Mis-Guided Dogs - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Mis-Guided Dogs

Jupiter Farms, FL -

(WFLX) - At Elite K9 Academy in Jupiter Farms, practice make perfect. "We train these dogs for hours upon end to behave."

From German shepherds to labs, K9's spend weeks upon weeks honing skills and making sure behavior patterns are fixed all in an effort to wear a coveted vest.

"When the vest is on a dog, it represents not only the industry, but represents our company. When you see dogs out there acting inappropriately, it bothers me," said Nick Kutsukos.

More and more dogs are slipping into the service dog industry with little service, yet they have a patch to prove it.

If you thought it wasn't a problem consider this: Nick Kutsukos says three out 10 service dogs heading through airports, dining out with owners, or roaming in no pet condo associations are illegitimate, and the problem will likely get worse before it gets better. "They're abusing it to get their untrained dog into condos they like and to bring them into restaurants," he said. "They're not well trained."

That's how you can pick them apart. Service dogs are always well-mannered and well-behaved. But in this dog friendly society, some are taking it to the extreme -- going online to dozens of Web sites, buying a certified service dog vest, and strapping it on without ever stepping foot in a legitimate service dog academy, like Elite K9. "It just irritates you because they don't put anything into it or effort or anything. We do this as our career, this is our passion, and they're taking advantage."

"Very often, you walk up and see a dog, and they're just completely acting inappropriate when they meet another dog, and that's a dead giveaway," Kutsukos explained.

It will likely take more than just the honor system to fix this issue. But more people barking up a storm about it could create enough momentum to see it on the floor of the State Capitol.

Kutsukos concluded, "People are just doing it to do it, and it's not fair to disabled people."

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