Roman Reign

Email: Phone: 512-981-7627




Training Videos

Download the iPhone/Ipad app!



Canine Draft Blog

Working Dog Handout - drafting and weight pull

Crash Course Weight Pull



OFA vs. PennHip

Surviving Parvovirus

Compounding Supplements and Medications at Home

How to Treat Hot Spots

How to Make a Wicket

How to Make a Bloat Kit

Insights from Christine Zink, PhD, DVM


Greater Swiss Health

How much should my Swissy weigh?

Greater Swiss Health Survey

P2Y12: What it doesn't mean

Insights from Christine Zink, Phd, DVM



How to Research Dog Show Judges

Danger of Fake Service Dogs

How to Transport a Puppy

 Texas Greater Swiss Facebook

We proudly feed Nature's Farmacy products.

Raw Diet and Other Recipes

How Restaurants can Impress Patrons with Service Dogs

Things you didn't know about being a Therapy Dog Handler.

Memorial Ideas

How many Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are in the US?

How many Lowchens are in the US?

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America


Keep Austin Dog Friendly is an educational and informational not for profit service. Your contribution offsets the costs of hosting, smart phone app development, promotional materials, and the costs of sponsoring events. Thank you so much in Keeping Austin Dog Friendly. Donations are not tax deductible.



Chenergy Consulting




































Copyright ©2002-2016 Dr. Jennie Chen. All images and articles are copyrighted.  Unauthorized use is strictly Prohibited.

Proud members of GSMDCA, Southbound, Gulf Coast GSMDC, IWPA, TXWorkingDogs, LSBMC, WETDOG, BVKC, OWNC, LCA, SNIP, and CGC Evaluator #27966.  



Fake Service Dogs: The Social Effects of Faking A Disability


Fake service dogs are not new, but the massive increase in numbers and media attention is frightening. Faking service dogs is not a crime that has no victims. It is not only illegal; it is a moral and social crime.  Here's a trendy article on some real jobs service dogs do.

As someone who has ties to service dog organizations and training groups, this issue is personal to me. There might also come a day when I (or anyone else) might need a service dog, and I will need the law and community to support me as a handler. So yes, I have strong feelings about this and so should you.  


Iím not going to reiterate the problems outlined in others article like this one, this article, and this article.  Iím going to talk about this as a long-term social problem.  Social change happens all the time, and it doesnít always have a positive impact. The behavior of being glued to a phone 24/7 is considered normal now, whereas you didnít see it ten years ago.  Whether or not that is positive or negative is debatable.  

I find this idea to be shameful.  


By pretending to have a fake service dog and / or faking a need for a service dog has these detrimental social effects.  


1. It is making a mockery of people who need service dogs. Service dogs are being used for a variety of conditions that may not have visible cues including epilepsy, mental/emotional disorders, and diabetes. I have heard of people claiming to have these conditions when defending their fake service dog status, and it isnít funny.  


It is not funny to be physically immobilized, lack your sight, or hearing ability  It is also not funny to live in a state of constant alert in case you have a seizure, panic attack, or fall into a diabetic coma.  You should think long and hard about what it is like to live with a disability before you even think about pretending you have one. Making a joke out of serious condition(s) is downright rude and unacceptable.  

This is my beloved late trainer, Dick Shumer, and his service dog, Buddy.  Buddy is a Newfoundland.  

2. Faking service dogs is dangerous. Literally. In most cases of alleged fake service dogs Iíve consulted on, the dogs are downright dangerous. These are dogs who are ill-behaved, aggressive, and uncontrollable. Leave aggressive dogs at home. An ill-behaved dog only gives all dog in public a bad rap; it can also be a dangerous public nuisance. Yes, I do believe in Keep Austin Dog Friendly, by training dogs to behave in public. If your dog isnít a good canine citizen, then it can stay home.  

3. As if having to manage daily life with a condition isnít enough, service dog and handler teams will experience increased scrutiny or biased attitudes and behaviors. Even when it is obvious why someone is using a service dog, these people still encounter the unwelcoming looks, eyerolls, snide comments, and snickers. No one deserves to be treated like a second class citizen.


Service dogs and their handlers should be treated with respect. Making it difficult to distinguish a real service dog from a fake service dog only creates a cloud of suspicion on top of the social biases that already exist.  Donít make it harder for people with service dogs by making people leery of dogs wearing a vest. Hereís an post I wrote on how restaurants can provide better service to service dog and handler teams.

This is a photo of my late trainer, Dick with Chase and Buddy, his service dog.  During water rescue training, Dick would throw his cane overboard.  Buddy would jump into the water, retrieve the cane to the boat, tow the boat into shore, and help Dick get out of the boat.  They were an amazing team to watch.  


I don't have the right answer for what to do if you encounter someone with a fake service dog. Iím just here to tell you that it is not acceptable to try to pass your pet off as a service dog.  It is illegal, rude, and behavior that has long-lasting detrimental social effects on others. Letís maintain a culture where faking a service dog is socially unacceptable.  

This dog was rescued from an unsafe environment in Summer of 2013.  Elsie is currently training to be a service dog in Oklahoma City.


Other articles on the topic: