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  • Writer's pictureCedar&Co Doodles

Tips for Training Your Therapy Dog

Updated: Jan 3

Tips for Training Your Therapy Dog Training a therapy dog requires patience, consistency, and a positive approach. Here are some tips to help you in the process: 1. Start early: Begin training your therapy dog as early as possible. Puppies are like sponges and can learn quickly, so take advantage of their early learning stages. By starting early, you can establish good habits and behaviors from the beginning. 2. Socialize your dog: Expose your therapy dog to various environments, people, and other animals. This will help them become comfortable and confident in different situations. Take your dog to parks, busy streets, and other public places to expose them to different sights, sounds, and smells. This will help them remain calm and focused during therapy work. 3. Basic obedience training: Teach your dog basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and leave it. These commands will form the foundation for more advanced training. Obedience training will also help your dog understand boundaries and expectations. 4. Positive reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and rewards to encourage good behavior. This will help your dog associate training with positive experiences. When your dog performs a desired behavior, reward them immediately to reinforce that behavior. 5. Desensitization: Gradually expose your therapy dog to different stimuli they may encounter during therapy work, such as wheelchairs, crutches, or loud noises. This will help them remain calm and focused in these situations. Start with low-intensity stimuli and gradually increase the intensity as your dog becomes more comfortable. 6. Practice patience: Training a therapy dog takes time and patience. Be consistent in your training sessions and remember that every dog learns at their own pace. Celebrate small victories and be patient with setbacks. Remember that your dog is learning and growing with each training session. 7. Seek professional help if needed: If you're struggling with training or if your dog has specific behavioral issues, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide guidance and support tailored to your dog's specific needs. Remember, training a therapy dog is a rewarding journey that requires dedication and commitment. With proper training, your therapy dog can bring comfort and joy to those in need. The bond you create with your therapy dog through training will be invaluable and will enhance the impact they can make in the lives of others. So, start early, be patient, and enjoy the journey of training your therapy dog to be a loving and well-trained companion.

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