Service Dogs for Balance

Our new 4-legged friend and rescue dog, Cooper, is adjusting well and has helped us all try to mend our hearts.  I hope we are returning the favor for him.  The poor fella had been rejected twice in his 3 1/2 years.  No idea why.  He has such a sweet nature.  My guess is that his size and his need for space and exercise would be hard for some to meet.

I’ve been trying to push through and walk him more days than not and it had me thinking about service dogs.  Cooper is very large and very smart.  I have heard before about dogs that are trained to be balance dogs just as some dogs are hearing dogs or are dogs trained to help the blind.  At this point, I don’t need a balance dog, but I wondered what it would take to get just a normal smart dog like mine to be helpful in certain situations.  For example, if I fell and needed help getting up.  Or if we were on uneven terrain, like hiking (which I love), could we train him to stay with me and help bear some of my weight?  I know these dogs exist and are trained to do so much more and can cost thousands of dollars.  I am fascinated by what dogs can learn and do.

Here’s one link I found that trains balance dogs as well as some other types.  I’m not advocating them.  Just offering them as an example.

http://www.keystonehumanservices.org/ssd/balancedogs.php

Hope everyone is well.  I’m trying to get back in the swing of things and get my mind back on track.  Seems like I’ve got writer’s block or something…

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About Nicki

wife, mother, teacher, full of rambling thoughts, long-time Meniere's fighter
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3 Responses to Service Dogs for Balance

  1. Nicki says:

    Hi Nicki-

    Congratulations on the new addition and I am very sorry to hear of your loss of your older dog. I would ventrue to say that you could easily train Cooper to do alot of things to help you if you ever needed it.
    My mastiffs have been incredibly helpful as balance aids during attacks. In fact, I depend on them to get me to the bathroom and back to the bed during really bad attacks. Of course, the fact that they are so big helps!
    I show them in OB so they also know lots of helpful other commands like get it (if I need a towel) and they can also bring over the phone if I am bedridden and can;t reach it on the nightstand. I’d pursue it if I were you as far as starting basic ob class. ALot of stuff comes naturally to a dog that has a great bond with you, but you also get alot of bonding through training.

    I am now 5 weeks post surgery on the shunt that wasn’t- so far feeling great. I went back to work Oct 3 and have had no issues- excpet my hearing in the bad ear is down to about 20%- unaidable y a hearing aid. But, so far definitely worth the trade off of not being dizzy. I am even planning on a trail ride with the horses tomorrow. Keep up the good work- I hope the dizzy spells when walking stop for you.
    The other Nicki

    • Nicki says:

      hey nicki-
      so good to hear from you! i’m glad that things are overall going well for you. being able to be back at work is an excellent sign. don’t give up on your hearing just yet. some people get it back almost instantly. some take weeks. i know one guy got it back 6 months later. i know that sounds like a long time but i just want you know that it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s permanent. there’s a lot of healing yet to go on inside there. still a lot of tissues to heal. i hope you made the trail ride with the horses. that sounds like fun.

      based on my last few days, i’m thinking i definitely need to start on some kind of training for cooper now while things are not totally necessary. i have a friend who has a pet sitting and dog training business. i’m thinking of sending him some info on meniere’s and a few links on what balance dogs do and see what he thinks. i don’t need all the services. just a few things. he came over once and showed me basic leash training tips that helped greatly. he has a very cesar milan approach to animals.

      i hope you continue to improve! keep me updated as you can!
      ~~nicki

  2. There is also what is called a bark collar, which can control bad and excessive
    barking. As soon as you have had your dog neutered start him in obedience classes.
    There are various methods by which you can accomplish this task.

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