This article isn’t perfect, but the journalist has made a very good effort at increasing public awareness of owner-trained service dogs.
As everyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows, I am raising and training Rogue to be my guide dog. She is the first guide I have ever trained myself, but she is my fourth guide dog.
Some people have the option of hiring a professional trainer or to attend weekly classes, but some do not. I do not attend classes or have a professional trainer to help me with Rogue’s training, but with the help of friends I have made online, who have trained several of their own guides, I have been able to prepare Rogue to take over from Cessna.
I hope more journalists take the time to interview other owner-trainers, so that the public will understand that just because a service dog isn’t from a program doesn’t mean it is a ‘fake’.