Looking for a Assistance Dog

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Cindy's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-08

Hello everyone. I just found this forum last night and think it might be a blessing.
I have Multiple Sclerosis and have a lot of problems with my balance while standing and walking.
I have fostered a Dobie in the past, but mostly have experience with German Shepherd Dogs, but in respect to size and strength I believe that a Doberman would be a better choice for this type of assistance dog.

Would anyone know someone in the Southeast (East Tennessee) area who might have these type of Dobies for placement. I am having a very hard time making ends meet due to the fact that my current job is charging me 462.00 mo. for medical insurance that I can't be without, but I feel very strongly about this. I have fallen several times in the past year and been injured from one of them.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Cindy

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

Hi and welcome to the forum!! I also joined here wanting an assistance dog possibly with getting up and down etc. I might suggest that you study other breeds and their bone strength to make sure you are choosing the right dog for the right purpose. There are other breeds with stronger spines for human pushing than the doberman, some require longer growth periods before they reach the age in which you could use them for the purpose you need, but well worth the wait. One that instantly comes to mind is one I considered and that is the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog who is capable of pulling 3,000lbs when the skeletal structure is at full maturity which is usually around 3 years of age, they are tall dogs and would not require any stooping over to reach out for assistance and are strong enough that you would not need to worry about pulling the dog over with you should you fall and need to get up. Anyway, that's one example of a great dog to consider if you really need to have a dog strong enough to have a human balance on the dog. Dogs spines are not made for human weight so choosing appropriately is key to your safety. Also if you have limitations the doberman requires alot of exercise and stimulation this might be a problem. I wouldn't choose a rottie for the job either although they would be less likely to need the amount of exercise as the doberman, but the breed is showing lots of signs of weak bone structure and weak hips and joints.......

Again welcome and hope you find the dog you need......hope I have helped a bit since I was wanting the same thing and did not choose a doberman.....in fact I have yet to choose my service dog breed.....still hanging tight and healthy for the most part, I am a full leg amputee barely enough left to sit on so my balance is an issue and carrying things is getting to be an issue and a service dog would be most helpful in so many areas - it's quite a massive hunt for the right one with right training etc......

Grace's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-12

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Hello, I am very new here but I have been reading about service dogs. Never press against a dog's spine for assistance in getting up or when you need to balance. The spine isn't built to carry that type of pressure. Doing it could cause health problems with the dog and it would have to be retired early from being your service dog. The pressure should be over his front legs and say brace before applying the pressure. The front shoulder blades have more stamina than the spine.

Also I read that their bone structure won't be ready for the bracing until about 18 months. Hope this helps.

Be sure to check out the sites that can possibly help. There are fund raisers that can be arranged to help defer the cost of a service dog.

I wish you both well.

Q Tip's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-22

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Thanks for that info on service dogs, Ive never heard of that term here and before whilst reading threads about service dogs I assumed they were military or police dogs. I would love to know more about them..Im a nurse in real life and work on a stroke and rehab ward.