|Barked: Sat May 12, '12 6:40pm PST |
|Harley, that is exactly what I just said regarding alerting, you just worded it in a way that (to me at least) is very confusing and misleading, I think/hope we are just having a miscommunication. Not all dogs can be trained to alert as I said, they already have to have some usually pretty specific traits/the correct temperament that the average pet does not have (especially when taking into account the handler's disability). But that doesn't mean I am just showing them what's there.
Anything you reinforce is training. Anything. If I didn't reinforce in some way my Link and Mario's attentiveness (AKA shaping), they might not have caught on, or just got very frustrated, because they CAN tell something is wrong, and are trying to do something about it. If I didn't try to shape and reinforce the behavior, it may even go extinct, as ignored behaviors often do.
Why can a diabetic alert be trained but others cannot? I suspect there is a lot of brain and body chemistry happening inside me before I have a severe panic attack, hallucination, psych episode, etc. Why wouldn't there? My illnesses can hit out of no where, no timing, similar to a seizure (in that way), and my former SD and current SDiT can tell, sometimes 5-10 minutes (pretty big window when you consider the situation) and alert me, usually lead me to a safe place, and we do work/tasks, take meds, work on breathing, grounding, etc. Many times their intervention will stop whatever was going to happen, from happening. At the very least their *trained* alert/respond behavior will lessen the effects of my illness, and the duration of time I am sick 9 times out of 10.
Please include the study you describe, I would be very interested to read it.
I have now trained/shaped/reinforced alert type behavior in five dogs now. Two of them were *unintentional* and actually one of the first steps my brain took towards even thinking about a PSD was spurred heavily by the *unintentionally* trained dogs, who were my first pet dogs, and always seemed to know when I needed their help, without prompt. Of course, four out of the five dogs I am talking about are border collies, and the other is Mario, a papillon. Both of which are known to be highly intelligent breeds, and also very naturally attentive and interested in their owner's behavior (not all of course), so maybe I just got "lucky." The third dog is my husband's ESA Spirit, I helped trained her to respond to my husband's symptoms, and then thought why not? And trained her to alert to some of my symptoms as an experiment. She is now seeming to transfer that behavior to my husband (who BTW has very different symptoms), which is *unintentional* but pretty awesome if you ask me.