I know that there is generally a lot of confusion when it comes to laws and regulations regarding Service Dogs, but I would expect the man who is "supposed" to be America's most popular (ugh) dog personality to know better than this.
There was recently an announcement posted on Cesar Millan's home page that his Pit Bull, Junior, had been certified as a Service Dog. The page was later taken down, probably because Cesar realized how asinine it was, but here it is, courtesy of Google Cache (click to enlarge):
There are so many problems here.
For once, this US Service Dog Registry thing seems to be nothing more than a listing service. I can even register Marge as a Service Dog with them if I'd like to - and God knows, she is not exactly Service Dog material, nor do I need a Service Dog. (Someone just successfully registered their deceased dog to prove the problem with this web site.) And, for the low price of $50, I can obtain some sort of certificate stating it formally. They did not assess Cesar's dog in any way. Surely, the oh-so-great Dog Whisperer can do better than this.
Next, Cesar does not mention anywhere on this page that Service Dogs must be trained to perform some kind of activity to aid their disabled handler in order to truly be Service Dogs. They may aid their handler as a seeing eye dog, hearing ear dog, mobility dog, or may retrieve things, alert their handlers to oncoming medical issues (such as seizures, panic attacks), among many other behaviors. But they must do SOMETHING.
"A Service Dog is defined in the Americans With Disabilities Act as "any guide dog,Whether or not Cesar is disabled is none of my business, but he should NOT be giving people the wrong idea by telling them that they can go out and get their dog certified so that it can accompany them in public places. This is extremely dangerous for true Service Dog handlers, who already have to battle with "fakers" bringing misbehaved pet dogs in to public establishments unlawfully.
signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the
benefit of an individual with a disability." (servicedogssavelives.org)
I'd like to hear the thoughts of those who have Service Dogs or are more familiar with the laws. I am glad that this unimpressive page was taken down, but I am upset that it was posted in the first place because, to me, it shows a true lack of understanding on Cesar's part as to what a Service Dog really is. Not cool at all. Really, it just adds more fuel to the fire of my dislike for this commercialized, unscientific, and overly negative "dog psychology" empire.