Author Topic: Are swissy good service dogs?  (Read 4822 times)

DerBlaueReiter

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Are swissy good service dogs?
« on: March 06, 2007, 05:35:53 pm »
I was wondering whether a swissy would be a good service dog. I wanted to ask someone who has had experience with them. I've done some reading and have gotten mixed reviews about their temperament, trainability and taking care of them in general. I have a physical disability so part of the training would require getting named items, stabilizing when getting in and out of bed and such.  I would really appreciate your thoughts and any information you have.

Offline schelmischekitty

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Re: Are swissy good service dogs?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2007, 07:26:07 pm »
it all depends on how the dog was raised.  it would be a LOT easier to get a puppy and raise it from day one learning everything you need it to know or get an adult that's already trained, but maybe a rescue dog could be trained, too!  i'm a firm believer any dog can learn anything asked if you have a good enough relationship / bond between the two of you!  (purely because true love conquers all, and this includes disabilities in either of you!) i know the petsmart here teaches a class where the dogs learn to turn on lights, close and open doors, retrieve "named" items, etc if you're interested in training yourself.  here they call it their intermediate class (you have puppy aka intro. class, then beginner obedience then this class and after that an advanced one).  as far as getting up if you get your own puppy, i would be careful to get a good breeder who does watch their bloodlines for hip and elbow displacia (sp?).  have you contacted any service dog groups?  here's an example link to a group that helps you get a service dog (mobility assist dog in your case)

http://www.keystonehumanservices.org/ssd/dogs.php

also, if you want to train your own dog here is a link that might help you!

http://sdog.danawheels.net/

p.s.- as far as temperament goes, any dog who is well enough socialized, and trained, can be a great dog. look at pit bulls, with the stereotyped "aggressiveness"!  they have some that are service dogs, and are awesome, most are even GREAT with kids if raised right (we have one) also!  although some breed specific things are true, when people do temperament tests, etc, the outcome all depends on the dogs that are tested, it's not a clear cut, "if you get this breed your dog WILL act like this"
« Last Edit: March 06, 2007, 07:31:09 pm by schelmischekitty »
steffanie in atlanta

aiden (4), tristan (2), & maya (born sept. 17th)
axle-140ish-lb akita (4)
peanut-5lb, 11 months chihuahua
[img width= height= alt=Image Hosted by ImageShack.us]http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/3339/alltogethernowme6.jpg[/img]

DerBlaueReiter

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Re: Are swissy good service dogs?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2007, 05:31:11 pm »
Thanks for your advice! I've thought about getting a puppy socializing it for a year, teaching the basics, and then having a professional foundation train it as a service dog. The foundation I've been looking into has foster families, however I would want to bond with my dog before it's formally trained and foster it myself. 


I was wondering how long they live, because after researching, Ive gotten such varied results, 6-10 years to 11-13 years, you know just a slight difference. In general, would you say GSMD's, as a breed, are eager to please?

Thanks again for your advice, you have no idea how much it helps  :)

Offline schelmischekitty

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Re: Are swissy good service dogs?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2007, 06:17:46 pm »
i feel that if i were in your situation, i would definately want to raise my own puppy also!  if you do decide to do that, i can't stress enough that socializing and training is SO important, even from day one, but i'm sure you already know that ha ha!  i've always had good luck with the good puppy training, where from day one i've held them on their backs, petted them, very carefully tilted them from side to side and front to back to build their trust and acceptance from day one.  how long dogs live have a lot to do with their breeding, and how well they're taken care of.  genetic disorders can be inherited from the parents, just like with people.  GSMD's should be watched for problems that are a problem in the breed.  cancer, HD, ED, sub-aortic stenosis, autoimmune diseases, skin and coat problems, thyroid disorders and eye disorders (PRA, cataracts, ectropian and entropion) are things breeders are trying to work on in this breed.  if your puppy has good breeding, and is taken great care of in that they get vet care, great nutrition and exercise, there's no reason why your dog couldn't possibly live longer than the average life span that has been recorded for the breed.  as far as them being eager to please, the ones i've met were GREAT dogs, and so very willing to learn and make you happy.  i've met a few and they were very smart, and learned what we expected of them very quickly, although naturally adolescent dogs can be a pain in the butt sometimes ha ha.  just like kids, dogs go through a "teenage" period where they will try you and their limits.  the breed standard itself says "Bold, faithful, willing worker. Alert and vigilant. Shyness or aggressiveness shall be severely penalized."  hope this helps you some!
steffanie in atlanta

aiden (4), tristan (2), & maya (born sept. 17th)
axle-140ish-lb akita (4)
peanut-5lb, 11 months chihuahua
[img width= height= alt=Image Hosted by ImageShack.us]http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/3339/alltogethernowme6.jpg[/img]