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Walking Cane
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Hello all! Not sure if this is the right place to post this but here goes.

My question is pretty straightforward. Do any of you have to use a walking cane and therefore have much difficulty walking your dog? Mine is about 55 pounds, still young, but with the best disposition of any dog pal I've ever encountered. Yet due to my various foot and ankle surgeries my balance is well below "up to snuff." Even with one of those dog safe harnesses (on Franklin, not on me) I have a fairly difficult time.

Have any of you the same or similar problem? Haveyou tried the PetSafe Gentle Leader Pet Head collar? It seems like it's comfortable for the dog, and it's well-received by those who do not have walking problems, but not sure it would work for me.

Any help would be received gratefully, from personal experience or otherwise. Thanks!
 

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Dakota Katie River's Mom
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I take it he pulls? If there's snow or ice I'd hire a teenager to walk him for you. Better to be safe and risk a fall. Other than that if he hasn't learned yet to walk without pulling, I'm not sure what you can do at this point in time. I haven't used a head halter, so can't help you with that.
 

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I used a gentle leader with Pilgrim and it worked very well. For him, it seemed that, as soon as he had it on, he knew he couldn't pull and he stayed by my side with no fuss. Chloe, though, was a different story, probably because she only stayed with us for about six weeks. She'd completely forget she was tethered to somebody and would take off like a freight train, almost pulling me over or out in the road. (Chloe was an enormous 7 year old lab with no training at all, except when it came to food.)
With that in mind, my recommendation would be it's worth trying, even if it's only for the reassurance that you can take Franklin somewhere if you have to. Make sure you get him used to it at home, in the house and yard first, so you are sure he is comfortable with it.
And I agree - a teenager is a much better bet on the ice or snow. Good luck.
PS I'm moving this to the general discussion forum for you, where it may get more exposure.
 

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I take it he pulls? If there's snow or ice I'd hire a teenager to walk him for you. Better to be safe and risk a fall. Other than that if he hasn't learned yet to walk without pulling, I'm not sure what you can do at this point in time. I haven't used a head halter, so can't help you with that.
Also, invest in some Stabilicers for walking on snow and ice. You will not slip and fall.

I also need to be careful walking and the Stabilicers definitely make me feel secure.
 
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I need a cane on occasion so I invested in training. I have two and rarely walk them together but we do need to go places like the vet and daycare weekly. Not sure how you feel about it but I use a prong collar. My oldest going on two does not pull at all but my 15 month old will try to get ahead of me. When he does I stop and he sits. A couple of stops and sits he starts to understand. I feel for you, you don't need to hurt yourself even more. Maybe you could find an alternative exercise program for the winter months. I have a big back yard and they have daycare so while I feel bad sometimes because I can't walk them I know they are taken care of. Treadmill might be good as well. I'd try to get them in check with short practice runs as well. Good luck!

I'm may get grief using a prong collar but once it's on and they know you rarely need to use it and as long as you use it properly all it is is a pinch.


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Also, invest in some Stabilicers for walking on snow and ice. You will not slip and fall.



I also need to be careful walking and the Stabilicers definitely make me feel secure.


I'm going to have to look this up, stabilizers. I think I need some, I'm terrified of falling so I'm a real pansy:)


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Puddles
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CCI (Canine Companions Inc.) starts their puppies out with the gentle leader. They are brought up on them so guessing they must be very effective.

I had several clients that had limited mobility either walking, using a walker or wheelchair and owned very large dogs that could easily pull them over. They used the gentle leader and were able to take their dogs out with confidence. It's sort of like a horse on a halter, they have to follow their nose. Sometimes it takes a while for them to get comfortable ... guess that's why CCI starts them early. They all adapted and owners were able to relax and trust using the leash. Can't hurt to try :) Hope it works for you as well. Be safe!
 

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Duke would not accept the gentle leader. As someone who has had multiple stress fractures in my foot and most recently a bout with plantar fasciitis, I support the idea of getting a teenager or dogwalker to do this for you. Dog gets walked and you don't end up falling and hurting yourself worse. Until you know your dog is going to heel perfectly it's not worth the risk to your health IMHO.


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I have significant balance issues (advanced arthritis in one knee and hip) and have found the best solution to be off-leash walks. I'm lucky in that our training club offers 12 miles of off-leash trails, and I live only five minutes away, so this is possible for us. If you can find a place to walk your dog off-leash, it's a great option. I taught Duster to stay close to me by not letting him off leash until he had a solid recall, and then always having my pockets full of kibble or treats, and handing them out liberally whenever he came to me. It also helped to walk with an older dog at first, so he learned how close he needed to stay (within sight in our case).

If you can't manage off-leash walks, the thing that has worked best for me is a harness. I can't remember the brand, but it's a simple device with a ring at chest level, under the dog's chin, to which the leash. The harness tightens if he pulls. It's very effective - he walks really nicely on it, and doesn't mind it at all. However, he hates the Gentle Leader - he goes ballistic if I put it on him. And while he walks fairly nicely on a simple flat collar (after months and months of training), he does still pull occasionally and I feel more secure with the harness.

As others have suggested, also consider using some kind of device on your boots that will stop you from slipping on snow or ice. These things changed my life and made winter much less dangerous.
 

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Assuming there is no ice or snow I would use a gentle leader and her favorite treats, safely tucked in a pocket and dispensed at times when you want to let her know she's doing well.
Emma and Max are the very picture of perfect decorum when they know I've got fried chicken livers in a baggie in my pocket.


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I would try a gentle leader. We used one. Chloe doesn't use it anymore.
 

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Walking Cane
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks!

I take it he pulls? If there's snow or ice I'd hire a teenager to walk him for you. Better to be safe and risk a fall. Other than that if he hasn't learned yet to walk without pulling, I'm not sure what you can do at this point in time. I haven't used a head halter, so can't help you with that.
Yes, he's a sometimes puller, but not often since many times I've discussed it with him over dinner (discussed, not yelled). I don' know why I did not think before about asking a dog walker for help! Our neighborhood, residential old-fashioned, has a goodly number of walkers. Good idea to all who've suggested this!

Then I got to thinking:I could walk with Franklin and his walker. That'd be nice - I've had the companionship of many dogs since I was 3 years old (living with my parents until my 5th birthday, then off to the Marines!). I really miss the soul-enriching experience of familiar walks along familiar paths, and, of course, the special walks as when we'd run off to the beach or to a fancy nightclub (unmarried at those times, both of us).

Thanks for your response. Appreciated, and I'll report back! Mike
 

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I like your sense of humor


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