I decided to make my own ship chart since I couldn’t find any for Warframe. It’s admittedly not the best, but it should do the service. Note: this chart was made during update 20 and does not include prime variants.
Here’s my own, apologies if its slightly confusing:
So, about medieval warfare and magic. You said you had a lot to say about integrating magic to a medieval worlds and militaries.
Yes, I do. It’s one of the more irritating things I see in traditional high fantasy. The people of the world don’t take into account the magic that exists in their world. If magic can be learned, it will become a part of the power structure of the world, finding uses in everything from war to statecraft to even the smallest aspects of life. When medieval armies act in the same fashion as their historical counterparts, without incorporating the differences, it’s a huge red flag that the worldbuilding was not done to my satisfaction, and, even if I elect to continue reading, I’m going to spend all my time picking out the logical errors and complaining rather than enjoying the novel.
So, with that being said, how can a writer include magic into their world in a wholly organic fashion? This requires thinking long and hard about what magic is in your universe, how it works (and how it doesn’t), what it can do, and how common it is. I’ll preface this by saying that these are simply my opinions and things I find appealing in a good setting. You may not like them, and you may even think the things I’m complaining about are things that you enjoy. That’s fine.
Anyway, let’s go examine what we need to do, and provide some examples, so your worlds can be as seamless as possible.
When it comes to Service Dogs, selecting the right animal is
always important. It is often hard to know how to select a dog when wishing to
owner train or buy a puppy to send to a training organisation. Here I will
discuss some of the techniques and tests used to select dogs as suitable Service
Animal candidates. Please note that there are MANY different tests and theories
on how to best select a suitable dog. This guide will not list everything; it
will be a resource that aims to educate and aid handlers in some of the important
tests that aid Service Dog selection. Not every dog that passes these tests
will necessarily have what it takes to be a Service Dog. The wash-out rate for
Service Dogs is incredibly high- especially when they are required to do complex
tasks such as alerting to seizures and drops in blood sugar.
Whilst this post specifies that the tests are for selecting a Service Dog puppy as a prospect, the majority of these tests can also be used to assess fully grown dogs such as those in shelters that you may be considering as your Service Dog partner.
Any breed can be a Service Dog. Despite this, there are some
important issues to consider when thinking of getting breeds that do not
necessarily fit the conventional Service Dog stereotype such as Labs,
Retrievers and Poodles.
Access issues. Unusual breeds of Service Animal
are often prone to more Public Access challenges due to standing out and not matching
the stereotypes that people have in their minds.
Suitability. If you need a mobility dog, it
doesn’t make sense to have a Chihuahua as your Service Dog. Make sure that the
breed you select is capable of performing the tasks that you need it to.
Health issues and lifespan. Whilst some larger
breeds such as Great Danes are used as Service Dogs, they have a shorter
lifespan. Training a Service Dog is time consuming and expensive so it makes
sense to get a Service Animal that will be healthy and live for a good amount
Breed Traits. This is not always a highly
limiting factor, but it is something that is definitely worth considering. Some
dogs such as Huskies and Shiba Inus have high energy levels and are renowned
for taking their time to learn tasks. Whilst it is good to acknowledge that
there are exceptions to every rule, it doesn’t hurt to consider breed
characteristics that may affect your dog’s ability to perform tasks
successfully. Breeds such as German Shepherds are highly intelligent and are
becoming more popular as Service Dogs, however their guarding instinct is a
common cause for failing Public Access tests due to growling and being overprotective
of their handler. When selecting the breed of your dog, be sure to investigate
what common traits they possess and how you plan to tackle these in training to
Personal Requirements. Are you willing and able
to groom a longhaired dog daily? If not, then you should not get a Service Dog that
requires regular grooming. Do you have allergies to dogs? If you do, consider
looking into breeds that are better for those who have dog allergies (such as
Most Service Dog organisations perform tests such as those
listed below when the puppies reach 7-8 weeks of age. These tests do not fully determine
characteristics such as temperament since the dog is still developing. The
tests aim to assess natural instincts that make a dog more likely to be
successful in training such as their food drive, attention to the handler and
recall abilities. It is often good to go with a breeder that has either bred
Service Dogs before or has breeding dogs from Service Dog lines. It has been
proven that dogs who do well in these tests and are successful Service Animals
are more likely to have offspring that are also highly suitable and successful
in the Service Dog field. These tests should be performed with each puppy from
the litter being separated from its littermates and other animals to avoid
Noise/Recovery Test- Drop an object that will make a loud
noise (such as a metallic food bowl). Assess the dog’s reaction and how quickly
it recovers from the experience. Commonly the dog may react to the sound and
jump but it is how the dog chooses to recover and approach the situation that
is most important. Curiosity and sniffing of the object is a positive sign,
fearfulness and running away is not desirable.
Lap Test- Put the puppy on your lap. Observe its
body language and how much it relaxes. If the dog relaxes and responds by
making eye contact or trying to reach your face for attention this is
desirable. If the dog cowers and tries to get off your lap, it does not pass
this particular test.
Sociability- Put the puppy by your feet and pet it.
If it stays by your side, offers eye contact and enjoys the interaction it
passes. It is also acceptable for the dog to stay by your side for attention,
leave to explore before returning for more affection. If the puppy runs away or
seems nervous, cowering or shivering as it receives affection, this is
Recall- Have the breeder or another person move
the puppy a few steps away. Call out to the puppy to get it to come over to
you. If the puppy comes over with no hesitation this is a very good sign. If
the pup takes a little more persuasion but eventually comes this is also
alright. If the pup ignores you entirely or wanders off it is considered as a
fail for this test.
Prey Drive- Have a toy such as a rope and drag
it around on the floor. If the dog grabs the toy and shows curiosity in chasing
after it, this is a good sign. If the dog behaves in an overly aggressive
manner or is fearful/disinterested of the toy, this is an undesirable result.
It is important not to select a dog that has a huge prey drive for Service Dog
work, however it is good to select a dog that has a healthy degree of curiosity
and is willing to work and show interest.
Retrieve Test- Scrunch up some paper into a ball
and throw it a short distance away. If the dog picks it up and brings it back
to you this is a great result. If the dog picks it up and brings it part-way
back to you this is also good. If the dog runs over to the toy but does not
pick it up or return with it, this is still a good sign of curiosity, but not
as good as the first two reactions. The dog fails this test if it simply
watches the ball without reacting to it or ignores the action completely.
Hearing/Curiosity test- Use a squeaker toy to initiate
the pup’s interest. This test is also a simple hearing test. If the dog comes
over to investigate the squeak, this is a good sign. If the pup fails to turn
or turns but does not come over to investigate after more squeaks this classes
as a fail for this test.
Tug Test- With a rope toy, initiate some simple
play. This test is important for dogs that are going on to be mobility dog
performing tasks such a pulling open doors. Desirable reactions include: latching
onto the toy and tugging or holding onto the toy briefly before letting go.
Less desirable reactions include showing interest in the toy but not knowing
what to do and ignoring the toy.
Food Drive- Place some high reward food such as
meat between your fingers and test the dog’s interest in it. Desirable
reactions are: sniffing and working to try to get the food with its tongue,
sniffing and trying to get the food before eventually giving up. Undesirable
reactions include showing little to no interest in the food, showing no real
desire to get it from between your fingers.
Willingness to work- Get the dog’s attention
with some high reward food such as meat. Then place this food underneath a
small container whilst the dog is watching. If the dog starts sniffing at the
container and trying to get to the food underneath, this is a good sign. This
test aims to see how much the dog is willing to work for a reward. Poor results
include ignoring the container or showing no interest in getting to the food
Unusual Interaction Test- Get an assistant to
start waving their arms around whilst shouting and causing a scene. Service Dogs
have to be used to working around a variety of different people. This test aims
to assess how they cope with unusual people and situations. A good reaction
includes: curiosity, watching and wagging the tail. A bad reaction includes:
fear, signs of wanting to escape the person and growling or aggressive
Previous installment:Thanks(Thanksgiving and Bree’s Birthday)
Late November, 1950
“Bath time, little smudge!”
Bree squealed and, like a shot, went barreling toward the bathroom. Turning two years old seemed to have turned on a tap of perpetual energy from on high: energy to throw tantrums, energy to hate going to bed, energy to form VERY strong opinions about what she did and did not plan to eat, and so on, and so forth for all time.
However, she had also decided she loved baths, and by the time I arrived at the tub myself, she was already standing on the bathmat, triumphantly nude and brimming with expectation with her toys in hand. I laughed and kissed the top of her head. “One minute, you goofy girl.”
I poked my head briefly into the living room. “Do you want bath duty or bedtime duty tonight?”
“I’ll take bed, if it’s all the same to you, Sassenach,” Jamie said, looking up from the rolltop. “I’d like to get the rest of the bills paid and ready for tomorrow’s Post.”
“Fine by me,“ I said, taking the chance to stretch my back, already thinking of plopping into bed as soon as humanly possible. “Thank you for handling those, sweetheart.”
“’Course,” he said with feeling, rising and kissing my forehead. “How are ye feeling?”
“Pretty well, at the moment,” I said, pleasantly surprised, now that I thought about it. “Like death, this morning, but I haven’t vomited once since lunch!”
“Victory, indeed,” he grinned, kissing me, long and sweetly.
“MaMAAAA?” bellowed Bree, her voice bouncing ghoulishly around the bathroom walls. “Come’on do insee’pyder, please!”
“I’m being summoned,” I murmured against his lips.
“Go,” he whispered. “Heaven forbid ‘insee’pyder’ have to wait.”
“Oh,” I called when I was halfway back down the corridor, “I think the electric bill came today. It’s on the counter by the phone with the rest of today’s mail.”
“Thank you, mo ghraidh,” he called back.
Tub filled, baby inserted, bubbles abundant, I knelt beside the tub and swirled my hands in the warm water. Bree beamed up at me, ready: “GO! Insee’pyder, Mama!”
“Alright,” I said dramatically, reaching for the green plastic sandbox bucket and scooping up water as I sang: “Theeeeeeee ITS-Y-bit-sy spiiiiiider went UP the water spout ….”
I raised the bucket theatrically. “Down came the raaaaaain AND—”
The payload released on, “WASHED the spider out,” dousing Bree with warm, soapy water.
Fizzy giggles emerged through the waterfall pouring down her scrunched-up face as I sang on. “Out came the suuuun and dried up all the rain, and the ITS-Y-bit-sy spiiiiider went UP the spout—?”
“—AGAIN!!!” Bree finished, knowing the drill and LOVING it.
We had just finished washing the shampoo-spider from her hair and ANOTHER rendition was demanded, when Jamie’s voice came from the doorway. “Sassenach?”
“Yes, darling?” I said absently, reaching for the bar of soap Bree had just knocked into the water.
“What is the ‘selective service?’”
My blood froze absolutely cold. I whirled on my knees to gape at him, praying that it was a newspaper clipping in his hand, or one of his library books, or—
But it was a letter bearing the words ‘Department of Defense’ across the top. The truth was written on his face, the tightness of his voice, the rigid set of his jaw. “Tis the forced conscription for the war in the east, aye?”
“Jamie—” I staggered to my feet, praying in blind panic. Please, God, no. “Jamie—Please tell me—you haven’t been—?”
“To Mr. James Fraser,” he read,
“According to our records, you have not yet registered with the Selective Service, as is required of all permanent residents of the United States.
Please report no later than December 15th, 1950 to the enlistment station named below for registration, or risk revocation of your residency status with the Department of Immigration.
Jamie trailed off, his face a mask of control I hadn’t seen in many years. The sight terrified me to my core—his face of duty, of danger, of great burdens to be borne.
My hands were shaking as I reached for the letter, as I scanned it wildly for some salvation. “But you’re—you’re not even a citizen! They can’t just force you to go off and fight in their wars!”
“Apparently they can,” he said stiffly. “’All permanent residents,’ it says.”
“Jesus…” There was no way out. “Jesus—fucking—”
“FUN-KING!” Bree squeaked from the tub, sounding immensely pleased. Normally, that would have incited riotous laughter, then stern admonishment and promises between Jamie and I to guard our words more carefully. But we barely noticed.
My blood pounded so loudly in my ears I could barely hear myself blurting, “We could go to Canada."
He cocked his head in question. “They dinna fight wars there?”
I gave a jerking shrug. “They don’t usually start them, at least.”
“That’s the coward’s way,” he whispered, his face still stone. “I canna just run.”
“And why not?” I demanded, my voice treacherously close to both tears and shouting.
“Why can I no’ take the coward’s way?” The mask wavered, showing his scorn. “Christ, Claire, do ye no’ ken me at all?”
“And do YOU not know me?” I shouted. “Do you not have the faintest idea what it DID to me to—” It took only the cracking of my voice for the panic to overtake me completely in wracking sobs as my hands went feral. “ —to let you go to your death? For a cause you—shouldn’t even have been dragged into in the first place?? I w—” I choked. I was mere inches from his face, but I could barely see him through the tears. I wrenched a breath from my throat. “—WON’T, do it—again—do you—hearm—?”
Jamie suddenly snatched me hard against him, his voice a cracked moan of despair through his own sobs. “I know, mo chridhe…I know….”
I buried my face in his chest, and could only croak, “Jamie—”
He tried to say something, but couldn’t get a word out.
We clung to one another with every ounce of strength, swaying and weeping for a long time, until
“I’m scairt of this, Sassenach.”
His breath was hot and gasping in my hair. “God, I—dinna want any part of it…. The thought of leaving ye….the—” He let out a sob, and I could feel his tears against my temple, the resonance of his words in my chest. “—Christ, the bairns—”
He buried his face in my shoulder. “I’m so scairt, Claire.”
“What’s you scairt, Daddy?”
We turned to see Bree standing in the tub, still naked as you please, looking up, stricken.
With a small sound that broke my heart, Jamie released me and crossed to the tub. He lifted his daughter up into his arms and pressed her against his chest, not seeming to notice that his shirt was instantly soaked.
“Daddy? What’s you scairt?” she repeated.
I had to clamp my hand over my mouth.
He clutched her tighter, rocking her, focusing his entire being on love of her.
“Use-r words, Daddy.”
Despite everything, he choked out a laugh at that.
“I’m scairt,” he answered hoarsely after a moment, “of having to leave you and Mama, a chuisle.”
I came and wrapped my arms around them both, trying so very hard not to slip into panic. This—this was my home, these three people I held—That it might be ripped from—
He let out another weak, broken laugh and leaned down to kiss us both. I could feel his chest shuddering with the sobs he was suppressing.
The words were in Gaelic, breathtakingly quiet, and he repeated them over and over.
"I won’t…I won’t.”
When he drew back a long, long time later, his eyes were dry. “Now,” he said, kissing Bree and wrapping a towel around her shivering back, “let’s get ye ready for bed, wee cub. Which storybook shall we have, tonight?”
Jamie resolved never to let Claire or Brianna see his fear of this ever again.
“I’ll go tomorrow to register my name,” he said firmly to Claire as he held her in their bed that night, “but it willna come to anything, Sassenach.” There are millions of folk they’ll call up before me.”
“Dinna fash, mo nighean donn,” he crooned, kissing and soothing away her fears. “I’m staying right here—We’ll no’ be parted—I’m right here—”
But he lay awake far into the night and most nights to follow, praying with all his soul.
Dinna take me from them.
[more to come]
From the prompts:
@dlouise2016 said: This may not be appropriate for FMM but in response to your request for Jamie “firsts” & since he is only about 27-28, there was a military draft going on at the time for the Cold War & the Korean War. Since Jamie was certainly a warrior, he must have some strong feelings about war & Claire definitely would with her WWII experience
Follow this ONE SIMPLE TRICK and get abs in ONE MONTH!!!
There are some things in the fitness community that I absolutely hate. There are a of half truths and whatnot’s that go around on tumblr and other image hosting sites that are being less than honest with people that are barely starting out, and it really strikes a nerve in me when I see people purposely lying to sell their products/services, get likes/notes, etc.
It strikes a nerve in me because it sets up high expectations of yourself. It makes you feel terrible about your own progress, and makes you want to quit. “They managed to [look some way] in a month? I’ll never be able to do that. Might as well not try.”
So what can we doing to misguide you guys? Camera tricks, misleading text, the works. The above “before and after” picture? I took the “After” first and the “Before” after filling up on food and soda. I’m angled differently in the “after” to make my body look sleeker than it actually is. I can even choose an area with different lighting to make changes look even more intense. And you know what? People can do a lot of this with these methods.
I could slouch my shoulders, look miserable, stand unflexed and give off an image of someone unhappy and unhealthy. Yet two seconds later, after flexing and posing, and I make it seem like after training/using some product, I have turned my life around.
THIS is how badly I can mislead you: using 1. different lighting, 2. posing, and 3. switching the “before” and “after” pictures around.
And it can go even further:
NEVER compare yourself to some of the progress pictures you see out there, especially if they’re attached to a product or service, and the time frame is too good to be true. Fitness takes a long time to reach, and looking the part even longer.
“It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice.“
So you’ve been working out for a few weeks/months and don’t quite look the way you want to? That’s how it works. I look the way I do after 4+ years of manual labor, and 1+ years of body building&diet changes, and I’m still not where I want to be. I didn’t start looking the way I do until nearing up on the one year mark of heavy weightlifting. It takes time to get there, but eventually we get there.
Don’t let some pictures on the internet ever stop you from doing something. Don’t compare. Never, ever compare. Just keep going. I have suffered far too long comparing myself to others to let anyone else fall into the same trap.
FOREPLAY IS FUN
FOREPLAY IS GREAT
FOREPLAY WILL INDUCE INTENSIVE ORGASMS
FOREPLAY IS NOT JUST SEXUAL
FOREPLAY IS CRUCIAL
FOREPLAY INCREASES BOTH INTIMACY AND COMFORTABILITY IN BOTH PARTIES INVOLVED
FOREPLAY IS WORTH THE PATIENCE
FOREPLAY IS AWESOME.
Everyone stood in wait as Kim Seokjin walked into the room.
There were rumors flying that the CEO of the company had fallen ill and was now
going to retire or even worse that he had died. You had been working with CEO
Bang for the past couple of years and saw him as a fatherly figure in your life.
Heading the financial department, your day was spent talking to him about
various ventures the company could undergo and he had alluded to the idea of
you getting a slight promotion in the future. Now as the rumors circulated the
room, you saw that dream promotion slip through your fingers and shook your
head sadly, hoping that CEO Bang would come walking through the doors with his
happy go licky attitude. As you watched Seokjin make his way in front of the
hoards of people, he seemed to scan the crowd with a determined eye.
Kim Seokjin was the assistant to CEO Bang and one of the
hardest workers you had ever met. The two of you had only interacted on a few occasions,
but Jin was nothing but nice to you as you would stumble into CEO Bang’s
office, your files flooding throughout your hands. Kim Seokjin was a smart guy,
but was known for being a little conceded. He was handsome, and he sure as hell
knew it. Nevertheless, he did his job well and seemed to keep the company in
He looked over the heads of the crowd and made eye contact
with you before giving you a slight nod. You looked around your spot and then
pointed at your chest. He nodded quickly and gestured for you to move up to the
front of the room. You scrunched your eyebrows as you weaved your way through
the crowded room to the front with Jin.
Hello, Y/N. He
said in a kind tone to which you gave him a little nod. Uhm, I’m sorry I will be doing this in front of everyone. He
murmured and you shot him a look of confusion before he clapped his hands. You
stood there, rigidly, next to him as he smiled politely at everyone. I’ve heard the rumors about CEO Bang and his
health. He started and you felt your heart begin to pound. And I’m sorry to admit that all of these rumors
are true. You see, CEO Bang fell ill a few years back and has been working
diligently to cover it up. His treatments had recently gotten so hard on his
body that he is now seceding power of the company. The roar of whispers
burst into the room as Jin made this announcement, he nodded and held up a hand
to try and quiet everyone.
Who is going to take
over?! Is it you? Someone shouted out and Jin shook his head with a small
Well if you would let
me speak, I would answer all your concerns. He murmured, the girl who had
shouted now stood with her face as red as an apple, and then Jin gave you a
small glance. You felt your hands sweat and worried that you knew what was
about to be said. The successor that CEO
Bang has named is Y/N, she is currently the Director of Finances, but Bang has
slowly been working with her to become the CEO. He wasn’t expecting to leave
for another year or so, so this is all news to her, but no worries, myself and
the other department leaders will be working alongside her to help with this
transition. You listened to the words, but your head was spinning. You
wondered if everyone could tell that you had no idea this was coming. It felt
like every eye in the company had shifted to look at you as you tried to stand
still and not fidget uncomfortably.
You felt like everyone was silently judging you, looking you
up and down as you stood there in your pencil skirt and heels. Jin concluded the
meeting and led you out of the room and up to the executive’s floor. You had
been here many times to help CEO Bang with his budgets and work alongside him
through many projects, but you had never felt so strange going up until now.
Without CEO Bang, this entire floor just seemed empty and uninviting, it had
lost its joyful atmosphere and you could still feel the eyes and whispers as you
walked by. Various assistants and interns congregated at desks and watched you
I heard that’s his
replacement. They murmured to one another and you felt the hairs on your
next stand up straight. Jin opened the office door to the CEO and ushered you
inside. You let out a breath as you walked into the room, everything looked the
same, the pictures on the wall, the large windows, the way the desk was slightly
tilted. You looked at everything, then let yourself collapse onto one of the
chairs. Jin laughed quietly as he looked at you.
I’m sorry I had to do
that on such short notice, you were gone yesterday when CEO Bang wanted to have
a meeting with you and he had to go into emergency treatment today. You listened
Yea, it was a little …
sudden. You murmured and wiped your hands nervously on the front of your
skirt. Jin sat across from you and smiled sadly.
I know it’s a lot to
take in, but don’t worry, you have me and the guys to lean on. He replied
and you nodded, then tilted your head.
What guys? You asked.
You had only worked with CEO Bang and Jin before, so this mention of guys
seemed a bit strange.
Oh the department
heads, there are six of them and they will all be working with you every step
of the way. Jin said as you nodded. Then a small knock came from the other
side of the office door. That must be
them! He exclaimed and clapped his hands together, standing up. As Jin
opened the door, a wave of chaos seemed to ensue, a group of men walked in, all
suit clad and clamoring on about various business expenditures. They bowed
slightly to Jin and then you stood up, all of them stopped and the silence that
followed was awkward. You gave a small smile.
Hello, I’m … You
started and a guy walked in front of the guys.
Y/N. We know. He
said. His eyes were enticing, his face was like a sculpture, and you could feel
your cheeks blush as he looked you up and down. Then with a smile of his own,
he bowed a little and stood back up to look you in the eye. The name’s Park Jimin, at your service.
Note to self: always listen to your service dog god dammit.
The context behind this: I was gaming with headphones on, completely submersed in the gameplay (it wasn’t Fallout for once I was actually playing CoD.) and Sven started AGGRESSIVELY pawing me (not aggressive as in like, bad behaviour aggressive, but aggressive as in “THIS IS AN EMERGENCY” aggressive) So I pulled my headphones off and asked her what the problem was. She stared at me so I assumed maybe she just wanted attention. I gave her pets and then went back to my game.
little more than twenty seconds later, she double paws me, which usually means “you need to listen to me right now”. I’m at home. In my room. I literally have no idea what could possibly be making me anxious or in danger when I’m in my room, playing a video game.
So I say “yes good girl but it’s okay.”
Two minutes later she puts both her paws on me at the same time and gets right up in my face, staring at me.
“What is your problem?” is basically what I said to her.
exactly 15 minutes following that I had a serious panic attack that I in no ay seen coming and it fucked me up pretty good. I won’t go into detail on what it was over, but basically I felt really vulnerable space wise like I wasn’t anchored to anything and the sensory processing got REALLY BAD and I was shaking and it was HellTM. So I ended up spending 15 minutes on the floor while my dog did DPT and let me cling to her like a suction cup. Had something like that happened while I was in public, standing, it would have been BAD. (then again, I aways have a reason to listen when we’re out)
It was terrifying.
Listen to your service dogs kids. They know their shit. Even if you think there’s no reason for them to be alerting you. Listen to them because they KNOW their shit. And even if it’s a false alarm once, don’t stop listening to them. They’re there to help.
I’d like to talk a little bit about service dog behavior. Many of you have probably read my Fake Service Dogs post that I wrote last year. It currently has over 100,000 notes; many of which agreeing with my standpoint, some trying to argue otherwise, and a few who say something to the effect of “Not all service dogs will behave as well as yours. But it doesn’t mean they are fakes.” While that may be true, I found these comments in particular highly alarming.
It is our duty as service dog handlers to maintain the high reputation that legitimate service dog teams carry. This means our dogs are trained to the highest of standards. While the ADA only requires that a service dog be task trained and non-disruptive in public, that is the minimum. At an absolute MINIMUM, your dog must be able to stay within a relatively close distance to you, not potty indoors, not knock over merchandise, not jump on or sniff other people, and not show any signs of aggression towards people or other animals. I know a few of you are probably thinking, “My dog does all this. Now get off my case.” But again, that is the minimum training a dog must receive. And honestly, I’d be embarrassed to work a dog like that.
In reality, ALL service dogs (no matter the breed of dog or the tasks they perform) should be able to do the following before going into non-pet friendly places…
A service dog should remain within one foot of it’s handler at all times unless performing a task directly related to the handler’s disability. This helps prevent the dog from getting in the way of others or causing more of a traffic jam than a dog in public already causes. Nothing looks worse than a dog who is lagging behind its handler, forging ahead, or sloppily heeling two feet out from his handler’s left side. It’s unprofessional.
A service dog should be able to walk loosely on a leash, unless performing a trained momentum pull or guide task. NEVER should a service dog look like it’s pulling its handler. Even if you are using a traffic lead to keep him close, your dog should know how to heel… period! Some of you might be laughing or calling a team like this an obvious fake, but I’ve seen legitimate service dogs pulling at their leashes all too often.
A service dog should be able to completely ignore distractions. It’s not enough that a service dog doesn’t lunge towards or bark at people/dogs who pass by. Expressing anything more than a casual interest in something, or slightly flinching when surprised, is really not okay. If another dog walks by, a service dog might cock his head in the dog’s direction, but he should immediately (without correction) be able to refocus back to his handler within a second. Same thing with noisy kids, drive by petters, dropped food, etc. If your dog cannot learn to ignore distractions, he is not cut out for being a service dog. I’ve seen many responsible handlers wash out dogs who were too high strung, rowdy, fearful, or otherwise too distracting to be in a public setting. It sucks, but it’s part of being a service dog handler… nobody said it was going to be easy.
A service dog should be able to hold a long down stay in public settings. (I’d like to add that service dogs should be able to tuck underneath a table or chair while doing so, but I know some giant breeds are incapable of this. In which case, they should be able to hold their down stay besides a table or in between two chairs until asked to get up.) Call me nosy or judgmental, but it can be so annoying looking over at a service dog team where the handler keeps having to remind his/her dog to lay down every 5 minutes. It is distracting, sloppy, and unprofessional. Holding a down stay is such an important piece of public access training! Side note: a service dog should NOT be begging for food or receiving food either. Ideally, a service dog should be able to curl up under a table and go to sleep (or remain still/quiet) for however long the handler remains seated unless the dog needs to get up and perform a task.
A service dog should be able to respond quickly and eagerly to their handler’s commands no matter the situation. I’ve trained some very stubborn dogs before, but if a handler has to throw out rapid-fire commands (“Sit. Sit! Fido SIT! NO! Come on… SIT! SITTT!!!”) in order for the dog to respond to their commands, then the dog is not ready for public access. Walking around constantly throwing out words to remind your dog what he should be doing looks sloppy.
Finally, a service dog team should give an overall look of dignity and professionalism. Dogs should be clean and well kept. Nails should be trimmed, coat should be clean and shiny, they shouldn’t smell, and shouldn’t be shedding all over the place because they haven’t been brushed recently. By owning a service dog, you are representing not only yourselves as a team, but the entire service dog community.
Think about it, seeing a service dog team is not a common thing for the general public. Thus, it is important we and our canine partners give excellent first impressions.