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Balanced training and therapy dogs

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Member Since
12/24/2012
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 11:56am PST 
I'm wondering, in balanced training, what's the protocol for a dog that's uncomfortable with being pet a strange way, or afraid of wheel chairs, or doesn't like people getting in their face, etc.

What, in for a therapy dog, warrants corrections and what warrants rewards?

And was body language covered as part of the classes?

I guess I'm asking to hear people's experiences. Thanks.

Edited by author Mon Feb 25, '13 11:57am PST

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Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 1:29pm PST 
I don't know about balanced training, is that a specific method? I always thought it was just a term for any training that used all four quadrants of operant conditioning,which means it covers a wide range of different methods and training philosophies. What specific methods are you using?

However personally I would not recommend correcting a dog for being uncomfortable, fearful tor nervous. Aren't corrections usually used for proofing learned behaviors? Correcting for fearful behaviors or discomfort would likely make the dog even more uncomfortable or fearful I would think.
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Isaac

1278829
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 1:43pm PST 
I wouldn't correct a dog for being uncomfortable with something. If possible, I would try to increase the dog's comfort. Like, if the dog was uncomfortable with wheelchairs, I would try having a wheelchair where the dog could see it but not too close, and with it sitting still, not moving. Then I'd play with the dog and offer him a treat and try to get him to relax. When he was comfortable with that, I'd try moving a little closer to the chair.

If a dog is very nervous around new things, though, he probably wouldn't do well as a therapy dog.
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Member Since
12/24/2012
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 3:19pm PST 
"Balanced" training means a system of rewards and corporal punishment (corrections).

I'm trying to figure out what in a therapy dog training class gets corrections. I know they exist because I see class shots of every grad in prong or choke collars. I don't think it's for leash pulling since visiting is a stationary activity.

It's called balanced for a reason, just like some things get rewards, somethings get corrections. How do corrections relate to training a dog to do therapy work? What would warrant a correction?
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Isaac

1278829
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 3:35pm PST 
The dogs that have graduated from the training class are wearing prong collars? That doesn't sound right to me at all. A well trained dog generally does not need a prong collar.
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Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
 
 
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 3:55pm PST 
I've taken therapy dog classes before, different types. The beginners ones were usually focused on preparing you to take a therapy dog test. These tests are usually somewhat similar to the CGC, but with some parts added that are relevant to therapy dog work.
The ones I took did not really use a specific training method, they just practiced the test segments mostly. You could use whatever training device or method you normally did. However for the actual test, no training devices are allowed.
I don't think people used corrections when working on therapy dog specific behaviors such as teaching a dog to be comfortable around medical equipment, but rather for things like obedience that is required to pass the test, like heeling, sit, down stay, etc...

Also visiting is not stationary, at least when I did therapy work it was not. For one thing if you're visiting multiple people you go from person to person. You also have to get to the people in the first place, and your dog has to be under control at your side while moving through the hospital/building. Even when we did a reading program where the dog is sitting while kids read to them, you still have to get to the room you're working in, and to your spot and etc...

In one of the therapy programs I volunteered with, it was definitely not stationary. We did animal assisted therapy, not animal assisted activities. Meaning, we were working with patients on their therapy goals with the help of their physical therapist, which meant physical activity, moving around, sometimes they would have the dogs using agility equipment or in the person was ambulatory we may have the dog heeling next to them while they walk to work on their walking, they might be giving verbal commands or hand signals to the dog to work on speech therapy or arm strength, etc...

Edited by author Mon Feb 25, '13 4:01pm PST

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