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Commands for therapy dogs?

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Caddy

1123932
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 6, '10 5:58am PST 
So It`s pretty set in stone that Caddy is going to become a therapy dog, as long as she enjoys it, but I`m sure she will.

So we`ve been working on our obedience alot more,and set aside our 'tricks' for now. I understand its one thing for a dog to know a command, and then for them to understand it and have that command full proofed.

Caddy,of course, knows her basic obedience.
Sit
Down
Sit/Stay
Down/Stay
Leave it
Drop it
Heel

All of these are pretty much fully proofed.
The main thing I`m working on with Caddy is a 'leave it' with lots of food around. After all, I don`t want us in a nursing home and have Caddy snatch a sandwich from someones plate.

I have also already exposed her to wheelchairs, and crutches. Both of which she did fine. A bit wary of the wheelchair at first but with treats and a praise she quickly became use to it.

Also, because Caddy isen`t a tiny dog that I can pick up onto, say, a child`s hospital bed, I`ve seen larger therapy dog learn a 'up' command, where they stand on their hind legs and rest the top half of their body on the bed to allow the patient batter access to pet them.
Anyone know the best way to go about teaching this? I have a pretty good idea, but I`d love to hear from a therapy dog about how they went about teaching it.

Is there anything else that I can do to prepare Caddy for her therapy test?

What about road blocks fellow therapy dog`s have had,and how did you get past them?

And any advice in general about therapy work or anything anyone would like to put in would be very helpful.

Thanks guys! snoopy

Edited by author Tue Jul 6, '10 5:58am PST

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Mordecai-Ret- ired SD

Missing my SD- friends!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 6, '10 7:41am PST 
We took a TD test before starting PA training. In addition to what you have; we did a long distance stay (didn't matter if they sat or laid) , ignored a strange but friendly dog, got roughly petted, approached a person making nonsense noises wearing a bathrobe, ignored a toy, and maybe something else I'm forgetting. Hope that helps!
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Lizzie, CGC

Fence Jumper
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 6, '10 1:05pm PST 
To teach the 'paws up' command we usually place a treat on the bed to get them to place their chin on the bed. When they don't get the treat, they will usually put their feet up to get closer. We reinforce the behavior and pretty soon they figure it out. Sorry, I'm not very good at explaining!!
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Mya CGC TDI

I'm your new- best friend! Pet- me!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 6, '10 1:35pm PST 
I taught Mya to put paws on my arm at first, then transferred the behavior to other objects by putting my arm on the edge, having her put her paws on my arm, then fading my arm away. So if the dog needs to be higher but has nothing to put her paws on Mya can put her paws on my arm as well. She can tell the difference by if I hold my arm out when I say it or if I tap the oject she should put her paws on.
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Cassie- 6/9/2000-10/- 14/2012

Feed me!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 6, '10 3:06pm PST 
We like Maya taught Marvin to put his feet up on our arm for a hug. That way I can them transfer his feet to another surface or get him to stand taller for petting from someone who can't bend to reach him. Cassie naturally would stand on her hind legs for petting so we just caught that behavior and refined it to make sure she had no forward momentum when she stood on people.
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Caddy

1123932
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 6, '10 6:42pm PST 
Thanks guys! Never thought to teach paws up on your arm first, but it makes sense now.

Also, I plan to invite one of my male friends over, and have him wear a bathrobe,slippers, a weird hat,and an umbrella and rant about something ridiculous. Although I wish Caddy would have some 'Woah, whats that!?' reaction, I`m pretty sure her reaction will be much more on the side of 'Uhhhh... ok?'. bol!
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Lizzie, CGC

Fence Jumper
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 6, '10 8:04pm PST 
Have the two of you passed the CGC yet? Many groups require a CGC certificate. Liz got her CGC in March and is taking her therapy dog test on Monday! Right now she is being a little twerp though, and I am hoping the weather will cooperate- if it's storming might as well forget about it!!
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Cassie- 6/9/2000-10/- 14/2012

Feed me!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 7, '10 4:32am PST 
"Also, I plan to invite one of my male friends over, and have him wear a bathrobe,slippers, a weird hat,and an umbrella and rant about something ridiculous. Although I wish Caddy would have some 'Woah, whats that!?' reaction, I`m pretty sure her reaction will be much more on the side of 'Uhhhh... ok?'. bol!"

BOL! Cassie reaction is usually "Can I please go visit that one?" And Marvin has the "Uhh...ok?" It's great!
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Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 7, '10 2:55pm PST 
Aside from the basic commands that are covered in the therapy dog tests, it really depends on what type of therapy work you'll be doing. The main type I did with Ginger involved working with patients on physical therapy goals so I taught her things that would help with physical therapy like teaching hand signals-- people who were working on the use of an arm or hand could give the dog hand signals, or if they were working on speech I could stand next to or behind them to give Ginger a hand signal if she didn't respond to their vocal commands. Some other things I trained her for included retrieves, agility obstacles by name and hand signal, heeling next to a wheelchair, and tricks. Tricks like shake hands, roll over (using a hand signal), or balancing a treat or toy on the dog's nose are all good therapy for people who are working on motor control.

Tricks are a great thing to teach no matter what type of therapy work you are doing, most people like to see a dog do a trick and they like it even better if they can give the cue and the dog does the trick.

Another good command to teach is "go say hi". I taught this to mean both that it was ok for my dog to go up and greet a person, and to mean, go to the person who I am pointing towards. I did not want her to go up to random people and greet them so I taught her to only go greet people if I gave her permission either by giving her release word or by telling her to "say hi".
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Reboot - Retired SD

Retired and- livin' it up!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 7, '10 3:03pm PST 
Could you teach a few types of greeting commands? For example, maybe putting her head in someone's lap all the way to the "paws up" described earlier. With that, I just used a treat to lure my dog up, then made a big party of it-- it's not TD work, she's a SD, but the task is still the same. I did the same thing with her head, put the treat in my lap so she'd lay her head down and praised for that.
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