|Barked: Thu Jul 17, '14 12:42am PST |
So, this might seem a little jumbled. My brain doesn't function as well as normal people, so bear with me!
I currently have an almost 2 year old service dog. I got her just under 3 months ago, and in that time, we've done over 200 hours of training. When I first got her, I had no idea that I was going to need a service dog. It crossed my mind, but I didn't think it would be this soon. My health has gone downhill since. She is 100% owner trained.
Unfortunately, she is 38lb. I have been considering a mobility support dog, as when my migraines hit or my intracranial hypertension is just *too* much, I am wheelchair bound or stuck using a walker. However, when I am having a good day, I am having a good day! We go on walks and runs whenever possible. She's even learned to ride a bike with me!
I have been considering breeds, and some help would be quite nice.
The top 3 breeds I am stuck with are:
I know how high energy all of the above are, especially Mals. The rescue I got Layla from had one, and I *almost* got her, but she wasn't good with cats! Plus, Layla is a border collie/german shepherd mix (presumably), I'm sure I could handle a Mal.
Before I picked Layla, I was meant to get an Australian Shepherd. But the foster owner kept putting up block after block after block... And then we found Layla, and I couldn't be happier.
I tried to enlist the help of a trainer, but the trainer who *said* they knew stuff about service dogs, was "intimidated" by my 40 pound collie/shepherd... She would do nothing but lick your face off! So, I said screw it and then did it myself!
I am 5'0 and ~95 pounds on average. I honestly would rather NOT get a large shepherd simply because of their size versus mine, not because I know I couldn't handle it, but because if they were sick, injured, or simply old... assisting them would not be easy!
I'd prefer 55 - 75lb. 60 - 65 is ideal for me, but I honestly can handle any size dog as long as I am fully prepared for what I am dealing with.
Layla came from a shelter, and I love her to death, but it's taken me 3 months to get her into a car by herself (today was the first time in the entire time I've had her... she got steak cubes for that!), and there are some things that I will never be able to rehab her for, I'm afraid. I do not want to do this again, so I will be getting a breeder dog, but only for this reason!
If/When I get this second dog, Layla will be retired to be a therapy dog once the second dog's training is over and I can rely on them. My baby isn't going anywhere!
Does anyone have any experience with any of the 3 above breeds that I listed? Pros? Cons? Any feedback at all?
PS: This is what Layla is trained in.
She's trained in (primarily) seizure alert/response, migraine alert/response, (secondary) blood pressure fluctuations, and blood sugar.
We did 'train' her in seizure and migraine response. She would paw at me and pace around me in circles before either one hit. We encouraged this, and now she knows that left paw means seizure and right paw means migraine.
I might be a late teen, but I know how to train my dogs!
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