Anyone have experiencing training a dog to walk with a wheelchair bound person? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone have experiencing training a dog to walk with a wheelchair bound person?

My dad gets his rescue GSD Friday. He can walk, but has serious rheumatoid arthritis in his knees.

We have a really nice powered wheelchair he plans on using to walk the dog with.

Anyone on the board have any experience with doing that? Any tricks you can share. I'll lag behind them the first few days to make sure all goes well, but I have no experience with dogs and wheelchair bound handlers.

Thanks for any tips you can share.

Cheers.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 09:38 PM
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No personal experience, but have you seen this video?


-Debbie-
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 09:41 PM
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Someone on the board has posted a video of someone in a wheelchair competing in a Schutzhund trial with their GSD, and it was amazing! If I can find it I'll post it, but hopefully someone else will beat me to it.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 09:49 PM
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Jason Lake. I bet he would be very helpful with your questions.
Cassidy's mom that was a great video!

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Cool movie, thanks Cassidy's Mom!

Thanks for the link,
onyx'girl, we get his rescue Friday @ 7, hope she does well with dad.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 11:11 AM
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Is the dog trained to walk alongside a person walking on a loose leash without pulling? Tessa had that down perfectly before I ever introduced her to walking next to a wheelchair or power scooter. I treated it the same as if I was upright and walking.

The dog really needs to know not to pull. I think more so with him being in a power chair. With a manual one if the dog got ahead it would just pull the chair but I don't know what that would do to a power chair. Spend a lot of time with the dog learning how to adapt his pace in response to your dad, and your dad should never adapt his pace to the dog because that will be teaching him to pull or lag behind.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 11:46 AM
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When I did Levels Classes with Abby, there was a lady in my class who used a powered wheelchair. The training was the same with her dog as it was with all the other dogs - teaching the dog to walk nicely on a loose leash, using treats and the clicker. She used a head halter for a while during the training process. But it was basically approached the same way as teaching a dog to walk nicely next to a person walking.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 07:33 PM
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Have him pick up a copy of "Teamwork I & II" - tons of training techiniques for those of us with physical limitations, like myself.
Also TONS of ovedience training as mentioned by the others - you MUST have a dog that doesn't pull before you can teach it to pull.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Dad got the dog last night (Friday), and Gretta did great with him in the wheelchair.

He didn't do so good, and went too fast, drove off the sidewalk, and got stuck in the mud.

They went again tonight for a good long walk, and the animal and human both performed admirably.

Thanks for the tip on the books momsgoingaited, dad loves to read and I'm sure he will pick them up.

Cheers!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 12:31 AM
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my GF's 88 yr. old mother used a walker
and wheel chair. our dog would heel when walking
beside her.

i taught my dog to heel on or off
leash. he wasn't taught to heel
with the wheel chair or walker. when
our dog was around my GF's mother
he heeled for her. he heeled with
the walker or wheel chair.

i think once you teach your dog to
heel he's going to do it with the wheel chair.
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