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Training for Therapy Dog

BlueBaloo

Big Dog
I wanted to start this thread as motivation to keep myself accountable and to maybe help others that want to get their dog certified as a Therapy Dog.

I think Meesha might be a pretty great therapy dog. She seems to read people very well and doesn't know a stranger. She generally gets along with other dogs unless she's amped up. And she's pretty calm as far as bully mixes go. :-)

So, we've had Meesha about 2 months and she came to us with little to no training or manners. But she's soft so it's pretty easy going. She's easily distracted and not much drive, which is opposite of Baloo so I've had to adopt new training methods. We are trying clicker training which seems to be good because the noise keeps her attention.

We have worked on focus, sit, down, stay, sit/down pushups, walking in a heel on a loose leash, meeting strangers without jumping up, and general manners. She's doing very well.

Right now we are mostly working on staying calm around other dogs. I've been reinforcing the clicker so I think I'm going to start incorporating that. There are a few fences along the sidewalks that have dogs at them that I think we will practice at.

To get therapy dog certified, I have to go to a seminar, then we have to do a 6 week obedience class (which I think should be optional if the trainer assesses that the dog knows all the basics) then get our CGC then we can join the therapy team workshop. Lots of things to do.

So if anyone has tips, advice, support or experience, let me know!
 

Beki

Good Dog
Premium Member
Whaaahoo! You are traveling the same road as Faith and I!
My girl before Faith, (Gracie) was a therapy dog certified through TDI. PICU, Peds, and cancer care were some of our favorites haunts :)
Check out Therapy Dogs International website for some great tips and advice.
 

BlueBaloo

Big Dog
Great! Good luck with yours! Ha. I'll probably be sending plenty of questions your way. I think we will start with peds because I work at a children's hospital and they have a program called doggy daze where every Tues the therapy dogs come and all the teams are employees here. Its pretty cool.

Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk 2
 

BlueBaloo

Big Dog
It is just so great to have a stable dog.

We had a bunch of rowdy guys over last night and I knew that they would get rowdy with Meesha but I wanted to observe her and how she behaves in that situation fully ready to jump in and put her in the crate for the night. But she was just awesome. One of the guys was playing with her teeth and mouth, several times she was in a headlock/wrestling, and just general torturing. haha. But she loved it. It was so strange to see. If that had been Baloo, it would have ended so differently. He didn't have any patience for people messing with him. But they all just talked about how sweet she is and everything.

Test #1 passed.

Now to find some children...