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Woman tells sister-in-law that her dog isn't a service dog, 'he thinks kids mean 'playtime.'" AITA?

Woman tells sister-in-law that her dog isn't a service dog, 'he thinks kids mean 'playtime.'" AITA?


"AITA For telling my SIL that if her service dog can't ignore children he isn't a SD?"

I have two kids, 11M & 9F. My sister in law has a Service Dog who has been with her for about six months now (he is 18mo).

It was my son's birthday party last weekend, which she was at, and obviously had a whole ton of young boys running riot around my house. My daughter also had two friends over (younger siblings of the boys) as well as pur pets.

All in all there was nine children, three dogs and a cat causing chaos. At one point one of our rabbits escaped and was running around too.

My SIL's dog couldn't cope. He was so excited and wasn't paying any attention to her. My daughter and her friends said hi to him but otherwise left him alone. He was losing his sh$t the whole time and my SIL had to leave.

My son was a little upset but overall didn't mind, just asked that she could come over for a mini birthday. Yesterday was that "mini birthday." It was much quieter, just the family, and the dog was still losing it. He was jumping around and she wasn't able to control him. She had a flare up which he ignored.

She got quite frustrated and asked my children to leave the room. They did and he finally calmed down. They came back in and ge got excited again. The kids weren't comfortable so they went to play and we had a conversation.

I basically said if she can't control him I don't want him in my house. She replied that he's a service dog and goes everywhere with her, so I'd essentially be banning her.

I said that he was a sh$t service dog as he'd ignored her flare up and wouldn't listen. She then blamed my kids, saying my daughter had got him excited last time and now he thinks that kids mean "playtime."

I told her that if her service dog can't ignore children while working he's not really a service dog. She got upset and left, saying she was uncomfortable with me. Later on my husband pulled me aside and asked me to apologize because I'd hurt her feelings.

I said I didn't think an apology would be worth it because I'm not sorry - I meant what I said. He told me he understood but that it's a witchy move to not even try to apologize.

She then texted me and said that he had a "situation" with a child when he was in training, but she is paying out money to get him retrained. I don't know what the situation is but I do feel bad.

I think she was trying to use my kids to socialize him and it hasn't worked and I feel much worse. I haven't yet responded, because I do still somewhat stand by what I said, but I also feek awful about making her feel so insecure. AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Artistic_Tough5005 said:

NTA your are absolutely right it’s not a service dog. They are extensively trained and extremely expensive. It sounds like she got a dog and someone train it and is calling it a service dog. 18m old sounds kinda young also.

FitOrFat-1999 said:

If her dog is so freaked out around kids that he ignores her flare-ups and her, he needs a LOT more training and frankly to stay away from kids for a while. Dog IS a lousy service dog rn - he's not doing his job at all. 18 months old is very young to be a service dog too - barely out of puppyhood. What breed is he? My husband had 2 Labrador guide dogs and they are not ready til at least 2 years old. NTA.

AllandarosSunsong said:

So was this animal sourced from an accredited kennel with a certification in training service animals? Or was this a puppy she just took to obedience school and figured "good enough?" If the former, I'd want a refund.

If the latter, well that's on her. Either way, she is aware the dog has issues with stimulation. How the absolute hell did she think a child's birthday party was a good place to take it? NTA. You just called it like you saw it.

SheiB123 said:

NTA. There is a problem with the dog. A properly trained service dog shouldn't react like that. If the kids upset the dog, the dog should be retrained or released from its responsibilities.

teatimecookie said:

NTA, that’s not a service dog. It’s a pet, and a poorly trained one at that.

Maximum-Ear1745 said:

NTA. Her service dog is not sufficiently trained to support her. It’s unreasonable to expect you to make concessions in your own house due to this.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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