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Let me ask you something why do you have dogs? What about dogs do you like? I guess if you are like me, the answer would be another question”what’s not to love? They are loyal, affectionate, playful and completely devoid of biases and opinions. Dogs make people feel good and that’s one of the reasons why we have therapy dog training.
What is therapy dog training? Therapy dog training is founded on the principle that dogs are amazing creatures that help make a person feel better. Of course this may start out emotionally, but if you keep this up, this will carry on to the human’s health as well. When dogs trained in this particular field walk into a room, you can almost see the atmosphere of the room change for the better.
Of course, there are some dogs that might be more predisposed to being therapy dogs because they have a loving and social nature. However, with the right training, almost any breed can be trained here. Do you want your dog to be one? Here are some tips to help you develop a good therapy dog today.
One of the first things you should ever teach your dog is socialization skills. This is basically teaching the animal how to be comfortable with new people and unfamiliar surroundings. Puppy training should begin as early as possible. It is harder to train them the older they get (which is not to say it’s impossible, just a lot more challenging).
Bring your dog outside to public places and in areas where there are a lot of people. Introduce your dog to your friends and encourage him to be friendly with people. The park is a good place for the dog to interact with other animals, people and be accustomed to loud and unusual noises. He should be good with people and trained enough not to feel threatened if a child pulls any part of his body playfully. Leash training is also highly recommended
Make sure that your dog knows the basic obedience commands. You can enroll him in a good dog obedience school or you can buy a dog training DVD and train your dog yourself. Make sure your dog knows what actions are not desirable (excessive barking, chewing, aggression, uncontrolled rowdiness). Replace unfavorable behavior with good through positive reinforcement.
Most dogs are naturally protective, but it is important for therapy dogs to not pounce on people who are touching you or any other person for that matter. Remember, if you are training him, you will also be on the job caring for people alongside him. Sick and needy people can be more touchy-feely and this should not bother your dog.
Therapy dog training is one of the most fulfilling things a pet owner can ever accomplish. It’s one thing to enjoy a loving and affectionate pet– it’s an entirely different matter to see your dog be a source of comfort and healing to another human being. Start training him and be inspired when you do.