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Special Harness-Based Tasks for Mobility Assistance – – 11 March 08

Posted by turtlemom3 in Behavior, Harness-Based, Tasks, Training.

(These are only appropriate for large, sturdy, adult dogs with sound joints, and proper training)

  •  Assist moving wheelchair on flat [partner holds onto harness pull strap] avoiding obstacles – fortunately, I will not need this one! I’m not in a wheelchair!
  • Work cooperatively with partner to get the wheelchair up a curb cut or mild incline; handler does as much of the work as possible, never asking the dog to attempt an incline unaided – again, I’m not in a wheelchair, so I won’t need this one.
  • Haul open heavy door, holding it ajar using six foot lead attached to back of harness, other end of lead attached to door handle or to a suction cup device on a glass door – this one I probably will need either now or at least eventually. My hands are getting weaker and more sore.
  • Tow ambulatory partner up inclines [harness with rigid handle or pull strap may be used] – I don’t think this will be necessary anytime soon, but it will be needed at some point in the future.
  • Brace on command to prevent ambulatory partner from stumbling [rigid handle] – this may be needed sooner rather than later, although I was hoping to avoid a rigid handle for a while!
  • Help ambulatory partner to climb stairs, pulling then bracing on each step [rigid handle or harness with pull strap may be used to assist partner to mount a step or catch balance] – Yup – this is a yepper. I need help with this already.
  • Pull partner out of aisle seat on plane, then brace until partner catches balance [harness with a rigid handle and a pull strap, or pull strap only] – not on a plane, so much, but in restaurants and from my chair here at the house, too.
  • Brace, counter balance work too, assisting ambulatory partner to walk; the partner pushes down on the rigid handle as if it were a cane, after giving warning command, when needed – I don’t know about this one. I think my cane is sufficient, and a walker, when the time come.
  • Help ambulatory partner to walk short distance, brace between each step [rigid handle] – again, my cane and a walker when the time comes. But it’s good to know that the Woof can help me with this.
  • Transport textbooks, business supplies or other items up to 50 lbs in a wagon or collapsible cart, weight limit depends on dog’s size, physical fitness, type of cart, kind of terrain – This may be important. I don’t usually carry large amounts of materials with me, but there are rare occasions when I do carry up to 30 lbs of materials for presentations – my computer for Powerpoint presentations, handouts, etc. – not great for someone with RA and fibromyalgia! I usually go into flares of both diseases the day after one of those. The Woof pulling a cart with my materials in it would make a B-I-G difference!
  • Backpacking – customary weight limit is 15% of the dog’s total body weight;10% if a dog performing another task, such as wheelchair pulling in addition to backpacking; total weight includes harness (average 3 – 4 lbs.). Load must be evenly distributed to prevent chafing. This would be perfect for an average visit to a client’s office.

So, while I won’t need many harness-based assistance tasks, there are some that will be very important to me.  I’ll have to be careful to not exhaust the Woof! My needs could overpower the Woof’s ability to fulfill them!!



1. DOG_TRAINING - 18 August 08

Correct use of the training leash is important, not only during training sessions, but at all times. Always having a loop over your thumb and your hand closed into a fist, prevents even the strongest dog from unexpectedly jerking the leash through your fingers and breaking free. Whether it’s the hand-loop or a loop formed by marrying the leash over your thumb, the result is the same. Pulling on the leash merely causes your grip to tighten

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