A therapy dog is a dog used in animal-assisted therapy sessions primarily in institutions such as nursing homes, some schools, hospitals, schools, old people’s homes, and prisons. They are great for giving unconditional love and gratitude to people, with no concern as to their age, race, infirmity or background. Want your dog to become one? Therapy dog training is vital in that case.
Previous to starting therapy dog training it is imperative that you are aware of the reason behind the practice as a whole and the benefits of a correctly trained therapy dog. The responsibility of the therapy dog is to offer companionship, comfort to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and medical centers and to aid in the rehabilitation process, as they attend schools and library’s to listen to children read, etc.
As well as being taught basic obedience training they need a (CGC) certificate, (canine good citizen test). Before entering a therapy dog program, they are obliged to meet “Therapy Dog International” requirements.
Not all dogs can become therapy dogs. They need to be assessed and pronounced healthy and clean. A standard test – the TDI CGC test is performed which include sections such as proof of vaccinations, vet’s health certificate, visible cleanliness, visible health, weight level, have stool test results, and annual heartworm tests results.
To start therapy dog training, be easy on yourself and choose a dog that has a natural aptitude to friendliness, calmness, and love. Ideally, your dog should be curious about the world around him.
When starting training, remember that you need to be firm. Don’t use long sentences, but short, firm orders. ‘Sit,’ ‘stay’ etc. must be firmly embedded in the dog’s vocabulary. It goes without saying that the animal should be housebroken.
They should be taught to be calm in the presence of strangers, especially when they talk to you. They should be at home in crowded, noisy, public places, get used to public transport and the hustle and bustle of daily life.
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You should also make it abundantly clear that certain habits need to be broken – sniffing at unpleasant items on the ground, licking you or other dogs, barking, whining, and jumping around, all need to be stopped.
Make sure your dog’s health test is not just a one-off. Ensure the dog’s health and cleanliness are maintained with regular visits to the vet. Ensure the dog walks beside you on a loose leash. He must obey you wholeheartedly and without hesitation. Be firm, but be kind, and your dog will turn into a great Therapy Dog.
Be selective to choose a dog with an excellent temperament and a calm, friendly personality, with signs of right natural social skills. Do not select a dog that shows no awareness of what goes on around them or hyperactive dogs. These dogs must be housebroken and must learn to stay and sit, and approach people in a mannerly fashion. Use a positive but gentle reinforcement to teach these essential skills. Strangers should be able to contact you without the dog being overprotective so show them that it’s ok to shake hands with strangers etc.
Walk your dog in a variety of public places and outdoor events such as parades carnivals or local flea market. Eliminate any bad behavior that is not acceptable barking, jumping, sniffing, growling and licking. Continue regular veterinary check-ups to maintain the health and appearance, this will serve in a right way when attending the (CGC) examinations and will be less likely to be shy and resist. To pass the CGC test, your dog must prove that they can walk with you on a loose leash without pulling and in full control, “teach your dog to heal while on the leash” you will need a (plain buckle collar or a harness type leash).
Keeping all this in mind, it is imperative that you and your dog bond with each other. Although there is work involved, you need to have fun and relaxation together. Take your dog to the park to learn to play well with others, however only let them show a casual acquaintance with other dogs.
Dogs are fantastic creatures. They can honestly be a man’s best friend if you let them. They are very considerate, warm and friendly companions. Their loyalty and friendliness have helped many people to recover from trauma, whether it be physical or mental.
Scientists have observed people training their dogs. These were people with some trauma. The conclusion of the study was that dog training can indeed help people overcome medical problems. Dogs usually have unconditional love, and they are very loyal as well. This makes many people’s hearts warm up. It gives them that empowering feeling they need to overcome their setbacks in life.
Dog training therapy continues to go mainstream these days. It’s even at the point where hospitals and other clinics are facilitating dog visitation. Especially children’s hospitals are open to the idea, and many of them are trading in the clowns for dogs!
It means a lot to a child to be able to hold his dog. Sick children often brighten up when they’re allowed to see, pet and cuddle their dogs.
Not all children have dogs of their own. Therefore, children’s hospitals turn to their so-called dog ambassadors. These dog ambassadors are well trained, and they know exactly how to greet people.
therapy dog training
The dogs that are used in dog training therapy have all passed a test and are guaranteed to live up to a particular set of standards that define ethical behavior.
They are even trained to be careful around sensitive hospital equipment, so they’re sure not to cause a big mess.
Often, Labradors are used as ambassador dogs. It is because they are naturally friendly and respond well to the presence of children. Labradors are mild tempered. They are not aggressive or territorial.
Naturally, you don’t need to be a sick child to benefit from dog training therapy. Any adult who has feelings of loneliness, depression or other mental complaints, can go out and get a dog.
When you do, make sure to invest the time and energy your doggy deserves. He will thank you for it, and he will more than likely reward you for doing so!