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Old 10-28-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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I am not sure if I need to post this in the Special needs forum or here, anyways, here is my question. I have a 9 year old son with Autism. We are planning to get a dog for him. My son is socially inept and we wish he will bond with his pet . So in short we are seeking a companion dog for him. Which is a better breed to go for considering we have never had pet before and we are new as well in taking care of a pet?
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:16 AM
 
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I think posting in the Special Needs forum would be helpful for you. A dog will not necessarily intuitively know what to do or how to act. And not having dog experience puts you behind the learning curve because dogs need leadership to follow...or you get the opposite result - not a calm balanced member of the family.

There's the issue of providing for the DOG'S needs first, then seeing how that translates to mutual benefit.

Dogs that are successful in these situations are often high maintenance. i.e. Labs SHED ALOT and REQUIRE exercise - real exercise nut just running around a back yard. For a LONG TIME - they're like puppies until age 4. If not longer etc etc. But Labs are "America's dog" and do well in families. For example.

You will need to teach your son how to be a calm assertive leader for a dog. And you'll need to learn that first. Because dog's don't follow weak energy they react with being insecure and out of balance that LOOKS LIKE "problems" but it's just because they don't speak English.

If your son is on a particular part of the spectrum or has specific behaviors it would be helpful to have input from experience people to know how to maybe predict how a dog will respond.

A good idea would be to foster from someone in rescue willing to match you up and spend the time to analyze your energy match. THEN you can adopt when it works out.

Socially inept with humans' criteria doesn't matter to a dog, but socially/EMOTIONALLY challenged like throwing things, headbanging, frustration, anxiety CAN be something a dog is VERY capable of feeling and reacting to - usually very badly. They sort of mirror things back. So a good assessment will give you a good outcome. I had plenty of autistic kids come to my pet store with energy that would work. And a couple clients too, in my pet sitting business. It really is individual basis and YOUR energy, too.

Last edited by runswithscissors; 10-28-2013 at 09:35 AM..
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:35 AM
 
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BTW on Sunday night, at 10:00 on NatGeo Wild station, Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer has a new show starting where he matches up families to dogs! Called Doggie Nightmares, I think. Watch it! They also are running a marathon all day of his previous shows that were on for 7 years. You can learn alot about dog and human energy AND the MOST important thing - non verbal conversation....just from that! Last week he had a teenager on with cerebral palsy and taught her how to walk her wild crazy dog once he addressed the energy issue and in one day she was walking her TWO dogs.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:36 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
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Check into Service Dogs.
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:02 PM
 
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@runswithscissors: that was really helpful. Thank you. I probably will post it on the Special needs forum too. We were doing a research on all the breeds.
we have seen him look with interest , the dogs that walk by. That was one reason, we thought it will be a good idea to introduce him to a pet, even tho' we do not have a previous experience.
And I will look out for that show on Natgeo.

@Katie1: thats one option too, but some of the places I checked had real long waitlists.
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harperpt View Post
@runswithscissors: that was really helpful. Thank you. I probably will post it on the Special needs forum too. We were doing a research on all the breeds.
we have seen him look with interest , the dogs that walk by. That was one reason, we thought it will be a good idea to introduce him to a pet, even tho' we do not have a previous experience.
And I will look out for that show on Natgeo.

@Katie1: thats one option too, but some of the places I checked had real long waitlists.
My experience with autism is very limited - to my pet sitting client's/pet store's kids and volunteering in an all boys cottage at the state hospital when I was in high school. (weird placement, right? LOL)

I immediately noticed my assigned boy always looking out of the corner of his eye then averting if I looked back. So I figured out some techniques to work with that. There wasn't much help from the caregivers back in the day. They just "babysat".

This is actually EXACTLY what dogs do!

Your son showing interest is great. And I bet you can have success learning DOG communication. You can leave the verbal human communication to his other therapies! His success with ALL animals really hinges on that type of energy, NOT being "in their face".

While I understand the opposite to be true more or less for autistic humans, both skills are valuable I think. Use your BODY energy to calm yourself etc etc.

It'll be interesting to see if you get anything out of it! Good luck.

BTW, I was in a dept store 6 years after volunteering in an entire different part of the city and "heard" my kid from the place 6 years before in the background.

All of a sudden some big man ran up and hugged me with an old lady yelling "Andre, NO, NO!"

It was THAT KID! With his grandmother freaking out! So adorable. I guess the years grabbing him running through the ice cream store naked forged a "bond". HAHA.

P.S. Another starter choice would be a guinea pig. Don't laugh! I had a pet store and they were an exceptional starter pet. Interactive, talkative, love to eat, love to sit in your lap and be "read stories" in the rocking chair. They even run to the fridge when you open it "talking" and you can feed them some fresh veggies. I NEVER sold a rabbbit to anyone under 10 only guinea pigs because they were beefy and sturdy and fun.

Another option. You CAN leash and walk them too!!

Last edited by runswithscissors; 10-28-2013 at 12:18 PM..
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:20 PM
 
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OH - Start HERE, it was on TODAY. There are several parts to the episode with other dogs. These are NOT techniques you should or would HAVE to use, necessarily. You may find a perfect fit for your family. Although you DO want to follow the basics you see here. Just to show you the difference between a wild frustrated energy dog and a calm environment technique.

Energy. Communication. A dog being "obnoxious" to kids. Rehab. Exercising a dog in a WHEEL CHAIR with M.S. LEARNING what a dog NEEDS: "We can't just stay in the house, TV has nothing for ME".

When to give affection at the right time and when to expect and achieve a calm state of mind.

Dogs are a TRILLION times more SIMPLE than humans! This video shows you that one of the kids is the best student and energy!

This "problem dog" turned around in ONE day. Or, I should say - the family did - with just some knowledge and tools.

ALL dogs are the same. Then you get to some traits with "breeds" but this dog psychology is universal. (a dog with issues may take a bit longer than another depending on the environment, tho.)

Note: The Beagle's tail is UP, that's excitement.


Dog Whisperer S2 Epi-17 part 1 - YouTube

Last edited by runswithscissors; 10-28-2013 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:35 PM
 
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There are much better methods to use then the tv dog whisperer show. Just that show with the little beagle made me cringe. Rather than teaching the dog anything, he chases him around, jabs him a bunch of times and just confuses him. "Thats dominance right there" he says. Thats a bunch of crap, that little dog was not "dominant"

For a first time dog owner, I thing Dog Star Daily has very good information and uses positive training methods, something your dog will thank you for.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
2,533 posts, read 4,338,364 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harperpt View Post

I have a 9 year old son with Autism. We are planning to get a dog for him. My son is socially inept and we wish he will bond with his pet . So in short we are seeking a companion dog for him. Which is a better breed to go for considering we have never had pet before and we are new as well in taking care of a pet?
My ex has a 16 year old autistic son... also socially inept.

He did well with my 3 lb Chihuahua. He did drop her once (poor motor skills) which resulted in a vet visit for a bruised paw but other than that there were no major issues in the 8 months he spent around my dog. He liked holding her while he was watching his TV programs and occasionally took her outside as well.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Area 51.5
13,893 posts, read 12,688,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
Check into Service Dogs.
A service dog is a service dog because a doctor says it's a service dog. Any breed, any size, any color, any type can be a service dog if a doctor says that's what it is. You don't just up and go get a 'service dog'.

Research would bode well.
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