Our Beagle World Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering registering Snoopy to be a registered therapy dog. Any trainers out there have any tips so I can polish off his obedience skills before his exam?

I heard that making a dog wear some sort of vest with his things/supplies in the pockets will make him feel like he's working and it will make him feel more accomplished. Is this true?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
32,140 Posts
Originally Posted By: IvyHoustonI heard that making a dog wear some sort of vest with his things/supplies in the pockets will make him feel like he's working and it will make him feel more accomplished. Is this true?
That may be true, but I wouldn't try that with a Beagle. They are not working dogs and don't need the vest for that. They can also hurt their back.

About the therapy thing. Chloe is a licensed therapy dog, as are 2 of one of the other members. They are great at that. I have not started working with her, but withing the next few weeks that will probably happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Distractions! If your dog can work it with distractions about, then your dog can work it anywhere. Do mock-exams in some strange environments with new smells, sounds and people around. I've found that even wonderfully trained beagles will sometimes decide that this new smell is more important than you are!!
I worked with a trainer once who was merciless with distractions in class - during heels and long-distance stays, she'd roll AMAZING toys across the floor, throw squeakies, run around dropping treats, outright wave them in the dog's faces, etc. The idea was to test all the drives, which in training usually splits into prey (toys), play (human praise and contact) and of course, food. If your dog can perform in the presence of all those distractions, then you'll be laughing all the way to therapy work!
Good luck!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have asked my work if I can bring in Snoopy to work once or twice a week so I can start training him to be calm in different environments. I got the green light, so I will be bringing him in with me next week. Hopefully that will help.

What other things can I do to prepare him?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,249 Posts
My greyhound Andy is a registered Therapy Dog and we visit a nursing home. If you check out http://www.tdi-dog.org/ you will get a really good idea of what is expected of you and your therapy dog.

A few things that I find to be critical when taking Andy to the home are:

- leave it (comes in handy so they don't pick up any medical waste and things from the floor)

- teaching them that it it not okay to sniff private areas of patients! A lot of them tend to wear diapers and the dogs of course will be curious. If Andy does start to sniff, I remove his head gently from the area and bring his head up for the resident to pet him.

- a harness works very well for visits. Gives you some control to hold your therapy dog while they are being petted.

You can practice at home with a few visitors. Have them sit or lay down and teach your beagle the proper visiting skills.

As for outfits/vests etc, I have a therapy dog bandana that Andy wears sometimes and he also has a bright yellow ID tag from TDI. He seems to know when its time for us to go, I have a carry bag that I bring and he sees that and knows its time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all so much for the info.
What are some of the commands you use that you find to be helpful? (other than the obvious ones)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,249 Posts
It really depends on the type of facility that you take your dog to. The place I go is a memory care center for seniors that are not sick or bed bound. There aren't many walkers and no wheelchairs so that makes a difference. We used to go to a large nursing home where Andy had to spend time with bed bound, patients, often people that were paralyzed and things like that. In that situation, I would find out who liked dogs and help them pet Andy.

If your beagle knows any tricks, the residents LOVE it! Even sit, paw etc. makes them laugh. Be careful of putting outfits on the dog because the facilities tend to be quite warm.

Oh, and make sure that there is ample time for potty relief before entering the facility. I usually park kind of far away and give Andy time to get it all out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
We've been looking into using Bodie as a Therapy Dog too. My wife is a Speech Pathologist and we own a private practice. She's heard of other practitioners who use dogs in their therapy as well. So we're going to see if Bodie would be an appropriate Speech Therapy Dog candidate.

In our area we have an organization called the Delta Society which helps identify and train therapy dogs. We're going to attend an orientation next month. After which time if we wish to proceed we'll arrange a screening of Bodie. If he's a good candidate we'll start the training process.

According to our CPA, since we'll be using him in our practice, all expenses (food, toys, vet bills, etc.) related to him will become a tax write off. In 2008, that's $3,100. I've also registered a domain name for him ( www.bodiespeaks.com ) and have an artist working on a logo.

Holly bought a book on Amazon about therapy dogs. I don't know the name right now, but when I do I'll post it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,249 Posts
You can definately write off some of the expenses in taxes. I use my mileage, TDI fee, and Andy's supplies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Is he taking the canine good citizen test? It is offered at the training facility we take our pup to and accoding to their website covers basic obedience, introducing your dog to situations with strangers and different dogs. Have you tested his basic manners in environments other than your home? I would assume you need to add distractions, maybe a group of friends could help him prepare?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
Ya I've seen the list of evaluation items. And we're going to work on those during our daily lives.

As for the CGC testing, we'd like to do that. But it'll probably be in 2-3 months. I want to meet and/or observe the trainer first. I've met some of those holier-than-thou trainers who talk down to you. Which we don't need or want. So finding the right type of trainer that we like is important.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top