Saturday, July 17, 2010

Therapy Dog Training, Part I

I took Luc for an evaluation and a private session to a lady, Misty,   who does Therapy Dog training.  One of the kennels in the area is beginning to offer classes for therapy dogs.  A dog has to pass a Canine Good Citizen test in order to go on to training as a therapy dog.   Luc has a great personality, loves people, loves dogs, loves children but goes into an over exuberant tizzy upon seeing people, dogs, children and anything new.  The private dog training session was to show me how to work with him on these issues.  :D 

We both have some work to do to get ready for the class beginning July 27.  There is only one part of the test that he might fail, i.e., the walk-by, or when two people walk towards each other with their dog on the left.  We are suppose to be able to stop and shake hands without the dogs being dogs,  in other words crossing in front to greet and/or make friends with the other dog.  Hmmm, if he fails, we have to work some more and do the class the next time it is offered. 

After spending about an hour with Misty, I registered for the class and then took Luc to Home Depot and on to Tractor Supply.  I have to do that every day for the next ten; and hopefully, he'll pass the Canine Good Citizens test.  If "we" do, we get to stay in the Therapy Dog training. 

Ever since I learned about the program, I've always thought Luc would be a wonderful therapy dog.  Therapy Dogs go to hospitals, senior citizen homes, and other health care facilities to visit.  I've been waiting until Luc was old enough to calm down, and I suppose he has somewhat. But he and I definitely need more training to enter a strange place without his going bananas with excitement.  :D   I learned an interesting piece of information today, actually more than one, but however long you train a dog you need put your dog in his crate for double the training time.  The rest and lack of distraction allows them to process the training.   

All in all, it was a most successful session for us both.  I just hope he can pass the walk-by test and we can begin the therapy training.  :D 

Until next time, God bless.

PS:  Don't let that peaceful, calm, and at rest pose fool you.  Luc has two switches - on and off.  I'm hoping to modify that a bit.

5 comments:

DJan said...

I can just tell from the pictures of Luc that he would be a great therapy dog, so I hope you get to try it soon. In any event, he will get there soon, I suspect. It's a wonderful thing you're doing, Lynn.

AL said...

Good luck Luc, I hope you pass the training. I am also planning to let Oreo undergo training, because he also gets so hyperactive upon seeing a new person in the house. Sometimes visitors are scared of him but in fact he is such a sweet dog. Maybe a walk, would let him be exposed with other dogs and humans, but I am not sure if I can hold onto him the moment he saw dogs, kitties on our way while walking. Ho hum.

Doctor dog is how we call them here, visits patients in the hospitals or sometimes home for the seniors, it's a good therapy for them, I would also like Oreo to be a doctor dog someday.

Lynn said...

Al, "Doctor dog" is a cute designation. :D I cannot hold Luc when he gets hyper upon seeing dogs, people, etc.; however, Luc is now 5 years old. If I stay with the training she showed me, he'll not be the hand-full he's been.

I may not have had to wait so long if I had gone ahead with a private lesson before today. But therapy training has not been offered here in Dripping until now. It is offered in Austin which is about 30-35 miles from me. The kennel is going to start a therapy dog club out here which will be convenient for me.

SquirrelQueen said...

Luc would be a perfect therapy dog, I hope he passes his Canine Good Citizen test. The two of you will make a great team.

I have a bloggy friend who has a therapy dog, http://therapydogjosie.blogspot.com/

Good luck to Luc and you.

reanaclaire said...

I always want to learn more about dog training..my Labbie is smart but needs proper lessons ..hope u keep posting! thanks!