469901 tn?1276563623

Opinions Needed - Best Dog for Person with Chronic Pain

I am researching info on the net and thought I would ask here, what dogs are best for people with chronic pain?  
I have several auto-immune diseases, have limited mobility and spend a lot of time at home - probably 90% since I work from home and hardly leave except for Dr appointments and trips to the pharmacy.
I want a dog that is interactive, personable and, most importantly, loves to snuggle as much as it likes to play.  
I have been owned by a lot of dogs, usually medium to large.  I think my doberman days are over.
Any suggestions?
11 Responses
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Avatar universal
I have an american pit shes 4 years old and "Great". I have alot of back pain and restless legs. When we go to bed she lay long ways at my back, helps with the spams. Before my legs start jumping, she get under them. Where before I had several bad nights, she has helped me have better ones.
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Avatar universal
Its great to hear you have had an improvement in health, I truly believe your dog had a lot to do with it.  They can perk you up, lower blood pressure, and give you a reason to keep on going.  One question, what in the world is a Schipperke?
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469901 tn?1276563623
Hi,  I wrote this post in 08 and have not been back to it in far too long.  Something amazing happened in my life, I am getting much better.  I am able to be active again.  It is more than I ever dared wish for.  On Halloween of 09, we adopted a rescue Schipperke approx 1 1/2 yrs old.  She is the light of my life and has added gasoline to the fire of my return to health and mobility.
The responses to my post were all very thoughtful and insightful.  I especially love the post about the gifts of a service dog.  Thank you all for your responses!
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1300834 tn?1273123354
You may have already made your choice by now, but I would say a lapdog as well would be easiest to take care of.  I don't have a lot of experience with the small dogs except for recently.   I have a 15 mo old chihuahua/ rat terrier mix and she is a living doll.  My daughter has also just rescued a 5 mo old chihuahua from abondonment and he is a sweetie.  I have read that both rat terriers and chihuahuas surprisingly are very loyal and lovable and a vet just recently told me that chihuahua's bond very strongly with thier owners and these two pups have.  They follow me everywhere in the house and love to cuddle with me when I'm just sitting wathchin tv. and their coats are easy maitenance. Also, small dogs like chihuahua's often get plenty of exercise just romping around the house so you shouldn't have to worry about getting them outside much. only thing that I have been finding out is they have a delicate constitution so I have to watch the diet I feed them.  I found that they tolerate the all natural dog foods best.  Good luck on your search.
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675347 tn?1365460645
You need a laid-back kind of dog who doesn't need a great deal of exercise (avoid ANY 'working dog' of any kind! They are meant to be outside, doing stuff all day long and will not take kindly to being lap dogs most of the day.)
Terriers, equally are very energetic, rather demanding dogs in terms of being very active and physical about life. So are most that come into the 'hound' group. Labs are beautiful dogs, but then again, they do need good exercise.
If you have an electric wheelchair or something similar, then you can keep a dog like that quite content in terms of exercise, and outdoor activities. If you really cannot go out much, forget about having these breeds of dogs.

The only kinds that don't need so much of all that are 'lapdogs' And oddly enough, Greyhounds....apparently if they have one pretty decent walk in a day (45 minutes to an hour) they are happy.

It might be a good idea if you either have a good friend who can walk the dog for you each day...or can employ a professional dog-walker.

And my opinion about adopting a dog is unless you HAVE  to buy a puppy, don't. Always get a rescue dog, one from a shelter.
Save a dog's life, and give a dog who's had a bad time a happy life with lots of love.
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Avatar universal
IMO, the best dog for you is going to need to be chosen on the same grounds as the best dog for anyone else:  it will need to be a dog that you are able to physically and financially take care of, and it needs to be a dog who you are in love with.  The falling-in-love part is huge.  Falling in love makes lots of other things possible.  So look for a dog who you fall in love with, is my advice.  

To me, looking for a new dog is a lot like dating.  You go out on a date with someone, and you might think, "he's very nice, but I just don't feel anything."  And then you might go out with someone else, and you think, "wow, my heart is going pitter-patter," and it could be the start of something big.

You'll have to think about your unavoidable physical limitations, obviously.  If you get a service dog, presumably it will already be a trained adult.  But if you get a puppy, remember that all puppies go through an exuberant adolescence when they tend to be hard to handle.  A large-breed adolescent might be too much for you.  Also, think about any financial limitations that you might have.  Dogs that require professional grooming, such as poodles, tend to be expensive in their upkeep.

The sheltie and miniature poodle come to mind as small dogs that tend to deeply love their owners and also, they usually tend to be pretty trainable.  I'm thinking that you, as a former doberman owner, might relate well to the trainability and obedience-mindedness of the sheltie and miniature poodle.  Both of them do happen to be long-haired dogs, and I don't know if that is a problem for you.  

For most owners, the mini poodle requires professional grooming, and the sheltie does not.  If you want to get your own clippers, you could probably just keep the poodle in a "puppy cut" (same length all over) and not have to pay someone to do it.  Or you could do the haircut every other time, and take the dog to the groomer every other time.

The toy dogs, any of them -- the shi-tzus, yorkies, lhasa apsos, toy poodles, cavalier King Charles, etc. -- are also a possibility.  They are bred to be held, petted and loved on.  That's what they do.  That is their purpose in life.  As a group, they do tend to be hard to housetrain, which is a turn-off to me, personally.  Most of them are long-coated, and many require professional grooming.  Again, I would keep them in a puppy cut and might do it myself.  

The short-haired small dogs that I can think of, off the top of my head, are the mini pinscher, rat terrier, feist, and Parson Russell.  But the mini pinscher has a totally different personality than a doberman, and the small terriers tend to be very active dogs and fairly challenging pets.  I have heard that Cairn terriers, which are wire-haired (think Toto on the Wizard of Oz), can make easier pets than some of the other terriers.  

Pugs tend to pretty much always have sweet temperaments.  They have kind of a medium coat that doesn't require much in the way of grooming, but some people find them a bit hard to look at.

All of the above comments represent my own personal opinion and are not intended to offend anyone.  These are just my thoughts.  I'm not saying anything bad about any breed.  Breed preference in dog owners is very personal.  Some people don't even like my own dog, who is of course, perfect.  Well, she has a couple of minor flaws, but they are very trivial. I can't understand why anyone would not think my dog is great, but that's how it is.

Good luck.

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1098760 tn?1266447897
Other things I Realized from the above answer...

Who'd a thought my service dog would be the one to show and teach me how to balance life? And make me realize Im lucky in many respects.

In getting him, Ive learned when to put up with what, and for how long, and what things to just tell people to take a hike with that will do me more damage then good in the long run.

About Love, and what Isnt love in others.

Im learning which priorities not to break with.

Ive been down alot of late, learning these lessons and telling a loved one to get out of my life. Im more important than certain things, people, or feelings. The essence of the word Deserve.

Love doesnt equate to Damaging a persons Successes. What ever your own issues may be. as my friend has done to me.

Believing in My Self, and Trusting My Self, Something my ex-husband did a good job of destroying.

How to set boundaries, and enforce good behaviors, not just with the dog, but with people also. The WHENS to do things-so timing.

Tactfulness- positive ways to the out comes I want.

Reasons to See Worth in my Self again.

A Future.

All Because of my Service Dog.
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1098760 tn?1266447897
By Federal Law, a Service Dog is Defined as any Animal who performs 3 or more tasks to help their owners live normal lives. Tasks they do Almost without fail given any circumstance.

A Myth is that they must be Registered, or Trained by a Facility, or Have IDs etc. Some States vary, but Federal Law Supersedes State Law.

I Am Training my Own Service Dog. He goes with me Every where. Hes In Training But Active because he happens to do One Very Important task, Alert to Seizures so I can remove my self from the public eye. Something hes done since he was 5 months old, a rarity I am told. He is now 8 months.

Its not about Mobility, Service Dogs tend to a Wide Aray of issues these days.  

You want a Sound, Large Breed, Dog for Wheel Chair and Balance Aid. You Need a Calm Dog. You Pick the puppy that Picks You. The One whod Rather Be With You, then say roaming investigating like you dont exist.

You Look at the Parents, Does the dog display the Traits your Looking for? What negative traits do they have that you may need to plan ahead to treat with the pups to prevent?

No One Else plays with your dog, everything good in its life is Supplied By You and You Alone, and So the dogs Devotion stays with You where it Belongs. Thes are NOT Pets, they are not the boyfriends dog or the families dog. They Serve a Purpose in Your Life, If you want it to Stay that way-you'll treat them accordingly.

Labs like to retrieve, they have short coats, they have Size. But No Matter the Breed, their working life expectancy is less then 10yrs at best. Most no more then 5 to 6yrs.

Think About your needs and the size dog that would best suit them. Take into account, your activity level when choosing a dog breed. And allergies etc. If you want shedding to be an issue, bathing needs, and your bed size.

NEVER have 2 puppies at the same time. Theres a Reason most Facilities tell you you cant have any other pets if you want a trained dog from them. No Bad Mannered Animals to Learn from and trust me, Monkey See Monkey DO! It only Takes Once!

More and More are shying away from using German Sheps, because of all the Stupid People who fear the breed as police dogs and guard dogs. And due to the fact that they often flunk out due to the Extream Bonds they Form to that One Person. So Passing through a puppy raiser family for the first year on to 2 or 3 other trainers before being placed can prove to much.

Such is an example of traits to be planned for accordingly. What Makes them so Good at what they do, if not approached Right, can be a down fall you cant or dont have the means to deal with.

Note any Dangerous Breed regulations in your home area. It Dosent Matter if your dog would only bite a ball-people are dumber and dumber these days.

Think about the weather where you live. is it hot or cold? what accommodations will be required upon the dog? Likely to get over heated when pulling a wheel chair? choose a smooth coat breed. Rainy wet and muddy? again smooth coats are easier to maintain in public settings then a long haired dog. No One wants muddy paw prints in their store. Or a dog shaking off the wet in a restaurant.

Service dogs are in most cases exempt from the Fee for state or county licensing. Housing Issues, save for the dangerous breed restrictions, and all public entrance.

Public is a place which requires the transfer of Money to be made for services.

Some Doctors Offices are likely to be jerks about a dog in training. Be Prepared.

Your Best Interest? Be Vague. If your dogs well mannered but still in training, at times its better to tell people its active only, less issues with stupidity. If your dog, pulls your chair, picks up items you drop-or other wise keeps you from killing people lol, its active. But use your head, train at home until the dogs focused and can be trusted. Dont give those of us with Awesome dogs a bad rep with a growling, dirty, ill mannered, mutt!

Non-Public is a Church for example, a place you must ASK if they are ok with your dog. And Respect their policies.

Now if a Place can Substantiate High Risk to others safety, like your dog growls, barks, nips, or bites in public-they can offer you their services with the removal of the dog. If its mangy looking, and has an injury, a stitched wound say, they got ya. and reasonably so.

Telling you the dogs a health risk, when its perfectly mannered, clean, etc, IS NOT A LEGAL EXCUSE. 'Faint Possibility of'  or allergies of could or maybe patients etc, Excuses are BREAKING THE LAW. Inform them and Report them. They will pay for their arrogance.

I baught an ID and the rest of that crap for the ignorant, I dont have time to call the cops and Make them let me in all the time, and when refused entry into a place, reported them, and the businesses were fined for their stupidity.

Service Dog types and training are so vast the government dibs it to costly to take over, so there is No Required Certs ETC. ITS All YOUR Choice. So Dont get taken advantage of, as Some places do Just that.

Plan to work towards and take the K9 Good Citizen test. You may choose to Compete in some of the courses for Service Dogs, either way, they Look Good and Bode Well when wanting to travel etc.

I Suspect that the Ability to Alert to Seizures is a Recessive Trait, and thats why breeders are having difficulty breeding for it. Which ups the cost on dogs that are successful. They must make up the difference in Loss for the 'worthless' ones so to speak. Not that they cany do other life tasks-but they had a task in mind in the Breeding.

My Dog Is an Austrailian Shepherd. Whos momma detected and reacted to something wrong with me the first meeting. I suspect she or the father were products of Blue Merl On Blue Merl breedings. Both dogs were Blues, a Recessive Trait. and all pups were special. Your Not Supposed to Breed blues to blues because of resulting complications like being deaf in the pups that can and Often DO result.

They were backyard dogs, a guy wanted a replacement pup out of his beloved pet is all. And Mommas one heck of a dog.

Most Service Dogs are Fixed. All Are from a facility. I dont intend to fix mine, I intend to use him as a proven, foundation dog. So I have to keep an eye on even more things and Never let him out of my sight. My Take is if you can train a Stud Horse not to touch a Mare in Heat unless told he Can then you can teach a Dog the Same Manners. After all the Dogs Supposed to Be Smarter RIght?.

I believe my dog carries High Potential to create pups that WILL Better the Lives of their Owners Or Companions as successful Service Dogs.

SO Think about these many aspects when Considering training or obtaining your Own or a Pretrained dog.

Its hard, but its easy, frustrating but rewarding. Do You Need to Feel like you can Succeed at something again? It dosent hurt to Try. You might find your awesome at it or that its not for you and an already trained dogs the better option.

I Needed the Distraction, the Needed Factor, The Im Not Useless Self Proving Factor, The Not Feeling Alone with my seizures and fear of falling.

In turn, my dogs helped me in ways I Never could have foreseen. Im learning to multitask in small doses. Hold my head up, interact again, finding my Place in a world I saw leaving me behind. Patience! And that I Cant Do Everything Myself. Im Learning When to Ask for Help and not feel Ashamed. Im Learning to be assertive. When to walk away lol. and how to Play again.

If everyone had to raise a Service Dog before having Children, I think we'd all make Far Better Parents lol.
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469901 tn?1276563623
Thank you for the feedback!  Maybe a lab/service dog?

Aggieone,  I love labs and puppy site one often.  The one in my life, Dolly, is a regular cuddle hound.  I love having her visit.  You are right about needing one 2 yrs old at least!  My only concern has been their size and my inability to pick one up anymore.  Just a concern if they got hurt, but the local emergency animal hospital just got an ambulance service so that may make a large dog more feasible.  I have to plan for the worst - don't mean to be a downer.

Jaybay, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have a service dog, but I probably get around too well.  I will have to look into that though.  It would be awesome to be able to take my dog EVERYWHERE I go!  For me and for the dog.

Does anyone know about Xolos?  I hear they are like little heating pads and that there is a coated variety so I could still enjoy petting fur...
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82861 tn?1333453911
The breed doesn't matter at all, other than you probably wouldn't do well with a high-maintenance coat requiring regular trimming and grooming.  Since you have such severe mobility issues, have you ever considered finding a service dog who is already trained?  A licensed service dog can accompany you on your errands and would be a big help with things like opening and closing doors, picking up items for you, etc.  Not to mention the companionship!  :-)
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Avatar universal
I strongly recommend Labradore  Retrievers.     They have such a gentle spirit, extremely intelligent, and love to snuggle.  Labs want to be touching you most of the time.   They lay with their heads in your lap, lay on top of you and go to sleep, constantly touching you with their paws in some way.   I would not recommend a puppy, get a lab around two years old or older, give it constant attention and it will love you back more than you can imagine.   Chocolate labs stay puppies longer, they have a strong personality and are sweethearts.  Yellow labs have the most beautiful spirit about them, and they tend to "mother" somewhat.   They are more laid back and observe a lot.  They are so intelligent.  Black labs love everything and everybody and seem to be equal parts of the chocolate and yellow.  I have had all and I have found that they are completely devoted to their  momma and daddy,  and live to make them happy.  I can't say enough about labs, their nature and their ability to love.   I highly recommend them.  Aggieone
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