July 30th, 2007, 04:07 PM
Hi Guys...it's nice to be in another thread other than "food recall" and I could use any advice from someone experienced with training a dog to be a "Therapy Dog". I have a 4 month old Papillon who is about 8 1/2 pounds right now. Obviously she will be an oversized dog for her breed, I'm pleased about that. Better too big than too little. My husband and I are starting her in a puppy class next week for socializing. My goal is to bring her to nursing homes and hospitals so that she can bring pleasure to the elderly and sick children, as I'm sure she will with us also. I will be putting her through the proper training when she gets a little older but I could use advice to get her going in the right direction. She has alot more energy than any of my poodles had when they were her age. She likes to talk back (bark) when we tell her "no" and it is very difficult to keep a straight face but we are working on that. We have taken her to Home Depot and Lowes in a dog stroller to get her used to being out and around people. I also take her to a groomer even though I could do the grooming myself (for socializing).
What other things should I be doing? I also should mention that her potty training is going great but she likes to chew on us all the time and the word "no" does not always work.
I appreciate any help here.
Thanks in advance..........
August 1st, 2007, 12:37 PM
Chewing on you all the time ? :laughing: Sorry, I remember the hamburger hands...luckily "this too shall pass". Have you tried wetted, frozen washcloths ?
In terms of socialization for future therapy dog training, it is important to expose her to a variety of noise and to loud noise as well as people who are different. If you think of a hospital environment, lots of beeps, buzzes and loudspeaker announcements. I'm thinking loading docks, the mechanics garage bay of Canadian Tire, parades. I'm also wondering if the therapy dog associations might have audiotapes of an emergency room (lots of noise there...) or other hospital floors.
Some dogs are very sensitive to people who are different and don't always respond positively to people who appear to mentally ill, speak loudly, use a cane, use sign language, use a walker or a wheelchair, have a walking gait that isn't like everyone else's and so on. So finding locations where people who are differently abled "hang out" would also be a good bet.
August 1st, 2007, 03:17 PM
For hamburger hands, I wholeheartedly recommend bicycling gloves. These are the type of gloves that cover the palm and the back of the hand, but have cut off fingers. You'll be amazed at how much they help during those teething weeks. :thumbs up You can pick them up fairly cheaply at sports or bike shops.
As for the rest, I've never trained a therapy dog, but MMM's advice sure sounds good. :D Just be careful not to spook her. Shortly after Cass arrived at the age of 9 months, Hubby unwittingly spooked her by lifting a tool quickly as she was passing the door to the room he was in. It took us a couple of months to get her comfortable with the tool again. 7 to 10 months seems to be a sensitive time in the learning process...at least for our Setters.
August 1st, 2007, 03:22 PM
Hamburger hands...what a perfect description! LOL It's not easy wearing long sleeves in this hot summer we're having but I'm too embarrassed by all the chew marks on my arms and hands. Those little needle teeth are painful and break the skin easily.
Those were all excellent suggestions, I hadn't thought about going to noisy places. That's exactly where she needs to go. When she starts training at about 9 months old, I will be able to take her to hospitals and such. I need to get a start in these other places now. She does seem to be afraid of loud noises.
I know this has nothing to do with therapy training but would you happen to know how to get her to stop eating everything ie; sheets, pillow cases, carpeting, the couch...etc? I give her lots of chews and I haved sprayed things with bitter apple but she goes back much later when I think they're safe. I've never had a puppy that likes to chew EVERYTHING! I keep telling myself that she has so much personality that will be so entertaining later but geez.....can't keep up with her right now. I adore her but she's such a handful :dog:
August 1st, 2007, 03:31 PM
I suspect the little darlin' is teething. Dampen some old washclothes and throw them in the freezer (you'll want a few so you can trade them with fresh frozen when they thaw). When they're stiff, let her chew on them (but watch her if she has a tendency to chew off pieces). Kongs (small enough for her to lift but big enough so she can't swallow them) are also good distractions. You can stuff them with goodies to make them more interesting.
Sigh...it's been so long since I've had a teething puppy I can't remember the other tricks we'd use--but I'm sure you'll get more advice. :D Meanwhile, repeat to yourself, "This, too, shall pass. This, too, shall pass!" :thumbs up :p You just gotta keep up with her for the short haul and pray for a short teething period. But in another year, you won't even remember that she went through the 'mouthy' phase. :dog:
August 1st, 2007, 08:27 PM
Ahhh yes the incessant gnawing on our worldly goods. The best thing to do is keep on top of it and redirect her to an appropriate toy: praising her and fussing over her when she chomps on the good stuff, a stern "No" with an immediate redirect and praise for the good stuff.
You may also need to shop around and go through a couple of duds. Some dogs love nyla bones and the cornstarch bones and others love squeeeeeeeeeeeky toys. No rawhide or pigs ears please owing to their choking potential.
You mention that she is made anxious by loud noises ~ the best remedy in my book is exposure ~ even if only by degrees. The most important thing is that you show no anxiety or concern over the loud noise and that you do not comfort her or pay attention to any anxiety, instead be your usual "perky and encouraging self" (hey, coupla double espressos down the hatch, you'll be plenty perky :D ) and praise all "normal" gait and behaviour. Now that's not to say you spend all day with a jackhammer in front of you :eek:... but if you can find as many natural situations to visit for exposure to different pitches, types of noises and decibel levels the better.
August 3rd, 2007, 05:47 PM
Alot of great suggestions! I can see you all have "been there, done that":D
It's been awhile for me but I know my poodles were totally different. I love her energy but having trouble keeping up sometimes. Ok, frozen face cloths...make sure she doesn't eat them. Bicycle gloves, terrific idea! I tried putting bitter apple on my hands but then I couldn't pet her, didn't go over too well. Chewies, got lots of them around. No rawhides or pigs ears, I've never trusted them.
Mum, I understand what you mean about me having no fear around loud noises so that she won't and especially not trying to sooth her. I've watched the dog whisperer and that's something that he strongly expressed. Most of the dogs fears were apparently caused by the owner's, they didn't even realize it. I love his ideas, he seems to relate so well to these animals.
Ok, will give it a go! I'll let you know how she does. Thanks so much for all your help guys :thumbs up