Therapy Dog Training Class

therapy dog training

Therapy dogs are distinct from companion animals. A companion animal is typically a trained animal that assists a human with a disability to help people function in their daily lives. A therapy dog is usually an older dog who has served in the military or a search and rescue dog to locate lost individuals. In many cases, the dog acts as a silent, obedient, monitoring partner trained to respond to any unusual behavior and keep the handler safe.

Registration And CITES

A person holding a dog

Some states allow therapy dogs to be adopted and trained without a license, while others require registration and CITES (Consolidated International Trades Organization) registration. Although some states allow CITES certification, most states do not. Therefore, one must carefully consider the regulations before choosing a certification course. CITES certification requires completion of a one-hour training session with a CITES approved trainer in a professional environment. After completing the course, the trainer must successfully pass a written examination and meet a minimum number of training hours as determined by the state licensing board.

Assisting Humans

A close up of a dog with its mouth open

After obtaining therapy dog certification, dogs can be licensed to work anywhere that requires dogs to assist humans. However, you will not be able to work with children under the age of 12 unless the local board approves your good canine citizen test. It is also important to remember that therapy dog training classes do not mean that your pet is ready to take on all of a therapy dog’s duties. It is necessary to complete the classes and then complete the required amount of training to have your dog become ready to work alongside children.

Teaching Obedience Skills

Many obedience instructors teach basic obedience skills and then move on to teach advanced commands. Most people who sign up for therapy dog training classes do so because they want to be trained in an area in which they are more knowledgeable. It is not uncommon to find that some obedience instructors offer instruction in both obedience and psychology. Some dogs may seem more naturally inclined to work with children than others. Your good canine citizen test is the perfect way to determine what your dog will prefer.

All therapy dogs must be house trained. Many people believe that they are only required to be house trained once they have received their therapy dog certification. This is not true. Therapy dogs must be house trained because this is the only way to ensure they follow commands. If they are left to their own devices, they will be difficult to train to obey basic commands such as “sit” or “down.”

Loose Leash Walking

When it comes to obedience training, most dogs do very well when on a loose leash. Many loose leash owners do not realize how much danger loose leash walking can cause to a pet. Dogs on a loose leash often chase cars and other wildlife, sometimes get tangled in electrical wires, and can even get struck by a moving vehicle. This is why many people choose to have their therapy dog training classes taught in a class where they leave their pets on a loose leash during the entire class. Your puppy should be taught the basics before being left alone.

The last thing that you want to teach your therapy dog training class is tricks. Tricks are very entertaining for dogs but can be dangerous if they do not know how to train their canine friend properly. If your dog gets caught up in the middle of a trick, it can be dangerous for your dog and even dangerous for the handler. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly check out the program you will choose to attend before selecting the classes that will teach your dog tricks.

Final Words

During your therapy dog training class, it is also important to pay attention to your pet’s comfort level. You would not allow an untrained puppy to wander around with an unsupervised human; this same principle should be applied when it comes to training your canine companion. Be sure to stay with your canine companion while he or she is learning a new trick, even if the class is only for dogs that are comfortable sitting on a leash. By allowing the canine companion to learn the trick while being relaxed around you and other class members, the performance can be much more successful.

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