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  #31  
Old 06-15-2010, 10:36 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Oh, and Sael...licking and nudging and kisses and stuff can absolutely be a task. If it's done on command, and it prevents you go from going into or returns you from a dissociative state, keeps you from fainting, etc., how is it not a task? It's not different than bringing medication or doing anything else that would prevent an episode.
A task is a behavior that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks that mitigate a disability. Just because a natural behavior such as licking is put on stimulus control doesn't mean it's a task.

I'm in no mental state to explain it all right now, but I really, really encourage you to go to that link I gave you and ask questions. Trust me, we don't bite, and everyone is only there to help each other

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What about dogs that do things like lie across their owners body or chest to keep them from going into a state like that?
Nope. I've had someone tell me that the only exception to deep pressure being a task is for those on the autism spectrum, and even than I don't really count it as a task. Useful, helpful? Of course. But not a task. Gavroche will lay on me too, but that doesn't make him a service dog.
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  #32  
Old 06-15-2010, 11:16 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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NY State SD laws: New York Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

They say that a "qualified trainer" has public access rights with an SDiT. You'll have to do some digging to see what exactly a qualified trainer is.

In Kansas, they specifically state that the trainer has to be from a recognized service dog program.
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  #33  
Old 06-16-2010, 02:50 AM
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Now, Im no expert, but here is my opinion. I know Sae has hers, but here is mine.

Personally, I think a service dog is just an exceptionally trained dog that helps a person with a disability/condition somehow.
Now, if that includes licking/nudging on command, then so be it.. whatever it takes to help that person.

do all dogs lick? Ya. well, most of them do. but most dogs don't have the training it takes to be a service dog, to go into public places, to not freak out at different sounds, smells, people etc.., to stay at their persons side. that kind of thing

I don't think any dog that licks can be a service dog, but a dog that is extremely well behaved and can handle staying calm and well mannered in public while still recognizing their owners signs of distress and doing calming commands like licking and nudging.. Yea, I think that certainly is a service dog.

I know there are people who take untrained dogs into stores or whatever and say they are service dogs because they lick them or whatever..well, those aren't service dogs, because they don't have the training to be there. what they are doing is just normal dog behavior and usually they tend to be freaking out at the new environment and barking and going mad.

I do think there is a difference between that and a trained dog that knows calming ques and commands like licking.

and i really don't think some forum should decide what is/isn't a service dog to people.

If licking and nudging is what a person needs.. then, I think thats what a service dog should know how to do.
and as long as that dog is well socialized, behaved, and well mannered in public than I certainly see no harm to the 'service dog world' by them being in public, in my eyes, they are just a different kind of service dog, providing a different kind of service.

There was a time when only seeing eye dogs were considered service dogs, and now look at all the accepted kinds we have! from PSDs, to seizure dogs, to hearing dogs, etc.. so I think its important to keep an open mind for ALL the ways these special dogs can help people.

I have a cousin with autism and some other problems that affect his mobility and *gasp* he has a trained service dog from an org, and many people don't agree with it, which im sure nearly everyone on that forum won't (because of his age and other reasons). all I know is that his life is 1000% better because of his dog, and thats what matters. that right there is what makes his dog a service dog

again, just my 2 cents.
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  #34  
Old 06-16-2010, 03:18 AM
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In Georgia the laws are pretty restrictive on SDs and SDiTs. They also require SDiTs be with someone from a recognized guid dog organization, and the state law only recognizes Guide and Hearing dogs. However, Federal Law trumps state law, so that when the dog IS a SD and not a SDiT they are allowed.
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  #35  
Old 06-16-2010, 03:34 AM
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Fran, the "forum" isn't deciding what her dog needs to do for her, just like they can't decide what mine needs to do for me. Something that a dog does on its own isn't nessecarily going to hold up as a trained "task" should something happen and you have to go to court and prove you need a SD. Accepted tasks are something the dog would not naturally do to mitigate distress on its handlers part. For example, Enzo wouldn't naturally come and tell me at a specific time that I need to go to bed. I have to train her to do that. Otherwise she would just chill around the house with me.

Also, she wouldn't interrupt a "bad" pattern of behavior naturally. She'll be trained to interrupt though, and that is something that is demonstrable in court.

Its late and I'm really tired though, so I'm probably making zero sense.
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  #36  
Old 06-16-2010, 03:55 AM
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Im up early too lol now that I re-read the posts with coffee in my system, they are making more sense

the point I was trying to make was.. I think that licking/nudging can be tasks. they aren't always obviously, romeo will lick my hands after I eat peanut butter lol that certainly isn't a task, its natural.

but lets say I taught Romeo to lick my hands and face when I fainted to wake me up, or to nudge my hand when the phone rings.. I do think that would count as a task. they serve a purpose and it isn't natural, its something I would have to TEACH him to do.

Now, I faint sometimes. and Romeo will lick my hands and bark. its natural for him. but I've had dogs that just would stand there and look at me... soo, even if its something that YOUR dog happens to do naturally, its something that would have to be TAUGHT to another dog. I think if both dogs do it, wether they were taught or its natural for them, it counts as a task. the only difference is the first dog just happens to do it without anyone teaching it to them.

Like the dogs that detect seizures. some dogs just DO IT, without being taught how to. but I think thats still a very important task!
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  #37  
Old 06-16-2010, 08:36 AM
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There actually has been a lot of controversy lately as to whether or not alerting is a task by itself, since it can't be taught or demonstrated on command. For people who have alert dogs it's recommended that they teach additional tasks for support during and after whatever kind of episode they are alerting to.

And Sael wasn't talking about her idea of the definitions of service dog. It's not just a well behaved dog. The legal definition is a dog that has been trained to do specific tasks that mitigate the handler's disability. If they can't demonstrate specific tasks that do that, then they aren't a service dog. Honestly, the law doesn't say anything about how much obedience training or how the dog should behave in public other than it can't pose a danger to the health and safety of the public.

There is a reason we have different legal definitions and rights for different animals. The nudging/licking by itself is a function of an ESA, who have no access rights. If you train your SD to do those things or it does them naturally then it's an awesome bonus in addition to their core tasks.
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  #38  
Old 06-16-2010, 09:26 AM
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Okay, so if a task is a specific task that mitigates a handler's disability:

When I go into a dissociative state, I can't move. I totally freeze up. I can't go through doors, because I'm afraid that there will be nothing on the other side.

If a dog is specifically licking and nudging (let's call it tactile stimulation) and it mitigates my disability to move or go through doors, isn't that a task?
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  #39  
Old 06-16-2010, 01:25 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Personally, I think a service dog is just an exceptionally trained dog that helps a person with a disability/condition somehow.
Now, if that includes licking/nudging on command, then so be it.. whatever it takes to help that person.
It's not a matter of personal opinion. It's a matter of a LEGAL DEFINITION.

Alerts, true alerts, are not a task. They are natural, and not specifically trainer. So they're not a task. Therefore a dog that only alerts to seizures is not a service dog. If that dog does seizure RESPONSE, then that is a task, just as Romy said.


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When I go into a dissociative state, I can't move. I totally freeze up. I can't go through doors, because I'm afraid that there will be nothing on the other side.

If a dog is specifically licking and nudging (let's call it tactile stimulation) and it mitigates my disability to move or go through doors, isn't that a task?
How practical or realistic is it that if a dog licks your hand you'll suddenly be able to walk through a door? Wouldn't a batter task be to train the dog to lead you through a door, or to find a safe place for you to recover?



Just so we're clear, I personally would not have a problem with ESAs being allowed in public as long as they're trained for public access like a service dog is. However, I didn't write the law, and so they are not allowed in public (unless individual states allow it). Since the law requires a dog to be task trained, then yeah, I would insist that every service dog is task trained.
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  #40  
Old 06-16-2010, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
How practical or realistic is it that if a dog licks your hand you'll suddenly be able to walk through a door? Wouldn't a batter task be to train the dog to lead you through a door, or to find a safe place for you to recover?
Pretty practical and realistic. If the dog was going to lead me through the door, I probably would not follow it. It would not make me think any more than I already think that there would be anything on the other side.

Tactile stimulation, feeling textures, and physical stimulation (being shaken or rubbed or hugged tightly) bring me back from thinking that I am not on the same plane of existence as the rest of the world or thinking nothing is real.

Recovering in a safe place could take hours. If a dog was licking, nudging, pawing, etc. at me, I would come out of it a lot faster. Kind of the same as fainting. Even if I do it for only a couple of seconds (I've never done it for more than 2 minutes, as far as I know) it would probably wake me up right away to have a dog stimulating me.
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