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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 02:07 AM
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Kelina you asked "
Maybe it will be easier to determine if she will be a good therapy dog "
From what you say "
My pup is a hella puller for the time being, so im correcting this performance with a prong ATM after a months of use and still no improvement"
and just coming around to "No lie, she actually is starting to come when I say come lol"
But especially this "
I miss when my pup use to stay quiet and ignore things she use to be fearful of so many things lol. I was always the person she came back to when afraid ha! Now she is 6 months (in a cple days) and really showing her barking side lmao!"

In my opinion your pup does not sound like a good candidate for a therapy , visitation dog , and would benefit if you joined an obedience class for training opportunity.
I wondered what you meant when you said using the prong collar made the dog more confident. Pretty young dog to need prong , which like any equipment can be used incorrectly. Looks like there needs to be better connection made .
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Chicagocanine View Post
I know around here it is hard to find any place that would allow a dog to visit if they are t registered with a therapy dog organization. The testing shows that the dog has at least been observed by someone (the tester) that they are obedient and safe around people. I also wouldn't scoff at the idea of insurance, you just never know...
This is 100% true. A person off the street just can't go into a hospital or nursing home. They have to be involved with an organization. My dog's trainer has two Rott's that are therapy dogs, so she is willing to help me and guide me in the right direction.

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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 09:46 AM
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My dog is not a registered therapy dog. He's very excitable and really likes to check out new places (sniff every corner) and he's extremely vigilant and really doesn't relax.

I'm going to take the test the next time its offered at my club mostly for my own want to see how he will do but he does do well in therapy situations. These aren't really as involved as what EJQ talked about. We go to a large room, people sit around the room, our dogs do some obedience/agility stuff. We teach kids/adults how to approach dogs. Our dogs go around to people and say hello, but its really not a big deal for the dog to be a little more aloof. As long as they aren't fearful or very shy, they'll do just fine in that group...especially because most of their training buddies are in there with them.

These are all events set up by a club member and are planned for months in advance. Of course no one just walks into these places and tells them their dog is a "therapy dog" and so they will go around doing stuff. But its really rare for the place to ask the group for their TDi certificate, maybe its just the trust in our group (that's been doing it for such a long time).

I think you should try to get the certification...just don't be upset if you don't do it at a young age. My dog was not calm enough to do it before the age of 2, and it was just due to his drive and personality. There are dogs at my club that don't have that drive and therefore can be therapy dogs at 12 months old. Like some of the others have said, it has so much to do with the dog's personality as well as the kind of training you're doing.
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
I think the number one quality you need to look for is if SHE wants to do it. And her personality may change as she gets older and matures.
This is exactly what I was going to say. Not every GSD is ga-ga over strangers. A good therapy dog LOVES people and loves to socialize, and not all GSDs are into that. In fact, the GSD standard calls for the dog to be "aloof" with strangers. Even a pup that is a social butterfly and loves to meet people may mature to become an aloof adult. Just keep that in mind.
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 01:16 PM
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Sorry, my post should have read "hard to find any place that would allow a dog to visit if they aren't registered", I typed it with an on-screen keyboard and it likes to skip letters so it came out "are t" which looks like ARE so I just wanted to clarify that!

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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 01:38 PM
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Kelina, I think it's great that you want your puppy to become a Therapy Dog, because so many people enjoy the visits. My last GSD was a Therapy Dog, and it's very rewarding. But I didn't have him tested until he was 3 years old, because he was a silly puppy up until then, and I wanted him to enjoy that.

What I'm working on with this puppy now is making sure that he has excellent exposure to as many people/things/experiences that I can. I watch to make sure he's always happy about investigating new things, because he's going to need this confidence if he's going to become a TD. IMO, this is where a puppy should be at, not just putting a prong on and getting good behavior. There's plenty of time for that later, after he's comfortable with being exposed to new things and enjoying being curious about them, not just being told to ignore them. That's why I don't use the prong when I introduce him to these things, in case he self-corrects into submission instead.
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 02:17 PM
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We hoped that Havs would be a therapy dog but no interest in strangers and he doesn't like to be petted by outsiders. He'd be great if we could have therapy sessions in our home. Havoc thinks that were the Olive Garden. "When you are here, you're family."
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 06:32 PM
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I am a CGC evaluator and also evaluate for our local "Rock-N Paws Therapy Dogs" group. The ones of us that have registered our dogs are through Therapy Dogs Incorporated (TD Inc.) based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, since they are the closests to us. (We've got 2 CGC evaluators in our group and that way we can test each other's dogs, and not have to drive 100 miles to someone else.

Our local group requires all dogs to have earned or be working towards earning their CGC certificate. TD Inc doesn't require a CGC, but it can be used in place of a reference letter. We encourage everyone to get their dog registered (they do not certify a dog) in order to have the liability insurance coverage, as our group is all volunteers and we stress over and over, that if your dog is not registered with a therapy dog organization, you are responsible for making sure that your own personal insurance will cover any incident.

We just got our group started about a year ago, and finally starting to get things going. We've got about 10 handler/dog teams and 4-5 more that are about ready to send in their paperwork to get registered. We are in the process of setting up regular days to make visits to the different nursing homes, and hopefully at some point, will be able to coordinate with the hospital to get regulations set up so we can visit there as well. We've also made visits to schools, and the library for story time for the youngsters.

AKC offered a Therapy Dog (TD) title now. It requires a total of 50 logged and signed visits. Your dog doesn't have to be a registered purebred dog, as mixed breed dogs can now get a PAL/ILP registeration or whatever they are calling it now. Its a great opportunity for people that have rescued or adopted dogs that want to do something with them. The latest new member is a retired school teacher who adopted a dog 2 months ago and is working to train and get him registered so he can go to the schools in his town to work with kids.

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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 11:41 AM
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Want to get certification for my dog when he hits a year old but have some questions.

We got him to have a family companion first and a guard/alert dog mostly.
He is 8 months and alerts to any sound from outside when at home. He barks and then is happy once we let someone inside. If I just talk to them at the door he has that uncertain look but he doesn't growl.

I take him as many places as I can. He loves people but is cautious when the people at PetSmart give him treats.

Only fear aggression he has ever had was when a larger dog was barking at him (it was tied up).

Would training him for therapy take away from his home guarding?
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 03:10 PM
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Therapy Dogs are not so much trained for the job but rather enhanced. Dogs can not be trained to enjoy the interaction with people other than their owners.

A Therapy Dog needs obedience training and many are trained a trick or two to entertain but their basic personalities are to be outgoing.

A more aloof dog can be trained to put up with touches etc. from those they do not wish to be around but this is not a safe mode for any length of time. If a dog is stressed they may for awhile follow training but there reaches a point that they will begin to go against training.

Would training him for therapy take away from his home guarding?
The answer to this would first be what you consider his home guarding?
Barking to alert that someone is here? (He could be barking because he is happy to have company, he is barking because he knows doing so pleases you, or he may be barking because he doesn't like non-family members in his area.

At eight months I would say to keep up with obedience work and make sure you socialize him as much as possible - this is with other people and controlled situations around other dogs. Over the next months you will have a better idea of how he will mature.

Honestly, it is not easy to give advise over the Internet. When your dog reacted to another dog was it with true aggression or could it have been a startle reaction?

Simple answer for therapy work vrs. guarding/alert. If you want to lean more to personal protection or a dog that not only alerts but reacts then I would say therapy work would be in conflict to each other and not something that would give good or safe results.

We can not always chose what type of work that is a best fit for our dogs. Sometimes we have to just let them lead us as they develop and show us what they are comfortable with.

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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 01-23-2013 at 03:13 PM.
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