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Clicker Trained Wheelchair Skills for Assistance Dogs

Added on Sep 6, 2009 From Donna Hill

Here are some basic skills that an assistance dog needs when the handler uses a wheelchair;front position,swinging to right and left, around,following in aisles and through doorways, backing up, loose leash walking, tight spaces.
Note that adding training with the chair added a whole new dimension to the training and took awhile to get used to for both dog and handler.
Start with stationary skills & tasks, then as your dog becomes more comfortable with the chair, start with the skills and task that require movement.
Training began in a familiar environment, then as dog was successful, taken to other less familiar locations, then with increasing distractions.
The addition of the leash when working in public places took some time to learn how to coordinate it, the chair, the treats and clicker. An 8 foot leash that can be easily shortened may be need for going through some heavy doors.
If the person with the disability is unable to train the basic skills (due to physical disability), an assistant can train the dog first to verbal cue (or eye cue) before transitioning the dog to the handler.

Thank you to Central Drugs, Nanaimo for lending us the wheelchair and allowing us to film in thier store. Wonderful community support!

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123 Likes,     1 Dislikes,     21927 Views,     18 Comments

Jeron Hille Says:

May 5, 2017 - I'm looking to start training while I'm in my wheelchair.Now the demonstration you showed was that with a young dog/bitch and at what age and previous to starting this training what had the dog done to get to this level of beginning to train. Apart from puppy training and basic obedience. Would a German Shepard be compatible or a border collie for Assistance Dog training. Thank you

Carl B. Elmore, Jr. Says:

Mar 21, 2016 - If you want to have people continue watching your video(s), you must slow down your text! They go on and off to fast!

Spaulding T. Bear Says:

Apr 21, 2014 - I have a 10th grade reading level, but your first sentence wasn't left up long enough to read it all the way through. Since we're trying to see what's going on plus reading, you might want to lengthen those parts too. I wanted to learn how it's done (not so much that now I think I know how to do it lol), so thanks for the training video.

Cayla Naumann Says:

Feb 28, 2014 - Thanks for this video.  My dad is in a wheelchair, so my dog is desensitized to the wheelchair, but teaching him some of these things of where and how to move around it would be great!

Donna Hill Says:

Nov 26, 2013 - Here are some tasks useful for wheelchair users. Clicker Trained Wheelchair Skills for Assistance Dogs

Donna Hill Says:

May 24, 2013 - Glad it is useful!

Deborah Scotto Says:

May 23, 2013 - As I trainer I always look for new skill to teach and pass along. This video was exceptional. You used very simple objects to teach major heeling skills. Thank you for sharing. This will help many.

Joey Fiona Says:

Jan 30, 2012 - Good dog!!

issie49 Says:

Jun 17, 2010 - I am in a wheelchair and I use a scooter when going out for walks. I am so pleased to see at last training for people that can't walk and there for can't train like others do, but want to do many things with their dogs issie49

Zsofy Biro Says:

Nov 28, 2009 - thanks, i am trying to teach my dog to do things like this because i have some relatives with problems and i tought my dog would be good to help sometimes, i will continue training him