can you train a dog to help you with mobility problems

Breed specific discussion of your favorite breed.

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:42 am

can you train a dog to help you with mobility problems

Post by doglover4ever » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:42 pm


my whole world has changed and am confused about something and was hoping members on here might have advice or be able to help.

on Monday I was rushed to hospital as I could not get out of bed that morning of the pain I was in I could hardly walk without screaming and had pain in my lower back and shooting pains running down my leg. my husband called 999 and when they came the put me in a wheelchair and took me to hospital and was rushed in for an MRI scan and also an X-ray then after I had those done they took some blood and I was then examined by a doctor I have never screamed so loud in my life when I pressed on my leg and my back.

within 3hrs he came back and said my blood work was fine and the X-rays look fine and he has diagnosed me with ... t-sciatica he said the X-rays were to see if I had a slipped disc but as I don't he said that it looks like I have a very rare case of permanent Sciatica and I will be in pain for the rest of my life :cry: he has said that I now have a mobility health problem and wont be able to work and have to rest and be careful what I do.

im getting a tad better I was able to walk yesterday but I am in constant pain when I walk I have noticed now I can not bend at all I can not pick up things and sometimes find it so hard to even walk to the kitchen to get a cup of milk.

I am so frustrated so my husband contacted dogs for the disabled as I thought we may not be able to get a dog now but he thinks we can and maybe the dog might be able to help me so he contacted them and said that my condition is not classed as a disability but agreed with my husband that we could train the dog to help me like picking things up for me and putting the washing in the washing machine and taking it out , passing me my clothes etc. they have told me of dogs A.I.D who can help me train our dog.

but I am worried about tow things

1/ with me not being able to do anything by myself anymore and being on my own from 7.30am until 8.00pm I have been thinking about traits in the Labrador and am thinking I would prefer a dog who has a protective instinct but have no idea what dog breed would have this instinct and would be a good mobility dog. I know this properly sound stupid but I just feel o venerable.

2/ is it really possible to train a dog to help me? I am still able to walk but in pain so I could still take a dog out for walks I was able to walk for 1hr today and the doctor thinks this will improve but he said I wont be able to bend or do most things I use to.

I would be very greatful for any breed suggestions or advice?

Posts: 7015
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK

Re: can you train a dog to help you with mobility problems

Post by JudyN » Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:56 pm

I'm so sorry this has happened :(

I think it's far too early to think about how a dog will fit in and be able to help you. First, you need to find out how the condition will affect you long term. Sciatica can have several causes and the exact cause should help determine to what extent you may improve or adapt, or respond to treatment such as painkillers. Second, you need to adjust to the new demands of your life. You may find some tasks easier than you thought - e.g. a long-handled grabber may make picking things up easier than training a dog to do it would be - and you might even find it more efficient for your husband to deal with the washing :wink: For some people in pain a dog may prove too much to care for, for others, the dog may be what keeps them going. As yet you may not be able to tell which category you fall into.

Give yourself a few weeks to adjust and see how things look from there. Then I think the people to talk to would be those in organisations that provide support dogs and will be in a good position to assess your needs and match you with a suitable dog.

Good luck, and I hope your health improves.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Posts: 2697
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: can you train a dog to help you with mobility problems

Post by Erica » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:54 pm

I second Judy's advice - this is a sudden and important thing! For now, focus on yourself. Once you're more aware of what is still easy for you to do and what is more difficult, it will be possible to find the best kind of match for your life.

I hope the pain recedes quickly! :(
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

Post Reply