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Thread: Service Dog Quesion

  1. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by heartdog View Post
    I beg to differ. Whoever posted about how little effort and pressure it takes to pull is absolutely right. My German Shepherd LOVED to pull my chair, we went "zoom-zoom". Rarely did I have him pull up hills, except when younger on short ramps perhaps, and then I'd help. But on flat surfaces, especially with a very lightweight chair (and I'm not that heavy), it takes so little effort that he would hold his leash or a flexi strap line in his mouth while doing it. He could go miles and miles and never did I have issues with his pads. Plus, just because a dog is a German Shepherd, does NOT mean they have hip issues !! I get tired of hearing that from the public. Like it's a given. There's American lines, and German show and working lines. The working lines in particular are structurally amazing, and rarely have issues.
    My dog and I were on the news about this once actually. He recently passed from cancer, just going on 3 months ago now I'm still deeply distraught, as he was my heart dog, and is my soul mate. But, I am getting a new GSD puppy come January, and he's actually being born any minute now. So I get to start all over again.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjfzE...9&feature=plcp

    great and informative post. My GSD has NO hip issues and I know this...as he was x-rayed upon adoption and he is 3-5 years old.

    So sorry about your loss, and so happy to hear you have the opportunity to start again. Wonderful news!
    "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

  2. #92
    We all have our opinions. I have had dogs all my life, and they will do anything for you, just because they are happy and willing to do it does not mean it is good for them. Having a dog help you up a ramp is one thing, having him pull you for miles means get a powered chair (in my opinion).

    I am sorry you lost your dog, I lost my mastiff almost a year ago now and it still depresses me.

    Quote Originally Posted by heartdog View Post
    I beg to differ. Whoever posted about how little effort and pressure it takes to pull is absolutely right. My German Shepherd LOVED to pull my chair, we went "zoom-zoom". Rarely did I have him pull up hills, except when younger on short ramps perhaps, and then I'd help. But on flat surfaces, especially with a very lightweight chair (and I'm not that heavy), it takes so little effort that he would hold his leash or a flexi strap line in his mouth while doing it. He could go miles and miles and never did I have issues with his pads. Plus, just because a dog is a German Shepherd, does NOT mean they have hip issues !! I get tired of hearing that from the public. Like it's a given. There's American lines, and German show and working lines. The working lines in particular are structurally amazing, and rarely have issues.
    My dog and I were on the news about this once actually. He recently passed from cancer, just going on 3 months ago now I'm still deeply distraught, as he was my heart dog, and is my soul mate. But, I am getting a new GSD puppy come January, and he's actually being born any minute now. So I get to start all over again.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjfzE...9&feature=plcp

  3. #93
    Of course that doesn't mean it's good for them if they're happy to do something. Hell, leaping for a ball and frisbee has it's hazards. Doing dog sports has it's hazards and potential for injury. But if you can use a pinkie to hold a leash while you're moving, the dog is not using very much more effort than normal trotting with nothing in tow. You have momentum. If my dog could do this while holding the leash in his mouth, which would be the most likely to cause neck strain, and it didn't, then I'd say it's safe to say it was fine to do. Even Guide dogs walk with some tension with the harness. It's the same thing, only it's with trotting or galloping. I don't need a power chair (though they come in handy), this was something my dog LOVED to do. He rarely walked with a completely loose leash. A 90 lb dog with a 18 lb wheelchair is so little effort it's ridiculous

  4. #94
    I was making a general statement, of course there are exceptions. I am sure my 220 pound mastiff could have easily pulled me around as well. In general I simply do not agree with service dogs being used to pull people around in chairs. Dogs aren't donkeys or horses. And yes I find the iditarod appalling and think it is a display of animal cruelty.


    Quote Originally Posted by heartdog View Post
    Of course that doesn't mean it's good for them if they're happy to do something. Hell, leaping for a ball and frisbee has it's hazards. Doing dog sports has it's hazards and potential for injury. But if you can use a pinkie to hold a leash while you're moving, the dog is not using very much more effort than normal trotting with nothing in tow. You have momentum. If my dog could do this while holding the leash in his mouth, which would be the most likely to cause neck strain, and it didn't, then I'd say it's safe to say it was fine to do. Even Guide dogs walk with some tension with the harness. It's the same thing, only it's with trotting or galloping. I don't need a power chair (though they come in handy), this was something my dog LOVED to do. He rarely walked with a completely loose leash. A 90 lb dog with a 18 lb wheelchair is so little effort it's ridiculous

  5. #95
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Carting is actually great exercise for dogs with hip dysplasia. Whether or not pulling a wheelchair can duplicate a properly balanced cart, I do not know. But I do know that no dog with bad hips is service dog material. All service dog candidates should have both hips and elbows ofa or pennhipped as early on as possible. Its good to get preliminaries first at 1 year, and ofa or pennhip upon 2 years old. This is for all types of service dogs not just mobility assistance or pulling dogs. But the health and the way physical work is balanced for a mobility assistance dog is even more important due to the demanding nature.

    What tends to be the most damaging to mobility assistance dogs is improper harness or harness use. For example a dog is not physically able to take the place of a crutch or other mobility aid, yet many do this. Dogs have a flexible spine and any weight taken must also be managed over the shoulders, no packs weighted over the center of the spine like with a horse. A rigid harness handle that goes shoulder to shoulder causes leverage if any weight is applied at an angle and not straight up and down. A handle that goes front to back ways is much more appropriate for any weight. But again, this weight must be temporary such as the dog bracing to rebalance or assist someone standing, pulling to stand, and is not a replacement for a cane it forearm crutch. Safer use is providing counterbalance pulling as opposed to pushing on a harness handle.
    Last edited by ~Lin; 11-15-2012 at 02:55 AM. Reason: fixing phone post mistakes
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

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