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-   -   Mobility support for hiking? (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/guide-therapy-service-dogs/445305-mobility-support-hiking.html)

Kaimeju 05-02-2014 11:30 AM

Mobility support for hiking?
 
I got some bad news from the orthopedist. I was told I should not do any more strenuous backpacking trips and avoid steep inclines with heavy loads. Major bummer. I am cutting back on my expectations for trips, but I thought maybe I could train my dog to help me out on the trail for those moments when I am in over my head. Just having her carry some of my weight will help significantly, but I would also like to teach her how to help me up and down steep spots if we do encounter them. How can I do this safely? What equipment would I need? Do I need to find a professional to help me train her to do this, or is it something I could do on my own? My main fear is accidentally hurting her. General advice and resources also welcome. Thank you.

Mary Beth 05-02-2014 09:35 PM

It is referred to as bracing tasks in this article Assistance Dog Tasks I would think it would be better to first consult a trainer for an evaluation.

Colie CVT 05-03-2014 12:38 AM

My golden is trained to brace for me to help me up and down steep slopes, and to help me up slopes if I am having trouble making it up to the top. It is actually much easier for me if he helps me than if I try to struggle on my hands and knees in places. He has gotten to the point where if he sees me considering something, he comes to my side and offers help. :)

When I remember, I got him a Kong harness that has a handle on the top of it. The idea was that it was useful for swimming or for hiking. It isn't as good as a bracing harness, but since I am not relying on him 100% out there, that harness has worked well. My roommate is a dog trainer, so I have had some help there. It is easier if you have someone who has trained a dog for mobility assistance to help you. It has definitely helped me a lot when I'm out on hikes.

Cheyanna 05-17-2014 01:46 PM

I would suggest you find a trainer who has some experience. I don't hike, but Fiona helps me walk on slopes without falling. We do it with a leash and she "pulls" me up and down. I. Call it a pull, but it is more like she is leverage for me. She is the opposite direction of gravity pulling me. We just practiced a lot.

Your dog can get a backpack to carry stuff from outward hound. That can lighten your load.

Good luck.


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ILGHAUS 05-18-2014 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kaimeju (Post 5461841)
I got some bad news from the orthopedist. I was told I should not do any more strenuous backpacking trips and avoid steep inclines with heavy loads. Major bummer. I am cutting back on my expectations for trips, but I thought maybe I could train my dog to help me out on the trail for those moments when I am in over my head. Just having her carry some of my weight will help significantly, but I would also like to teach her how to help me up and down steep spots if we do encounter them. How can I do this safely? What equipment would I need? Do I need to find a professional to help me train her to do this, or is it something I could do on my own? My main fear is accidentally hurting her. General advice and resources also welcome. Thank you.

Please just remember. Anyone can train their pet dog to help them with backpacking trips and steep inclines. If you do decide to train your dog to do these things it will not make the dog an Assistance or a Service Dog -- just a trained pet. Not being able to do further strenuous backpacking trips is not a disability. If you were unable to walk down a sidewalk then that would be in line with a legal disability.

To get more helpful info on this question you would probably be better served under the SAR or Sports sections. Training and gear used is very different than that used by a person with a mobility disability. I would highly recommend that you speak with your vet and have any testing they suggest before using any dog for such exercise and work and also then find a trainer with experience in such.


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