Activities For Sensitive Dogs

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Introduction

Sensitive dogs should never be expected to do the same things as confident, outgoing dogs. These dogs do not do well when too much is expected from them. Spend time reassuring them and showing them that even though they are a little unsure or feeling too much pressure, everything is going to be fine. There are plenty of activities that sensitive dogs can excel at while enjoying themselves in the process. Spend some time researching different activities for your sensitive dog and try a few before you decide which ones will be best suited for you. 

Emotional Support Dog

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Treats
Qualifying letter
Vest (optional)
Activity description

An emotional support animal is not a service animal; instead, they are more like a therapy animal that stays with you to provide emotional support for a form of mental health disability. Emotional support dogs do not have any formal training but they should be well-mannered and able to go into places of business without causing a disturbance. People diagnosed with a mental health disability will need a certified letter from a licensed mental health professional to be able to take their dog with them as an emotional support dog. Take the time to educate yourself about emotional support dogs and learn where they are allowed; not every place of business allows emotional support animals.

Step
1
Obtain qualifying letter
Before your dog can be considered an emotional support dog, you must be deemed by a mental health professional as mentally disabled. Your doctor must be a mental health professional and must write a formal, qualifying letter on their professional letterhead. This letter must be kept with you when you are out with your dog to prove that they are needed as an emotional support dog.
Step
2
Find a dog
If you do not already have a dog that would work as an emotional support dog, you will need to start looking for one. A dog that has a sensitive nature is the best choice for an emotional support dog. You must have a deep connection with your dog in order for them to be able to sense your moods and when they are most needed to help you through a difficult situation.
Step
3
Basic obedience training
An emotional support dog must be well trained and able to walk into a place of business without causing a disturbance. They should listen well and not become overly exuberant when they greet people. Basic obedience skills are important for them to be welcome in places that accept emotional support animals. Several dog clubs and even specialty pet stores offer basic obedience classes for beginner and advanced students.
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Therapy Dog

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Collar or Harness
Leash
Treats
Visit Log
Vest (optional)
Activity description

Therapy dogs cannot be considered service dogs. Therapy dogs do not perform specific tasks for a disabled person in order for that person to be more independent. Therapy dogs simply go into places such as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools and provide emotional support to those they meet. The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers a Therapy Dog program where dogs can earn therapy dog titles depending on the number of successful visits they have made. Sensitive dogs make a better therapy dog than an overbearing dog. Sensitive dogs are more in tune with a person’s emotions and are more willing to cuddle up with a person and give them the love they are craving.

Step
1
Basic obedience training
Before a dog can go into a place to act as a therapy dog, they must be obedient. Since they will be around a variety of people including elderly, ill, and children, an exuberant dog could cause bodily harm without meaning to do so. Find a dog club that offers basic obedience training and enroll your dog before they begin their therapy work. Some large specialty pet stores also offer basic obedience classes that might be shorter in duration and cheaper.
Step
2
Find a club
You will need to join a dog club that offers a therapy program in order for your dog to be considered a therapy dog. A dog club is also needed to properly process the AKC Therapy Dog program paperwork in order for your dog to earn the proper titles as your dog completes each level. Clubs will also have visit logs available for you and help you find the right places your dog can do the most good.
Step
3
Start visiting
Visits do require a bit of planning and paperwork. When you first enter a facility, locate the person in charge and hand over your visit log for them to fill out. Keep your visit log with you during every therapy visit you make. Dogs can earn several AKC Therapy Dog titles. The top title that your dog can earn as a therapy dog through the AKC is the Therapy Dog Distinguished or THDD title. In order for your dog to earn this prestigious title, they must have completed at least 400 successful visits.
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Visit A Day Spa

Popular
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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Activity description
Doggy day spas are popping up all over the United States and people are finding that these are great ways to pamper their pets without putting out much effort. Doggy day spas do cost more than the traditional dog groomer because of the different services that are offered. Your dog can get the basic wash, brush and style or they can get a more deluxe experience and have sweet smelling shampoos used as well as bows, ribbons and a doggy massage. Take the time to research the doggy spas in your area and decide which one is best suited for your dog.

Step
1
Find a doggy spa
A dog groomer is not necessarily a dog spa. Research the different dog groomers and spas in your area to find the one that is right for your dog. Some doggy spas specialize in smaller dogs whereas others are all-inclusive and will pamper dogs of any shape and size. Call each place that you are interested in and ask questions, some will even allow you to come in and tour their spa so you can watch how they handle the dogs.
Step
2
Prepare for appointment
Be sure to write down any instructions you have for the doggy spa. Express to the spa’s personnel exactly what your wishes are such as a specific color of ribbon, a cut and style and even nail polish color if you are requesting this service. Make sure the spa is aware of any allergies that your dog may have and know how to handle an emergency situation. Leave your veterinarian’s name and number with the spa.
Step
3
Relax and enjoy
Most doggy spas do not allow you to stay with your dog while they are being prepped and primped. So scout around in the area and find a coffee shop to kick back, relax, and enjoy a refreshing drink while your dog is at the doggy spa. The first time your dog visits the spa, you may be a little apprehensive, but you will soon look forward to that hour of relaxation for yourself as well!
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More Fun Ideas...

Visit A Sick Friend

If you are not interested in earning titles but know of a friend that is feeling poorly but adores dogs, you can take your dog for a visit. Allow your dog to spend time cuddling with a sick friend. This will relax your dog and give your friend something to look forward to each visit.

Take A Walk

Sensitive dogs are not necessarily shy dogs; they simply are more in tune with the emotions of those around them. They are still dogs that enjoy spending time with you. One way to spend time with them and create a strong bond is to take them on daily walks so they can enjoy the exercise and fresh air. Make their walks interesting by not taking the same route every day and handing out treats throughout the walk.

Conclusion

As your dog matures, their personality will change. Dogs that are sensitive may seem more clingy and needy; however, they simply can sense your moods and emotions and want to help in any way they can. There are activities that your sensitive dog can participate in that will give them the opportunity to give love and support to those in need. Check out the activities that are available in your area and decide which ones are best suited for you and your dog.