How to train my puppy to be a therapy dog?

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what are therapy dogs?| How to train my puppy to be a therapy dog

How to train my puppy to be a therapy dog?

First of all, we have to figure out what therapy dogs are?

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Therapy dogs are the ones that somehow or the other interact with their owners to show their feelings of wellbeing and encourage therapy/rehabilitation through contact, sight, or at an emotional level.

What things should you do to help your puppy to offer therapy?

First of all, we have to figure out what therapy dogs are?

Therapy dogs are the ones that somehow or the other interact with their owners to show their feelings of wellbeing and encourage therapy/rehabilitation through contact, sight, or at an emotional level.

Benefits of therapy dogs

If your dog is healthy and has an excellent temperament, then they are the ideal candidate to spread the love for your dog to others who need them. There is no limitation of age or breed. However, older dogs fit this criterion much better as they are more settled and have stable behaviour.

Having to play around with a therapy dog can elevate chemicals in the body called serotonin and dopamine. These increased levels help in calmness and relaxation.

Consider whether your puppy is an ideal candidate for the future therapy dog.

considerations of therapy dog in medical centres

Friendliness:

To be considered an excellent therapy dog, your dog must exhibit characteristics of friendliness to all kinds of people. They should not only be calm and composed but show they are not irritated or exhibit any unusual behaviour when they are around strangers, especially kids through contact. Playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax

 

The character of your puppy :

Figure out whether your puppy is more dominant or have a submissive nature?  These characteristics can be tested in several ways; For example, does your dog pull the leash while walking or you pull the leash to take your dog along with you?

 

Retrieving on command

Throw a ball or another object and check your dog’s response. Does he go and accept your command and fetch the ball for you? Or sits around and watch.

 

The touch response of your dog

Check out how your puppy reacts to a touch response. The nature/characteristic of your puppy’s sensitivity to being handled can help determine the training the puppy will need in the future.

 

Response to Sound

How does your dog’s reaction to loud noises? Call your dog’s name or make a calling expression to see how your dog reacts to it? This also helps to test for deafness and response rate.

 

Sight Sensitivity:

Most dog breeds are colour blind. That doesn’t mean you can’t make eye contact. Check your dog’s reaction, if they respond with the eye contact. This eye contact justifies good confident response. This is a good indicator of the confidence of the puppy. If they are not behaving the same way and making proper eye contact, this could be a sign of blindness. Once you are ruled out that its not blindness problem, for example, if they come straight to their food bowl straightaway when you put food in there. Then it comes to the temperament behaviour. 

 

Mental and Physical Stability.

 

Check out how stable is your puppy, both physically and mentally. Throw some strange object at your puppy and look for their’s response. Do they get bothered by when they see strange objects thrown at them? Also, look for their physical stability. If they are solidly built, they will lead a healthier life without any bone alignment

 

how do they train service dogs

Categories/Types of therapy pets

They can be divided into two broad categories

 

1) Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) -This uses companion pets as one of the components of a patient’s therapy. It comes under the prescription and therapy dog becomes part of the overall treatment plan. This helps improve the physical and emotional function of the patient. For example, regular throwing of the ball encourages repetitive hand-eye coordination and increases the blood circulation, thus helping in healing.

 

 

2) Animal-assisted therapy (AAT)– This is to introduce animals to people who are not communicating well.  Many patients get the feeling of being relaxed in the presence of a friendly therapy dog. However, there is no formal treatment plan or prescription needed.

 

Neither of the above-mentioned types of therapy dogs categories is considered a service dog category by federal law. Service dogs are defined as those trained dogs that are there to actively help owners with disabilities like a blind guard dog or diabetic alert dogs.

 

therapy dog at work

Tests/assessment  for therapy dog

Every country has its specific laws for their therapy dogs to be registered and assessed. However, in general, they somehow follow the below protocols as the guidance to get them that status of therapy dogs

1)   Relationship with their owners and strangers

2)   Supervised visit to the medical centre to see their temperament

3)   How good are they in following the command you give

What should you do to make your puppy a therapy dog?

1)   At early age start Socializing and start to Develop a Trusting Relationship with Your Puppy as Soon as Possible

 

2)   Introduce puppies to strangers of all age groups ranging from kids to old aged, as well as the people wearing different uniforms, glasses, or hats. Keep the interactions healthy, unthreatening, and friendly.

 

3)   Engage in the activities you and dog both likes like walking in the park, hiking,bushwalking.this will create the bond between you

 

4)   Teach your dog basic behavioural commands and keep track of their reactions to these commands. Try to keep the usual tone and give commands in a normal voice. Never raise your voice.

 

 

5)   Arrange supervised separations with your puppy. This will reduce anxiety when they are not with you and give them the confidence to be alone if the time demands.

Unsuitable dogs

Despite all your time and efforts, there will be instances where some dogs are not suitable for the role of the therapy dog. Don’t get disheartened as they may not have the temperament to fall into that category. Getting diagnosed with a health condition is another scenario which precludes them from this role. You will figure this out while in the training period. If your dog doesn’t feel regular around strangers, then its time to raise the bar of training and get them to socialise even more. Most affectionate, loving, active, and responsive dogs may fall out of the role of a therapy dog, but that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them.  All it means is at this given period; they are not the ideal candidate for being called a therapy dog.

Sources 

Wikipedia

Related searches

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