Bridge Handles?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by stardogs, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Since we have a number of SD handlers here, I figured I'd ask if any of you have a good source for a medium length, rigid bridge handle that can clip to D rings on an SD vest.

    A client of mine's SDiT is ready to start working in full gear and we need a nice bridge handle for her vest, which looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    The dog will be doing light guide work (not mobility), so the handle needs to be comfy for my client to use for longer periods and lay flat when not in use.
     
  2. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    I have NOT found anything that work well or looks like it would work well. I had that same harness for Logan at first, and it just wasn't working. If the dog's going to be doing guide work, it's really best to get a guide harness. I've really, really tried so many other options and they just don't work. I'll be getting a guide harness for Logan soon. Part of the reason that vest doesn't work is that theD rings are too far back. They really ought to be placed very far forwards.

    Hilason has some good harnesses for a decent price - currently around $75. If her dog is full grown and you're reasonable confident it won't wash out, it might be worth investing in a custom-made guide harness.

    Here are the Hilason ones http://www.hilason.com/category/60/0/dog+guide+harness+DOG+PRODUCTS.aspx

    The Bridgeport and Active Dogs guide harnesses are NOT recommended. The Bridgeport one makes some funky pressure points and the leather holding the clips to the handle wears out quickly. The Active Dogs one is just overall weird and the handle has big bulky clips that reduce the useful feedback through the harness.
     
  3. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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  4. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    The first one is the Active Dogs one. You see the size of those snaps compared to the size of the handle? Way too huge. I'm also not entirely sure it's rigid.

    The second one is not rigid and absolutely will not work for guiding. A guide handle MUST be rigid. This one also happens to be from Active Dogs (and if you're going to buy something, it's best to buy from the source, not from a 3rd party website that will mark it up even further).

    Really, an actual guide harness with an appropriately sized handle is your best bet. Having a handle that's too short WILL affect the handler's gait and cause shoulder, wrist, and back issues. That's part of my problem right now - the handle I'm currently using is not long enough, and I can tell you first hand that after even a short walk my shoulder and back are sore (when they're otherwise not) and my hand is numb.
     
  5. frostfell

    frostfell Kung Pow Fish

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    not meaning to be offensive, and i hope im not, but you all are clearly not blind, as youre typing on a computer/keyboard, so im curious what is a sighted persons use of those kinds of handles? i dont know a whole lot at all about various SD tasks, im afraid
     
  6. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    I'll leave the SD questions to those who know more than me, but there are plenty of blind people who use computers to chat on forums, etc, too.
     
  7. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    I got the impression she was asking for a client, not herself.
     
  8. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Not everyone who needs guide work is blind.
     
  9. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    That. Some people have mobility/balance issues and rely on their SD to steady them.
    I did miss in the OP the part about the dog doing light guide work. My eyes have been wanky from being on the computer too much the past couple of days.
     
  10. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    From the OP:
    This is for a client of mine who is visually impaired, but yes, plenty of VI folks use computers.
     
  11. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Guide work (not even balance work, although lots of people use them for balance) can be used to help a handler with lots of different perception or mobility impairment issues. For example, I have seizures, and when I do, I sometimes wander a bit aimlessly where I have no idea where I'm going (ie, in to traffic, or in circles). However, if someone guides me by the arm or hand (or I'm holding onto a handle) I'll just follow where ever they take me. So a service dog with mobility would be trained to guide me someplace safe.

    They can be trained to go to a car, seek out a public bathroom, guide the handler to a bed or bench, or even find homes. They're often used by handlers with PTSD and various neurological disorders (autism, seizures, Parkinson's, narcolepsy to name a few).

    And plenty of blind people have the ability to post on forums and browse the Internet with modern software.
     
  12. frostfell

    frostfell Kung Pow Fish

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    Oh that makes sense, thank you!
     
  13. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    It's already been pretty well covered, but yeah, I know a TON of blind people who use computers. MOST people who are blind do have some usable vision. The cutoff for "legally blind" is 20/200, and I know that I can still use a computer easily with vision worse than that (I've had 20/200 or worse...much worse...uncorrected since 3rd grade. Glasses fix it, but uncorrected it give me an idea of what some people might experience all the time of they have low vision). Even for those who don't have any vision,. there are all sorts of screen readers, speech to text, etc. One thing about the reCAPTCHAs that were here is that they're not accessible for those who are blind, deaf-blind, or have sensory processing disorders. The questions we have now are MUCH better because screen readers and other accessibility devices can pick them up.

    Logan does guide work for my autism, or rather the associated sensory processing issues. I've probably scared more than one person when I am with Logan, then get in my car and drive away :lol-sign:
     
  14. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    Interesting! My vision is much worse than that in my right eye (I think it's around 20/400, though I can't remember for sure), though my glasses mostly correct it. Not 100% fixable, but mostly. I will say, with my glasses off, if I get up real close to the screen, I can read it. Probably wouldn't be able to do the ReCaptcha things. Usually with my glasses off, I just look at things with my left eye, which is a bit far sighted. Well, and both eyes have an astigmatism, but I can see enough to read, or to walk around (depth perception isn't very good).

    I didn't realize I was so close to being legally blind.
     
  15. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    In order to be legally blind, your corrected vision has to be 20/200 or less (and "less" means the bottom number is larger). Uncorrected it doesn't matter how bad it is, but it does give you some perspective. People can also be legally blind with 20/20 vision if their field of vision is down to a certain angle. I don't recall what that angle is right now, though. So small field of vision with 20/20 in what little area you do see is still blind.

    When I was in elementary school we had a large number of blind and low-vision students, and they did a LOT of education over it. I found it quite fascinating.
     
  16. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    No, I got that part. I just meant that I didn't realize my uncorrected vision was legally blind, at least on the one side. (by "close" I meant "if it wasn't correctable"). I went without glasses for years, when I didn't drive. (no insurance, low income). I finally went to get glasses, and the optometrist asked me if I could read. Which I found amusing, because I read a lot.

    After I got the glasses, my ability to get around without them decreased. But my vision has also gotten worse.
     
  17. kaykay21

    kaykay21 herder brain & drool face

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    my cousin is blind. he has a system that he talks to that types and reads for him. assuming cause someone is on the computer typing doesnt mean they dont have vision issues.

    now to op im not sure what brand his handel is but ill post a pic of elliot wearing it. this particular one seems to work well for him.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    His harness looks really familiar. I can't remember the program name off hand, but their stuff may be made to fit the specific handler/dog it's for.
     
  19. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    I thiiink that harness/handle combo is from either Guiding Eyes or Leader Dogs.

    It's interesting to see the shorter handle - most of the official guide harnesses with handles seem to put the handler waaaay behind the dog (at the hip basically) and for this dog and handler, we actually need him closer to her shoulder for walking.
     
  20. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    I'm not entirely sure what you mean "by the shoulder for walking." Can you explain that a little bit? I may be able to help you find something if I understand more what you need from the dog.

    Generally handlers work at the hip of a guide dog (or near the flank if it's a long dog) because that way there's more warning when something comes up. you have the dog's whole body length to respond. And as I said earlier, it eases the strain on the handler's shoulders, hips and back.

    The only person with a guide that uses a shorter handle that I know is in a wheelchair, and guiding in a wheelchair is different than guiding for someone walking.

    Right now I walk even with Logan's withers or just behind. It works okay, but there are some ergonomics issues and some response time issues, which is why I'll be getting a guide harness.
     

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