What is a working dog?

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Postby mnp13 » June 12th, 2006, 9:56 pm

Chris Fraize wrote:Didn't we just have this conversation in another thread?

A service dog is a dog that has a civil service or practical job. But a dog doing anything structured is a working dog.

I swear we had this conversation just a few months ago!

Safe training,
Chris Fraize


well, now we're having it again. :neener:

(did we really?)
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Postby Pitcrew » June 12th, 2006, 11:47 pm

SKoth wrote:So I guess it all depends on how we define "work" then.

For the sake of this discussion The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines work as:
1 : activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something: a : sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result b : the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood c : a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity


Sarah


According to this definition above. I think not only does therapy qualify as work (c), so do the events I typically consider performance or sports (1, a). The work we define because they are JOBS would be (b). Would they not?

I have done therapy too. Although I understand your argument Michelle you have to admit that there are (some) dogs who do therapy who provide this service without any particular physical or mental effort or training to provide this type of service.
My friends Newf provides the same service to his pillow at home that he provides the patients he visits, yet the patients are no doubt better for it. If we stuffed him he would provide the same service (usually you can barely tell he is awake)... is this work?
By definition, yes.
So then are sports... since they are"'exerting strength or faculties to perform something, overcome or achieve a result". The result of the desired task. The dog is working for US. Isnt what sports my dogs play for me at LEAST as important as what they provide to a stranger in therapy? I think so. My dogs each assist me to teach my obedience students. Isnt that work? Or do they have to understand or complete a specific task.
Was the Newf?
Am I working by sitting in the sun, because I supply the grass beneath me with shade?
Yet we deny the intention and work a dog puts in for us by the training that is put into performance events because it doesnt provide a service?
Human athletes may disagree. Arent sports also professions... work?

I am not disagreeing with anyone here... this is a good thread :clap: ... just making an argument.
"Pedigree indicates what the animal should be;
Conformation indicates what the animal appears to be;
But, Performance indicates what the animal actually is."
- author unknown
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Postby dogcrazyjen » June 13th, 2006, 9:51 am

I agree Lisa.

Quite frankly, I have no problem labeling a therapy dog working, but to then deny flyball, agility, weight pull, etc are NOT working makes no sense, when those that are 'not working' do far more work than those that are working.

I actually like Chris's version best. Service dog is a good label for a therapy dog. It is providing a service. A working dog is one who works- who trains, exerts effort, and completes tasks. Since a dog does not bring home an actual paycheck, then working in sports, even with no direct appliacation, is in essence the same as working at a job. The work is valuable to the owner.

I know it seems I am switching gears here, and in a way I am. Before I was trying to show the flaw in one definition, and here I am trying to support one.


Michelle, I am not dismissing your dog's effect on people. I also do therapy, and I see the good it does for those residents who love dogs. I am simply trying to find the definition which is consistant and makes logical sense. I think service dog is a respectable term for therapy dogs.
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Postby mnp13 » June 13th, 2006, 10:06 am

I think sports are sports. You can work hard at sports, you can even make money at sports (there are cash prizes at some weight pulls), you train hard at sports... but they are sports.

Even pro sports for humans are sports... that get stupidly high paychecks, but they are still just a game.

I'll agree that therapy could be considered "only" a service instead of "work", but I also think many service dogs are working dogs.
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Postby call2arms » June 13th, 2006, 3:40 pm

There's the EXACT same conversation going on on PBF right now... lol
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Postby dogcrazyjen » June 13th, 2006, 4:53 pm

Even pro sports for humans are sports... that get stupidly high paychecks, but they are still just a game.


Not to the players, coaches, owners, and crew they are not, they are jobs. Anything you have to do is a job. Once those players are under cntract and are getting paid for manditory performance, they are working. It is a game to the fans, it is a job to the participants.

So if my dogs are required to do tasks, for the dog it is a job, it is working.

If I have a job doing something I also happen to love doing, it is still a job.
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