DanBar Ranch
in loving memory of Dan and Barbara Jessup
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DanBar Dogs As "Service" Dogs

Please read this to understand why I do not place my dogs as "service" dogs. I feel it is the breeder's responsibility to place their dogs in an environment where they will be most appropriate. 

The use of dogs as "service" animals has become a "fad" and is so out of control that Washington state passed a law as of January 1, 2019 to try and put a stop to the widespread  abuse. First came guide dogs for the blind, then dogs to help the hearing impaired.  Slowly, people began to know what most astute pet owners had always known - dogs are very intuitive and useful!

After World War II, the Korean and Vietnam war, men came home from battle and found solace and healing in time spent with their faithful hunting and pet dogs. Today, there is an awakening to this quiet healing that dogs have always had a part in.  In particular, I am pleased to see how having a dog opens up social interaction for youth with disabilities. There are an amazing array of organizations which supply "service" dogs to returning service personnel and those with true need of an animal assistant.  Please note: according to WA state law, "emotional support" dogs are not considered "service animals". 

But along with this very real increase in the use of dogs to help people with physical disabilities, there has been a very unfortunate increase in fake "service" dogs by the public at large. 

Most of the people who falsely claim their dogs are "service" animals do so because they simply want to be able to take their dogs with them into public places.  Or, they want reduced license fees. In some cases they like the attention it brings to them; they want to feel that their dog is special.  Whatever reason, far too often the dogs are poorly or not trained at all and have an inappropriate temperament to be in public. This causes no end of problems for those who have legitimate service dogs.

True service dogs need to have a VERY specific temperament. This is why guide dog agencies around the world breed their own dogs - they do not accept rescue dogs. (Read more here).  In most cases the dogs must be able to endure hours sitting quietly under a desk while the owner works, and must be able to thrive without daily hard exercise so necessary to most working breeds. They must have NO reaction to humans approaching and touching their owners, no matter what the circumstance. They must be completely docile and submissive with other people and animals, never rising to a challenge by barking, growling or biting.

The Doberman was developed for a very specific job; police and military service as well as household guardian.  Foundation dogs were selected for their sharp temperament, their nervous energy and their active, agile bodies. Everything about a Doberman screams ACTION!

A few Dobermans have, historically, served as guide dogs. These were "one off" dogs which did not have typical Doberman temperament.  Today, some breeders DO breed Dobermans with a generic "deadhead" temperament; dogs that won't accept a challenge or interfere if their owner is threatened.  But, in general, if a Doberman has DOBERMAN temperament, it is not a good choice as a true service dog. 

At DanBar Ranch, I strive to produce Dobermans in line with the breed's true heritage.  My dogs are certainly friendly, and not in the least bit "overly" aggressive, but they DO have true Doberman traits; they are proud, dominant, watchful, active.  These are NOT traits desired in a guide/service dog!  For this reason I do not sell or donate  my Dobermans as "service" dogs. I do donate them for law enforcement. 

Cairn terriers are true terriers. Busy, proud, active, interactive, every ready to chase moving objects and accept challenges from other dogs. It is not realistic to expect them to lie around for hours and to ignore other animals and people! They make PERFECT companions, but as dogs which meet the requirements of a "real service" dog, I think there are better choices. Bostons, too, are the very best of companions, and are, of course, "emotional support" animals by their very nature; but again, my dogs are ACTIVE, happy, silly, and NOT possessed of the quiet, non-reactive temperament necessary for a real service dog. 

Again, all my dogs make fantastic "emotional support" animals - as do all dogs. As a breeder, my goals are to produce dogs with correct, happy, active temperament for their breeds. I admire those who breed and produce true service dogs, it is simply not my goal.  Here at DanBar, I get the opportunity to watch my dogs running free on the 20 acres, and see exactly how active they are during a 24 hour period. They play, run, dig and chase each other for hours on end. For this reason I insist on a fenced yard for my pups to enjoy, and feel that the controlled and less active life of a true service dog is not appropriate for my particular dogs.