Therapy Dog Work?

Discussion in 'Dog Training: Principle and Practice' started by Michaila (for Simba), Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Michaila (for Simba)

    Michaila (for Simba) Registered Users

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    Simba was born 4.10.18. He is very healthy, and I've been keeping a log on his socialization process. I'm hoping to get him to some CGC classes plus testing within the next year. He's been highly socialized since a puppy and hasn't had any long-term fears that I know of except for a small one of car-humming noises.

    I'm interested in making him a therapy dog in a couple years to take to nursing homes, to children, etc. Does anyone who has done therapy work / owned a therapy or a service dog have tips? Possibly ideas about different ways to socialize him, and what worked for them? Things to keep away from him and how to get him used to wheel chairs, walkers, weird smells without entering a nursing home? It would be appreciated!
     
  2. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I take it that the dog was born on October 4 rather than 10th April. (it would help with communication if the nations of the world used one and only one system. When I lived in America I wrote the month out in full, such as X October, rather than attempting to change to the American way).

    If the former then your puppy's socialisation window has almost closed. Try standing outside a hospital. You will see lots of people coming and going in wheel chairs, crutches. Just let your dog sit or stand there watching. Don't force your dog to approach the individuals.

    If the latter, your dog's sociaiisation window has closed. Try the same thing. Observe your dog. If your dog reacts, then you can try LAT training.

    Your dog will need a very good level of obedience. Be unafraid of strangers touching him on the head. And be very gentle in taking biscuits/cookies from individuals' hands. So assistance work is not for Labrigators.

    I have taught one owner who worked at a hospice and wanted her dog to work at a hospice, The dog was a Golden Retriever., and had the disposition of a lamb. I know the breeder and she had selected over quite a few generations for temperament. Moral of the story? Make an honest assessment of your dog's temperament. One can go some distance with training, but the genetic make-up is also extremely important.

    Good luck
     
    BennyG likes this.
  3. Michaila (for Simba)

    Michaila (for Simba) Registered Users

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    He is 9 months. That is a good idea, thank you! We have a farmer's market out our hospital that he is already comfortable with so I think it will work out nicely
     

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