Saturday, March 7, 2015

Aggressive Dogs Do Not Make Good Service Dogs

I came across this article today.  A prisoner was participating in a program that trains dogs as service dogs.  There are a number of such programs across the country and I think it is often a good thing for both the dogs and the prisoners.

But in this case, the dog bit the prisoner training him.  Turns out the dog had a history of biting and the people in charge of this program knew it.

And they were planning to give this dog, that they  knew had a history of biting, to a disabled people as a service dog.  And the dog would have likely bitten his disabled handler or a member of the public when the dog was taken into public. 

Why on earth would you plan to place an aggressive dog as a service dog?  I'm sorry the prisoner was bitten but I am glad he won his case and I hope it makes whoever is in charge of this program reconsider trying to train aggressive dogs as service dogs.  That is dangerous to everyone.


  1. I have a service dog that is a big sweetie. I would have a real problem if I. Had been given a service dog that had some sort of temperament problem or even a dog that was a fear biter. I can barely take care of myself so how could I ever pull a dog off another person if the dog went into attack mode? But I would like to think that if someone was doing serious harm to me that my service animal would attempt to do something about it. I don't want my service dog to be trained to do this I would hope that it would just naturally happen. Now if the prison was already aware that this dog had a history of biting they never should have accepted this dog into their program. I do think that the prisoner dog training program is a awesome thing that will benefit many people and animals.

    1. I agree with you on all points, Sheila. I think service dog training programs in prison are an awesome idea. It must benefit both prisoners and the dogs immensely. Except not if they try to train aggressive dogs and prisoners get bitten. Hopefully this was just a one-time mistake and this particular program is not regularly training dogs with a history of biting.

      It would be so devastating if a service dog actually completed training and the bit someone while working. I would have a hard time pulling a dog off another person, too. And the reality is, when you go out in public with a service dog, sometimes people come up and pet the dog without asking and little kids have done things like pulled Isaac's ears and poked him in the eye and grabbed his tail and they are not always gentle. If a dog was likely to bite, those things could cause him to do it. And what would happen if your service dog bit some kid that tried to pet him? I would feel awful for the kid, but also, animal control might seize your dog, you could be sued for all the kid's medical bills, it would be just terrible.