Insufficient assistance dogs prompt people to train their own.

People are training their pets as guide and support dogs due to a statewide shortage.

Assistance dog training takes years and includes proper breeding, raising, socialization, and training.

These obstacles can delay guide dog adoption for years, despite philanthropic organizations' best efforts.

Canine behaviorists are trying to fill the void by teaching companion dogs to work. It created an uncontrolled training market.

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According to Guide Dogs director of canine affairs Tim Stafford, many dogs born and raised for the job fail the rigorous testing and criteria, making it less likely that a companion may be converted.

Without independent evaluation and registration, poorly prepared or badly trained canines can be offered as assistance or emotional support dogs, he said.

“This risks public acceptance of assistance dogs and ultimately the dogs' welfare.

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