Reader Question: Agility and Disabilities?
Krzypuppy” Hi, I am new here! I have not had much time to read many posts but I am looking forward to reading and learning from everyone here. Due to medical problems I am forced to train my dog using a wheelchair. I was wondering if anyone here has information on the special difficulties training and showing their dogs from a wheelchair and the difficulties with directing their dog, manuevering the course etc. that using a wheelchair causes.
Kai and I hope to be able to show soon but we could definitely use some insight into training and showing with a disability.”
I do not personally have any experience with this, I’m sorry! – does anyone else have any tips for krzypuppy?
The only ideas I have to help is working on distance training, such as you can find in Leslie McDeavitt’s ‘Control Unleashed’.
Try contacting MasterPeace Dog Training in Massachusetts (you can google their web site). Their agility instructor is in a wheel chair and he competes as well.
I too have had tranplant,stroke and recently had lung cancer. I wondered if anyone had a scooter. I have one and my dog
like it. I don’t know if it would be good for agility???????
Definitely distance training is a must. I would also work on using more verbal commands instead of body language.
There was a man that used to trial around here who used a Segway in the trials. He was in a wheelchair, but could stand well enough in short periods of time to use the Segway. He did a lot of verbal commands at distance, and the Segway was enough to put him in good position.
One problem with a wheelchair they should look out for is dirt arenas. Depending on how hard the surface is, it might be hard to push (or hard on the motor if it is motorized). Trials on grass or indoors on turf would probably be best.
I too am at a point in life where I am trying to work my fast energetic dog, but cannot because of breathing difficulties. I too would like information about wheel chair work with dogs. Right now a friend is running my dog, and others will assist at times. But I miss very much not running my dog. I had thought maybe about a light electric scooter. Don’t know how dangerous it might be and I wouldn’t want to run over my long coat Chihuahua. Distance training would be very helpful and my other Chihuahua was very good at distance. But putting another vehicle in the ring and trying to maneuver sounds very daunting.