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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Therapy Dog Training - Working With Your Dog

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Therapy dog training, while important, is something with which many people are not familiar. A therapy dog is one that is used to do animal assisted therapy and activities. Organizations train the dog to help people in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and virtually anywhere people need some sort of therapy. So, then, how do dogs become therapy dogs? It is a fairly simple process.

A Good Citizen

Though the requirements for therapy dog training vary from state to state, it is almost universal that the dog must be certified as a canine good citizen. In order to receive that, you have to train your dog to be focused and well behaved around distractions. Generally your local animal shelter or even a therapy dog training center will have classes available for you to learn how to turn your dog into a canine good citizen.

Classes for Therapy

Therapy dog training can start as soon as your dog has been certified as a canine good citizen. The training consists mainly of teaching your dog how to ignore things like hospital equipment and school noises that he or she may not be used to being around. They also train the dog to help with simple activities and therapy with those who need it. However, in many cases, the therapy is really just the presence of the dog. Those using the services of dogs trained in how to perform the therapy can be anything from walking them, to reading to them, to simply being around them.

Where to Go

If you are interested in therapy dog training for your four legged pal, then you should check out the internet or your local yellow pages. Whether you live in Virginia, California, or anywhere else, there is an organization in your area that will help you not only teach your dog how to become a therapy dog, but also get him out in the community and doing his part. Additionally, you can volunteer to help with everything from training to the therapy itself. Just get in contact with your local organization.

Therapy dog training can be incredibly rewarding. When you teach your dog how to react to the situations with which he will be presented, you are putting him in a situation to be more than just a pet. You and your dog together can be real additions to the community and help your fellow man.

Dean Iggo is the webmaster of providing tips and advice on dog obedience training at home, including obedience, potty training and more.

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