German Shepherd Dog Forums - Reply to Topic
Thread: Should I work on it or leave it? (therapy dog training ??) Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-01-2014 05:09 PM
David Taggart
Ammo looked up at the lady and then dragged me about 5 foot till he was standing in front of her.
He read her facial expression telling him she is in pain. Her soul was aching, because for the person who lost his/her dog is simply painful to see other people with dogs being happy.

How do I break him from getting excited when people get excited and squeal at him?
High pitched voice reminds of a physical pain, and your dog wants to investigate. Your dog shows quality of a rescue dog. Don't stop him doing it. And, if you will - it might result in something absolutely undesired. He doesn't know how to react, tell him how to react. Ignoring is not a reaction. I'd teach him singing a song in response. Could he whine by command? If not, train him to start making circles around you.
Please, don't worry that much about scared people. Though it is programmed in our brain, only very small children could be genuinly scared and get a real shock due to their hight and eye level in comparison of that to the dog. A phobia of a canin revealing itself in strong emotions considered to be a mental disorder in modern adult human, I'd study it closely if I were of your profession:Cynophobia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, it couldn't possibly be of your concern. A person who is scared genuinly may:
1. Get stoned and numb,cry with silent tears, get pale;
2. Run across the street to the opposite side;
3. Run into any open door to hide;
5. Laugh with nervous laughter;start praying;
But they never cry loud. People who are at risk of meeting grizzly in the wild should know that they must cry as loud as they can, because naturally they wouldn't. In majority of cases this sort of fear is a sheer simulation: a girlfriend in presence of her boyfriend, a group of girls seeking to gain a feminine image, a righteous man or a moral old bag, with her hands akimbo - sometimes are crying that they are scared to death.
02-01-2014 04:09 PM
gsdsar I think it's wonderful that Ammo loves to greet people that are showing interest in him. It's a nice quality in a TD.

But I agree that he should not be allowed to drag you to them, or act too excited.

If I were you I would be working on a "go say hi" command. Work first with people he knows that he does not get over excited about. Have him sit, tell him "go say hi" and when he gets to them, they give him a treat. Once he gets the treat, redirect him and walk away. This way he learned that you control his interactions. I would practice this a lot before taking in public.

We all know he us friendly, but if my elderly relative was on the receiving end of his exhuberance I would not be happy.

Sent from Free App
02-01-2014 03:48 PM
EJQ I wish I could answer your concerns with a simple statement but I can’t. It can get very confusing, convoluted, backwards and upside down to say the least.

First and foremost you must be in command at all times regardless of the condition. That goes without saying.

It is important to realize that there is a difference between an ordinary dog and a trained therapy dog. In general therapy dogs have been trained to be “little ladies and gentlemen” who believe that everything that might otherwise be a negative or aggressive act towards them is actually a friendly gesture!

A few examples:
Eye contact – whenever they make eye contact in training and in everyday comings and goings they get a verbal and tactile reward as well as a possible food reward … “Hey this staring back & forth is cool, I get a treat every time!”
Petting and touching – petting on top of the head, touching ears, touching noses, touching tails; same thing, that’s all good stuff …
Walking into my space – “That’s cool I don’t mind; come on in!” Generally speaking if you are going to allow your dog to enter a person’s space they have to be trained to approach that person in a VERY calm and collected manner.

Well I’ve already blabbed on enough; it is impossible to cover all of the nuances of therapy training is a few paragraphs. I would be happy to answer any specific question that you might have, via a PM, as I’m sure any of us who are involved in therapy work would do.

01-31-2014 02:42 AM
Chicagocanine If you want your dog to be a therapy dog they need to obey you and not approach people unless you give them permission. They should also not be pulling on the leash or dragging you towards people, they should be walking with you under control as you approach.

Therapy dog organizations and the hospitals/facilities where therapy dogs volunteer expect your dog to be under control at all times. If random hospital employees or other patients saw your dog dragging you towards someone or pulling on the leash, this would look very bad. They don't know that your dog doesn't normally act like this, they don't know if that person wanted your dog to visit, etc...all they know is your dog is not under control and is approaching someone without permission. Most therapy dog organizations also cover these things in their testing so it is something you should have under control before you take the test. Many will require your dog to be heeling at your side as you approach people.
01-29-2014 11:37 AM
Originally Posted by Blanketback View Post
I used to tell my darling TD to please try to read peoples' energy, and if they're giving off vibes that they don't like dogs, to try not to look at them and just walk past them I'm not sure if it worked or not.
A while back we came across the lady that was terrified of Ammo. We were at Lowe's and I wasn't sure how to respond. They lady had to go past him, about a 10 foot radius, to get leave the store. I told the lady he would be ok and ask Ammo to sit, which he did. He then looked over at the lady who was still standing there frozen with fear and he laid down as close to the shelf as he could with his back toward her. It was like he was trying to give her as much space as possible. After he laid down and stayed there for a while the woman did finally walk past him. He never even lifted his head off the ground to look at her. I really think he understood her fear.

Sent from Free App
01-29-2014 11:17 AM
Blanketback I used to tell my darling TD to please try to read peoples' energy, and if they're giving off vibes that they don't like dogs, to try not to look at them and just walk past them I'm not sure if it worked or not.
01-29-2014 11:14 AM
Originally Posted by Blanketback View Post
It would be nice to think that a Therapy Dog would instinctively know which people needs them most, and would draw you to them. But practically speaking, you need to have control of your dog at all times, and not pulling is part of it.
The only time I actually lost control of him was when he pulled me to the couple who had lost their lab. He has never pulled me like that before.

Sent from Free App
01-29-2014 10:43 AM
Blanketback It would be nice to think that a Therapy Dog would instinctively know which people needs them most, and would draw you to them. But practically speaking, you need to have control of your dog at all times, and not pulling is part of it.
01-29-2014 02:51 AM
llombardo No. In therapy work he might want to visit someone and that someone might be terrified of dogs and freak out. I don't know about anyone else, but when we go to the nursing home we walk slowly through the common area and he is right at my side, when someone approaches he automatically sits down, if they are in a chair he sits and puts his back to them so they aren't leaning or in his face,when I stop moving he sits down, and I watch around us to make sure he isn't getting rushed. As far as teaching those things I really didn't, he has had obedience classes and only had those for less then a month when he took the CGC and they recommended he get certified. He really just knows what to do, it comes naturally to him.
01-28-2014 11:33 PM
doggiedad train him not to pull for any reason.
train him to heel on or off leash.
you could train him to heel on or off
leash on either side.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome