Just a few quick questions

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Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 9:19pm PST 

I am new to this forum and am extremely excited to finally have a place to talk about my Service dog and get real answers.

i have a 4 year old Bernese Mountain Dog that has been my seizure/headache alert service dog for a year now. She is trained to alert me (nudge/paw my left leg for seizure and lick hands for headache) and also does four different tasks for me: brace, lead (lead me somewhere to sit when I have a headache), retrieve meds/water bottle/cell phone, and pull (I grab her harness and she pulls me up).

I have a few questions:

So my first question is if there are actual locations where you can have the access test taken? She has her CGC and is trained in all the access test tasks/behaviors but I didn't know if there is an actual testing facility? I have asked some of the obedience trainers and almost all of them haven't heard of such a thing. I realize this is probably something I should have done before going in public, but she is fully trained. I think it's more o a piece-of-mind thing rather than something she really needs.

My second question is if anyone has ever worked with temperature cues? Obviously this is a more personal task than most handlers but most of my headaches are triggered by overexposure to the cold. I know you can train dogs to nudge when you are doing something compulsive (like PSDs for OCD?) so does anyone know how you might train one to cue when it's too cold? Might sound dumb but having her tell me I need to go in especially when I'm talking to a friend or something and don't pay attention is super important.

And my final question is kind of a general info question. Does anyone use like business cards or fliers with info for people that just don't understand the law? I get stopped by the greeter every time I go to Walmart even though my dog is clearly marked as a service dog on her vest. Just wondering if having ADA info on hand makes any difference than just telling them?

Sorry for the long post! Any info helps smile

Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 3:36am PST 
The public access test isn't done at a special facility. Trainers can give the test at any public location. I did mine with my service dog at Walmart.

By the way, there is no "official" public access test, the way there is an official Canine Good Citizen. There are specific things that are typically included in any public access test, but different programs and trainers to the test somewhat differently.

Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 5:54pm PST 
For the Walmart thing, talk to the store manager. It's Walmart policy that the only thing the greeter can ask is if the animal is a service animal. I worked at Walmart for a while, and they told us that a person could bring in a snake and say it's a service animal and we would have to let them in. It's not really a great policy, but if he's hassling you about it, definitely talk to the manager. They're not allowed to do that.


Barked: Sun Jan 13, '13 7:47am PST 
It may be Walmart policy that greeters can only ask if an animal is a service animal, but federal law says any employee can ask if a dog is a service dog AND ask what task the dog is trained to perform. If company chooses not to follow its own policy but to follow federal law instead, they are allowed to do that.