[nagdu] Italian greyhound guide dog?

Tamara Smith-Kinney tamara.8024 at comcast.net
Thu Sep 9 00:48:39 UTC 2010


A year or so ago, my neighbor girls wanted to see if Mitzi's first harness
would fit their pug...  Beilieve it or not, it did!  So they let the pug
'guide" them a bit on trail at the dog park.  /lol/  Funnny sight, but I was
amazed at how much the pug had picked up from watching Mitzi.  And she was
so proud of herself getting to show the way and guide us all while Mitzi
plodded along beside me grinning.  /grin/

I've known some great miniature poodles, too, who would probably make good
guides but would also need lots and lots of exercise.  It might be more
possible for them to get more in smaller space, since they would be able to
stretch out and run indoors when it's raining.  /smile/  Mitzi needs a lot
of regular run, and I've been getting frustrated because it is difficult
right now to give her the hour a day of that she needs.  When the road is
safe to cross in a year or two when they finish the work, I will be so
happy!  We can do a good working walk to the park, get some run play and
socialization, then walk home.  Or even (gasp!) walk up to the store a mile
away.  Can't wait.  /grin/

Tami Smith-Kinney

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of Jewel S.
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:02 AM
To: NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: Re: [nagdu] Italian greyhound guide dog?

It is a myth that small dogs don't need as much exercise. This is so
not true. My boyfriend owns a miniature poodle. He thinks he 's a
lapdog, but at 25 pounds, he's not sitting on *my* lap. However, this
poodle needs just as much exercise, if not more than, a standard
poodle. He is very hyper and loves to run and goes for a walk at least
five times a day to keep him from going stir-crazy. I am very glad
that I am not in college while my boyfriend is for this reason,
because I take the pup for walks while my b/f is at school.

I think Rusty, the 25-pound miniature poodle could make a good guide
dog. He's large enough to bear weight, but not quite as big as many
guide dogs. He is extremely smart and very gentle. his biggest problem
is that when he sees a girl or young woman, he *must* visit with them.
He has three girlfriends in the neighbourhood already...it's quite
hilarious, but it also is irritating when I ant to take a quick potty
break and that's all.

I still don't see how an IG could be a good guide dog, though. They
simply aren't fair weather dogs, and they are so fragile. People who
know how to care for the breed have trouble with them, and while I
will give the man the benefit of the doubt on his knowledge of the
breed, I still worry about the dog's well-being walking in all weather
and all.

A small dog wouldn't be the right guide dog for me, since I also need
balance support, but I could see someone like a few friends of mine
having miniature poodles (yes, I think poodles make good guides *hugs
to Mitzi, whom I haven't met, but I am sure she does her breed
justice*) or another calmer small dog. I so couldn't se snappy,
talkative cocker spaniels doing th e work, nor ankle-biting
chihuahuas, but there are some brees that might do the job. How about
a bulldog? *grin*


On 9/8/10, Tracy Carcione <carcione at access.net> wrote:
> I wonder if some of the smaller breeds might be a good solution for those
> who don't take long walks, the folks who go from car to building and back
> to car.  Or for elderly people who don't walk very fast and are using
> their dogs for short errands, going to church, visiting friends, etc.
> Instead of trying to breed slow, non-energetic labs, the schools could be
> using a wider variety of breeds for the variety of people they serve.
> Not that I expect any of the big schools to try anything like that.  They
> tend to stick with the old methods.  Which is OK, but a little inovation
> could be interesting.
> Tracy
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