A recent post on the perfect dog got me thinking.. many people would consider an assistance dog to be pretty perfect, they are trained to an high degree, to be very obedient and very docile when working in public.. but there seems to be a lot ..especially recently ..of attacks on assistance dogs. At first I put it down to owners been blind as more often than not it was a guide dog and of course the owner can't see the danger of a reactive dog coming, but recently it's happened to several other service dogs. My friends hearing dog has been attacked twice, totally unprovoked and it makes me wonder if the dogs are so over trained they lose something in their body language to other dogs? I've trained my own to help me around the house but never stopped them sticking up for themselves in public, if they didn't like another dog near them they were allowed to warn them and respond back and chase them off if necessary. Today we were all in field..my elderly dog Inca (12yo) and BC pup JJ (11 mo). This overweight lab came charging over to play.. JJ was happy to play so I didn't mind, then the lab kept trying jump on Inca....I turned scooter round to get between them but JJ was way ahead of me..lol! .he charged inbetween them running circles round the fat lab and getting him to chase him, when lab turned back to Inca (prob figured she was easier to catch!) JJ charged back and did same again..eventually owner came and grabbed his dogs collar saying 'you've no chance of catching him lad!" (meaning JJ) :lol: However, if JJ was a 'proper' qualified assistance dog that wouldn't be allowed and I was told by staff member from Canine Partners that they don't train Border Collies as they don't make suitable assistance dogs (they can't train out their herding instincts for working in public). Yet he works brilliantly for me around the house and successfully intercepted this other dog injuring my older dog (from just been too over boisterous, as she has arthritis)...using his natural ability and intelligence...without any fights or anyone getting injured ..(OK the lab only came over to play) ..but my point is..are assistance dogs over trained to be too passive to their detriment..making them a target for other dogs? ..surely if the dog was allowed to stand up for itself..with just a growl .. another dog might think twice and back off? Many of the dogs I know of friends are beautiful dogs, highly trained etc but so placid and docile they wouldn't stand a chance against a more aggressive or boisterous dog, as they don't seem to know what to do? Do you think all the training changes their body language and their relationship with other dogs?