At what age should I begin her training as a therapy dog?
Hello Lynn, Right now. You can start as soon as a puppy's eyes open. Work on getting her used to being handled by practicing giving her a treat every time you touch an area of her body. Do this for a couple of minutes with every area of her body every day whenever you can. Also, expose her to as many new things, especially lots of different types of people, and make the experiences positive by giving her treats and praise during the interactions with new things. Most puppies start out friendly and will let you handle them while young, but if you do not practice it now many dogs will quickly loose those things as they age. Also, enroll her in a puppy class where she can practice playing with other puppies under the supervision of a trainer. You want to let the puppies have a chance to practice gentle mouthing and learn how to control the pressure of their mouths. When one puppy starts to seem overwhelmed or one puppy is getting too rough, then separate the puppies, work on something fun like Sit with treats for a minute, then let the puppy who wanted to stop go back to playing first to see if he still wants to play. If he does, then you can let the puppies resume playing. If he does not want to play anymore, then let that puppy have a longer break. Moderating the play this way prevents fear and bullying from happening, and instead let's the rough puppies learn when they are being too rough and let's the shy puppies have a chance to recover and want to play again. These are the most important things to work on for future therapy work at this age. Good control of a puppy's bite pressure makes him far safer as an adult. Socialization cannot be completely recovered most of the time as an adult, and is vital for therapy visits, and being comfortable with touch is essential for therapy work also. Bite-Inhibition and socialization can only be learned really well when a puppy is young. Those two things plus getting a puppy used to being touched, effect a puppy's future temperament more than anything else. You can also start obedience now. It is never too young for that. You will need to be patient because a puppy cannot focus for as long as an adult, but the obedience that you teach to a puppy will often stay with that puppy for the rest of his life because he never learns any bad habits in place of those things. Obedience can be taught to an older dog though, so socialization, bite-inhibition, and touch desensitization are the most important things to teach to prepare your pup now for therapy work later, if you do not have time to start obedience just yet also. Your goal should be for your puppy to be given treats from a hundred different people, including: kids, elderly, different skin colors, disabled people, toddlers, men, women, people wearing hats, glasses, beards, or with canes, wheelchairs, ects...Think of the possible people and things she will encounter later in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, or other locations and get her used to those things now with trips, treats, and praise. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
i bet lucy is adorabe and hopfuly doing well with her traning:) (:
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my Murphy is a big boy is great of lead but pulls a bit on lead i have special needs my self he cares alot for me and his half brother this morning he cleaned his half brothers head his names bono and he realy wants to catch cats and see every dog but sometimes if one dog is super bouny or is same size or biger he can feel distressed and sometimes groul but he is gentle and never hurts anything we have brought him to 4 paws dog training before because his half brother used to go there and he was the best dog there at th corse we went there to try and train him to stop pulling on the lead but he was to intrested in all the other dogs there so i decided to walk him daily and hes better now i just need some tips for you to help with being a therapy dog and to cary things around:)
Hello Laura, Check out this article and the sections on teaching Take It and Drop It https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-to-fetch/ Hold command: https://wagwalking.com/training/hold-an-object Heeling - Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Passing Approach method - I recommend hiring a professional private trainer, who will come to your home to help with this type of training, with the help of their dogs that can be passed by during the walk to practice pup learning to ignore other dogs and associate them with calmness and rewards. A training group with multiple private trainers can be a good resource. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Leave It method for the cat chasing: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite You will also likely need to practice desensitizing around cats also, similarly to the Passing Approach method, using the Leave It command, and rewarding pup when they ignore the cat as you pass. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
And also i would prefer if you could give me instructions of how to train him because of covid its pretty serious and i think its safest to do it that way also i dont think im in the same country or contanant as you im england in hertforshire
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