Save the Date! Dock Diving Competition

Save the Date! This fall we are proud to announce our first ever dock diving competition. We have a 28′ pool with a ramp for plenty of momentum. Please join us on Sunday, November 2nd, from 1:00-3:00pm. In preparation for this event, we will be offering dock diving lessons ($18 for members, $30 for non-members*) every Sunday in October at 1:00pm. Please contact us no later than the previous Friday at 5:00pm using the contact form. Hope to see you there!

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The Billion Dollar Fraud In The Therapy/Service Dog Industry… and it’s not what you think!

In the last year, The Dog Knowledge and our non-profit subsidiary The Dog Knowledge Service Dog Foundation have been contacted by local newspapers, magazines, reporters, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Green Beret Foundation and in December, 2013 NBC’s America Now filmed at our facility for over 5 hours.  The segment aired on Tuesday, February 25th at 9:00am, and is available online here. Recently there have been stories written about the fact that you can buy an “online service vest” for your dog and take your dog into public places posing your dog as a “service dog.” As trainers of service dogs, we had to laugh at this discovery — this practice has been known to us for years and years! The reasons are many that this practice needs regulation. Reasons such as: Business owners are afraid to question even the most obvious “fake” service dogs for fear of being sued. These “fake” service dogs have been known to bite people as often they are untrained. These “fake” service dogs have been known to visit restaurants, department stores, etc. and have been seen urine marking items or having a potty accident. Owners of the “fake” service dogs are well versed in the law and know that business owners have their hands tied to complain about even disruptive behavior from a service animal. While this story may have people aghast at the people taking advantage of the hard fought laws that the Americans with Disabilities have worked to gain over the years, we as service dog trainers feel that there is a far deeper, far more sinister, far more heinous fraud that is being committed in the name of the Service Dog/Therapy Dog or Assistance Dog industry. That fraud is regarding the dog trainers who are preying on people with disabilities and raking in billions of dollars from the unknowing seeking a service dog as well as from donors thinking they are giving to a good cause.  These trainers and agencies promise to train a dog for a variety of disabilities.  We recently received a phone call from a desperate father of an 11 year old child with severe autism who has never spoken.  The father attended a forum for families who are dealing with autism. Present were a number of vendors including a noted “shock collar trainer” who promised the families of autistic children that he would sell them a...
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The Dog Knowledge featured on America Now!

Despite appearances, not all service dogs are legit. America Now reached out The Dog Knowledge to learn more about “fake” service dogs. Check out the video that aired this morning! Read the transcript below:   About 50 million people live with at least one disability, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports most of us will need one at some point in our life. Service dogs come in all shapes, sizes and breeds. They help the disabled live an independent life. Most of us have seen one wearing a special vest, collar or harness. What you may not realize is that some of these dogs are actually wearing a bogus badge and are not service dogs at all. Fake service dogs are an unfortunate trend that continues to rise, and they’re not doing a service to those who really need them because the fake ones create safety, health and legal problems for businesses and communities. Greater awareness will help stop the trend and here’s how you can spot one. Trained to signal, Brio helps her handler spot the smallest trace of peanut to prevent an emergency. Scarlett can save the life of her diabetic human by scent detection of high and low blood sugar. Ivy is trained to do the everyday tasks that someone with a mobility disability couldn‘t do alone. Improving someone’s livelihood or saving their life is every service dog’s job. But it’s one easily impersonated by household pets because of unethical owners trying to reap special privileges by duping the public. “I’ve seen a service pig, I’ve seen a service cat, I’ve actually seen a service parrot,” said Debbie Lange who is with The Dog Knowledge, a members only fitness, training and social club for dogs. Chances are, you’ve seen a fake service animal, too. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) considers the use of a fake service dog a federal crime and in some states the offense is punishable with fines. Even though it may be regarded as a crime, it’s hard to enforce because a phony dog, or any other animal, is hard to detect. “Technically, they don’t even need to wear a vest,” Lange pointed out. Many fake service dogs wear fake vests which appear legitimate because it’s easy to purchase authentic-looking insignia collars, badges, identification cards and jackets online. They can be put on nearly any household pet to help...
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Russell, meet Truman: Your New Companion and Service Dog!

This past year The Dog Knowledge located in Charlotte, NC has received more and more phone calls to train service dogs and therapy dogs and much of our energy has gone toward helping out families that desperately need a service dog but can’t afford the high price or the lengthy wait to obtain one of these amazing dogs. We have a waiting list for individuals needing a service dog due to the fact that we first must find the right kind of dog with the right kind of temperament before we even begin training.  Once we find a young dog with potential, it can take months for training obedience as well as the skills that are needed to work with the disabled. Lately, we have been contacted by the commanding officers for several soldiers and veterans who are in need of service dogs.  We feel these brave young men deserve to be put at the top of The Dog Knowledge waiting list for all they have done and sacrificed to keep our country safe.  Shown here is Russell who is being introduced to Truman, his active service dog.  Russell’s deployment in Afghanistan was not a pleasant job.  Russell was in charge of dealing with mortuary remains and over time this gruesome job took its toll on Russell.  Russell is suffering from PTSD and periodically goes into states of depression over all that he experienced and saw while in Afghanistan. The Dog Knowledge was contacted by Russell’s Recovery Care Coordinator who asked us if we could help out.  “Gladly!” we told him.  The dog trainers at The Dog Knowledge volunteered their service dog training skills and donated their time and energy to train one year old Truman to be a wonderful service dog with excellent obedience.  Truman was also trained to “interrupt” Russell with a nudge of his nose anytime Russell exhibited moodiness, etc.  Also in the event that Russell had a panic attack, Truman has been trained to press a life alert button to call 911. Word spreads quickly and we received several additional calls from Fort Bragg.  Last week, The Dog Knowledge trainers met with another soldier, Billy who was one of the brave Green Berets stationed in Afghanistan who came home as an amputee.  Billy has requested a service dog  to     assist him in a variety of mobility functions when Billy is not wearing his prosthesis. Good...
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The Monster in the Closet

The Dog Knowledge has taken a bit of a break from blogging — we’ve got lots of dogs to train! But now we return to you with a chilling tale… Have you ever tried to think like your dog?  Go ahead, put yourself in his place for a moment and think about: THE MONSTER IN THE CLOSET Yes, monster!  At least once a week the dreaded monster that lives in the closet of every American household wakes up from a long sleep and roars into action.  The dreaded monster huffs and puffs, seemingly screaming its way through every room in the house, sucking up any creature in its way. After roaring through the entire house scaring the dog, the cat and every impressionable being around, the monster finally makes its way back to the closet and goes back to a peaceful sleep.  But your dog knows that the monster isn’t gone.  He’s only asleep, resting up, preparing for another attack, another day… So now, if you put yourself in your dog’s place, you can begin to understand why your dog is afraid of something as innocuous as the vacuum cleaner. And added to your poor dog’s fear of The Monster In The Closet, chances are, when he was a puppy, the first time you brought the vacuum cleaner out and watched him bark and possibly attack, the entire family thought this harmless scene was so cute that they filmed it and put it on YouTube.  The dog trainers at The Dog Knowledge, Charlotte’s premier dog training center, recently pulled up assorted YouTube videos of puppies being confronted with the vacuum cleaner. There were dozens of clips showing Mom or Dad purposely teasing the dog by pushing the vacuum back and forth as the puppy jumped and barked and everyone had a great laugh at the puppy’s expense. But puppies grow up to be young dogs and after a while the family tires of the young dog attacking the vacuum.  So when it comes time for dog training, they complain that the dog is afraid of the vacuum and couldn’t a trainer teach the dog to ignore this necessary family appliance?  And often, this fear of the vacuum is transferred over to other appliances such as blenders, toasters, garbage disposals or anything else that roars into action. The dog trainers at The Dog Knowledge use the vacuum cleaner “fix” as...
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