access skills and a different trainer for task training.

    Please don’t imply that all dogs that don’t come from a program are not legit. Owner training a dog means you still must uphold the dog to incredibly high high standards…. it takes on average 2-3 years and then you still need to maintain the skills on a regular basis.

    I do feel like a lot of people who have no clue what they are doing try and owner train and then don’t wash the dog when they should..but I felt that you implied if the dog was not bred, raised, and trained by a program means the dog is not a service animal. This is FALSE.

    You can tell if a service animal is legitimately trained based on it’s behavior.

  48. Jannell Meagher

    Thank you yet again! Being a Puppy Raiser for a guide dog organization though is a huge commitment, it is beyond rewarding. This was great all around. Touch my heart. Thank you!

  49. DollFaceForte

    I would really appreciate if you could also interview a team that is in between. In my country (Canada) I cannot get a ptsd service dog from a program because I’m not a veteran. Sexual assault survivors, adult autism, and other psychiatric needs are not trained in a program and have to be owner trained.

    There are many teams that aren’t as good as this team because they are owner trained but also not the barking lunging kind.

    I feel any disabled human in this community who can only do their best are often left out of this conversation.

  50. Ash Miller

    I have a service dog trained for PTSD, anxiety and panic attacks. My dogs does everything the man said and more. I still get attacked by people in Walmart asking if she’s real and she doesn’t even pay attention to them. But it makes me more anxious and then she starts whining when I’m ready to have a panic attack. My dog allows me to to go out and be safe around people. I go to bed worrying about going outside the house. I get swarmed by people everywhere I go when people think we have fake service dogs. The fake service dogs are really a problem

  51. names Dixie

    Other than the dig to pitties, I totally agree! Dogs can be super helpful, but first and foremost, they cannot react to other dogs and people in public!

  52. Granny Gear

    Enjoyed this! I could not hear it all because of loud chatty lady (a problem I have w side noise, but excellent info. I have an ATD dog (therapy dog different than a service dog) and getting that was an incredible amount of work and you really need a certain kind of dog that can focus, remain calm, and cares deeply for people. We were at Tractor Supply one day and a huge pipe broke loose and fell down and clanged loudly on the floor a few feet away. She continued to sit there and look at me. Dogs are amazing! My half Malinois x Sibe is so opposite having to know and want to investigate everything going on!

  53. b S

    Per ADA, you CANNOT ask the person what their disability is. You can only ask what the dog is trained to do…
    The dog however must be well behaved otherwise you can be asked to leave…

  54. M. E F

    The message to not have a fake service dog is that it is against the law

  55. Joseph Gribble

    I couldn’t hold back my tears. I wish people with fake service dogs would get jailed.

  56. rrr rrr

    As a brother to a kid who have a service dog i thank you from the depth of my heart.

  57. WeeStrom CO Guy

    Robert, what’s your view on ESAs?

  58. Bobandjeri Shaffer

    I volunteered at the very scenic Visitors Center in a large national park for a few years. For every legitimate wonderful service dog welcomed there were 2 or 3 bogus ones who tried.
    Edit.. FAKE service dogs are a concern for the reasons mentioned plus some. About 3 or 4 times per months folks inquire about adopting potential service dogs at my shelter and sometimes chose a dog.

  59. WeeStrom CO Guy

    I lost all respect for Hope for Paws when they aired a video a few weeks ago of them rescuing a large breed dog and the very next day taking him a commercial flight with a service vest on. They claimed the dogs new owner was going to make him a service dog…yeah right, but even if so he had no training, not did they even know if he could be aggressive. All this aired on their video like they have no clue about the controversy. Millions of subs despite their ignorance…one less now.

  60. Michael Angelos

    none of your business whether my dog is a fake service dog or a real service dog. I don’t have to reveal the nature of my disability to you.

  61. Rick Chandler

    While I do think there is a huge problem out there with fake service dogs, I don’t think an “emotional support” dog has to be a fully trained service dog though. There are lots of people out there (think service members with PTSD) that need an ordinary dog to help them stay calm in what we would consider normal situations. For them those dogs are their difference between going out into the world and not. But regardless if it’s a service dog, emotional support dog or just your companion, it needs to be properly trained to go out into public.

  62. Mark Poncho

    I love your compassion Robert for people and for our four-legged friends God bless you

  63. B Johnson

    Thank you for addressing fake service dogs. I know people who totally abuse this term and it is disgusting for all the folks who suffer and need a dog. Vests bought on Amazon etc should be vetted

  64. Trap Drip

    Great! Keep it up! Would you like to be YouTube friends? 🙂

  65. TheComicalCanadian

    lovely video

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