My hospital stay with Rayne got me thinking... - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-28-2013, 11:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My hospital stay with Rayne got me thinking...

So after being in the hospital with Rayne, my youngest daughter, I started thinking about the work that therapy dogs do. I really think Ammo could do an awesome job as a therapy dog. He loves being around people and is great with children. I have looked into what all is required and am almost 100% sure Ammo could do it. There are only a couple things that worry me about him doing it, none involving contact with people.

My first worry is the way Ammo is around other dogs. When he is on a lead he has a tendency to show a little aggression toward them. He has never fought another dog and is actually really good with them when he is off leash. He is also good after the initial introduction. I can take him for a walk and he will do ok while walking past a dog. He stays on a good heal or if I tell him to stay he will. The only problem is he is always intense on the other dog. Do you think I can train him to ignore the other dog? He will ignore one when he is zoned on his frisbee. Do you think I can train the kind of focus he has with frisbees to me when it comes to therapy work?

Also I'm worried about him having to be separated from me during the evaluation. He does not handle that well at all. I think I can train him to stay the 3 minutes and not freak out to much, but I don't know if I can stop his whining. He is very vocal when he is not happy. Anyone have any ideas how to help train him to hush?

I think Ammo will make a great therapy dog and I would really like to work with him on it. I watch him when I take him places and how he reacts with people, he truly loves it. He has never been an in your face kind of dog. I can place him in a sit and he will stay still while people (usually many of them) pet on him. I have taken him into some really crowded areas and he is always calm and collected. I would call Ammo a bomb proof dog, with the exception of the top 2 worries. I take Ammo almost everywhere with me and he has handled everything very well. He is even great with the cats at petsmart, never pays them any attention.

If anyone has any tips for helping further his training to be a therapy dog I would love to hear them. I really think this is something he could do very well and something he would love to do. Thanks everyone.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sorry I don't have any advice to offer. I wanted to say that I think it is awesome that you are considering training Ammo to be a therapy dog. I hope Rayne is feeling much better.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I believe he will have to pass the CGC test first and then the therapy test, which both require your two worries. You know what you have to work on, so focus on that for a couple months before you move forward. Midnite was awful and very leash reactive , but once he started going to classes he got used to seeing other dogs and it became no big deal for him. He went from growling, lunging, and hackles up to no reaction at all within a couple weeks. The out of sight test is tricky. Midnite did look for me and that was what he did the whole time, but he didn't cry or whine, he just had his nose in the air. He really loves going to the nursing home, I tell him its time to go to work and he seems to know what I mean. It makes me feel good too.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I tried training Havoc as a therapy dog but it turns out that he isn't into taking care of strangers. But what I did learn is that dog reactivity is not a bar to doing therapy dog work.
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blehmannwa View Post
I tried training Havoc as a therapy dog but it turns out that he isn't into taking care of strangers. But what I did learn is that dog reactivity is not a bar to doing therapy dog work.
There might not be an issue with reactivity when doing therapy work, but the tests to get certified won't allow it, so really there is a bar. There is also the possibility of other dogs being at the same place at the same time.
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