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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Discussion Day 2

First off, let me say, "WOW!" I was checking the stats for the posts this morning and yesterdays post got almost fifty views (the exact number was fourty-eight, but I'm going to say fifty)! I don't think I've ever gotten more than twenty at one time. This leads me to ask the question; am I normally that boring!? Haha! Just kidding. Really though, please don't answer that.

Anyway, even with all the post views I only received three comments on the subject. They were three very good opinions and comments, but I'm wondering if some of you are not putting up comments because you have an opposing opinion? Like I said yesterday, no one will judge you here. In fact, if you've got an opposing view I would LOVE to hear it.

With all of that said, I think it's time to get onto today's issue of our topic. Just a reminder for those of you who are getting into this discussion a bit late, the issue we are discussing is whether or not service dog puppies in training should be allowed in high school.

Day 2 Issue: I've heard that some people believe that having a Guide Dog Puppy (or any other service dog in training) in the classroom would be far too distracting for actual learning to go on. Would having a service dog in training be a distraction in the classroom?  


  1. There are a TON of issues that go in to deciding if a puppy should be in class. I agree 1000% that a dog can be a distraction in the classroom and take away from learning. If you have a teen that cannot handle the puppy effectively. If you have a puppy that cannot settle. If you have a teacher that does not set and enforce limits (I had a teacher in high school who just turned off his hearing aids if the kids started talking. In an AP class. Seriously??). There are a lot of things that need to line up for the dog to not be a distraction!

    Even as an experienced raiser in a college setting, there were times when my dogs were a distraction. One puked in the middle of a 500 person lecture hall. Loudly. Same dog, same class had a sneezing attack another day, picked up by the prof's mic and reverberated around the room. Another had a gas issue in a discussion class. Those situations were handled with ease, but without a strong handler and professor, it could have been derailed for an entire class period.

    Or the puppy could just be having a bad day. Or the student. The kids in my group with puppies at school have to have an "escape plan" for the puppy. If the puppy is causing an issue at school, there must be a parent available to go rescue the puppy.

  2. Hey Erin. I'm one of those lurkers who doesn't post :) It's because I'm a bit of an internet privacy freak (yeah, a bit ridiculous, I know) and I haven't responded because there's no option to respond anonymously! But I created a special account for it...I figured I've loved reading your blog so I owe it to you to come out of the woodwork :) Thanks for all your work in creating it!

    The subject of dogs at school...I would need to give this some more thought and have some more time to actually write a good response, but my initial reaction is that, like Cassie said, it needs to be the right dog with the right handler in the right class, for educational purposes but also for the sake of the dog. If all of these three are appropriate, then I think it is great and highly beneficial, and teaches some very good lessons. But if any one of these three components is off, then it will be more detrimental to everybody. For example, say the class and the handler are great, but the dog just can't handle himself. Forcing a dog through that would actually be much more detrimental to the dog than holding off for a more appropriate socialization opportunity. If the handler doesn't, well, handle herself well (no pun intended!), that could reflect poorly on the guide school and service dogs in general. And if the class isn't on board with ignoring the dog when appropriate, that would not be a good situation either.

    For the record, I think the three spheres collide in many places where permission is not granted. I think permission should be granted more often than it is. Like Cassie said, there MUST be an escape plan. The dogs are like kids. Can they sit through an hour class? Sure. But will they every day? No, they are going to have off days, and the class should not have to put up with ridiculous lab puppy antics when they are trying to learn :) But overall I think it can be a positive experience for everyone if executed correctly. Those are my slightly rambling thoughts on the matter. :)

    I think this discussion idea is great!

  3. Well last year I took my first PIT Breeze to school with me everyday. She was a distraction for the first week maybe but then everyone in my classes got use to having her around. She was no longer a distraction except in the hallways where people were still figuring out that there was a dog in school but there was no learning going on in the halls so it was fine. Breeze was a great dog to take to school to be an example for GDB she was calm and didn't act scared. She strives off of the chaos in the halls. I agree with the two previous comments about that if the dog is not good out in public then you definitely should not take it to high school.
    My PIT Hazelle is one of those dogs that I don't take to high school all day because she gets scared of it and just can't last all day.She is really good in most of my classes but by the last couple she gets antsy. I also believe that if the raiser is not doing well in school and gets distracted by the dog themselves then they shouldn't bring a dog to school. You as a raiser are responsible for being a good example for PIT's in your area and for GDB or the organization you are working with. If you don't act the part then you should not be a PR.

  4. As the others have said, it is unavoidable that these dogs will cause a distraction. Whether or not it takes away from learning depends upon a variety of variables. I have been lucky in that all of my dogs have been able to come into class and go to sleep almost immediately. This is something I spend an enormous amount of time working on in the couple months I have my pups before we go to school.
    At the beginning of the school year the puppy is always a novelty. But after the first week the students realize that these puppies are actually fairly boring when they are working. I often tell people if they want to pet my dog to find me a lunch when she isn't working.
    I haven't ever had too much of a problem with my puppies being super distracting but I think the teachers in our district do a wonderful job of keeping their students on track. We also have fairly small classes for a public high school.
    I could see it being a problem in an area where there are much larger classes but truthfully, I think that by the time kids are in high school they should be responsible for keeping themselves on track.
    Sorry im rambling haha

  5. I took my first 2 pups to high school with me when I was in high school. They both handled it well and my teachers were all supportive which made all the difference. Of course the dogs are going to be a distraction for the first week or two, but really people get used to it and I've needed letters on occasion from my high school teachers about having PIT's in class and several of the letters state that the teacher forgot the dog was even there. After the initial shock of a dog in school, I don't think they are any more distracting than the other students are at times. Sure you have times like Cassie stated where dogs vomit, have gas, sneeze and so on...however, people have those times as well and it's just as distracting for another student to have those "problems" in class.

    ON the other end of the spectrum, now I am a teacher. I have pups with me, but I"m not a classroom teacher, however I go to many different classrooms daily and my pups go with me. This year I spend several hours a day in a first grade classroom with one of my students. The dog was VERY distracting at first...much more distracting to the 1st graders than it has ever been with high school kids. However, the first day I brought the dog, I talked to the kids as a class about why the dog was there, and also just let the kids ask questions. The classroom teacher and I along with the kids made some classroom rules regarding the dog and the distraction of a dog in class pretty much vanished after a week or so.


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