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Apr 09, 2016 9:27 AM

I need help with this idea. I have always had a heart for volunteering my time. But with my illness I'm not able to do that as much or at all. I will be getting a new puppy in a few weeks. I'd like for it to be a therapy dog or service dog. I'd like to take it to the Children's Hospital. But I have difficulty ambulating. So how do I get it trained as a therapy dog and service dog or do such a thing exist ? So I can continue to feel useful and do something to make others who do not feel well feel better.

Apr 09, 2016 11:25 AM

My Sister's Keeper I trained my service dog by myself it wasn't easy to do. But will be worth it she is also a Therapy dog. The way to start with your puppy is to start with obedience teach basic commands like sit, stay, and down. Use bite sized peice's to reward with when puppy follow's your command. Try and only give command once not over and over. Teach puppy's name first then, teach to walk on leash only on left side not past left leg say heel what ever puppy's name. When it learns this start on sit, say heel walk for a little bit then say sit very firmly if puppy needs help to sit take treat hold over puppy's head pull over puppy's back to tail to get it sit. Or gently push on puppies lower back to help it sit. After puppy learns to sit then start with stay and then down. If puppy jumps on you say off very firmly, take the flat part of Palm and pop it in its nose and say off. Don't do it too hard but if you and all your family are consistent it will learn not to jump up on you ,,because believe me when they weigh 80 plus lbs and they jump on you they can knock you down. Then down to me it was the easiest to teach. I hope this helps sorry it is so long. You can go on line at Sit Stay .com and get in training patches,and do not pet ,service dog in training, and a vest. Good Luck !!

Apr 09, 2016 1:23 PM

Puppy training through a dog trainer/class might be helpful. My Charlie had puppy training classes that helped us both tremendously. He is now a 95+ lb rottweiler that is VERY energetic, so I am glad that I took the time to take him to classes when he was little. Your dog will quickly grow to be your loyal best friend! It is so worth the effort! He is pretty close to a service dog for me. :D He knows when I am hurting or feeling down--and really knows how to pull me out of a funk.

Training with treats (some people like to use clicker method also) is your best bet!

Apr 09, 2016 8:42 PM

Remember that young animals just don't have any bladder control for several months. Few training places will take a pup younger than 6 months because of that. But it definitely is possible to train your pup as soon as you get it. Always use its name, start with ONE move, usually sit. Then stay or lay down. We also taught stand, which is useful at the vet's. After pup is solid on each command, put them in a sequence.
Have a specific routine as far as time and equipment for training. Dogs enjoy purpose and routine, and love to do well for their Alpha, which is you!
Also start socializing pup after they have had their basic shots.
Come is vital. One way I taught my dog sounds strange or even 'mean', but it taught my dog to come the first time, every time, his entire life.
Once pup knows sit and stay, put a long line on the collar, usually 6 to 10 feet. Put pup in stay, and go out in front about 6 feet. Face pup, say come. Immediately begin to pull pup towards you. The instant he willingly steps forward, tell it good dog! Reel pup right up to you, and give tons of praise. At first, make it so fun and nice to come to you that pup will do it quickly.
In future, whenever you tell dog to come, even if it's in trouble, praise it for coming to you, then address the naughty thing. That way pup will never run away when you say come. If he learns it well, you can call them even when they are running away from you and they will come to you!

Apr 10, 2016 10:57 AM

Thank you All! I am excited!!! Good information and good places to start!!!

Apr 10, 2016 8:04 PM

Good luck and God bless your endeavor! Hugs & prayers! 🙂💕🙏🌼

Apr 10, 2016 11:46 PM

MySistersKeeper, what kind of puppy are you getting? I just love dogs! We have pugs. I think each area has different regulations for service dogs and therapy dogs. You should be able to ask your vet who to contact for each. I don't know anything about service dog training. Our first pug did pass the test required to be a therapy dog. Here (I'm in Canada), your dog has to pass a test. They take your dog into an area out of your site. They run your dog through various commands: watch me, sit, down, stand, stay, wait. After that they do things like roll a skateboard, a wheelchair and a remote controlled car by your dog while asking them to follow a command. They opened up an umbrella in our pugs face (she failed the first time on this one). They pull softly on their tails, grab their muzzle...anything a child or a senior may do.
Even though only one of ours was certified, we took both pugs (our second pug is the sweetest special needs boy) into a care home weekly. People just loved them! And, it meant so much to me, too.
Happy puppy training!

Apr 11, 2016 12:53 AM

MySistersKeeper, taking on the training of a puppy (especially to become a therapy dog is a huge undertaking with all that you need to do on a regular basis). Now, I'm not trying to be a Debbi Downer here. If there is a Guide Dog Foundation near you, they have dogs that do not make it to being a guide dog for one reason or another. These dogs are used to help folks like us as well as returning veterans who need help. These are still very young dogs as they begin training at 7 weeks old and complete training at approximately a year old and some a bit older (18 months). Therapy dogs, if you qualify, are free of charge and they work with you on the commands and check in from time to time to see how your dog is working for you. You would then be able to take your dog to children's hospitals and do your volunteer work.
There really is bothering like the satisfaction of training your own puppy though. Either way, I wish you the very best of luck in your venture. You're a wonderful person for wanting to do what you are setting out to do. There's nothing like a dog to lift your spirits when you're not feeling well. {{{Hugs}}} and prayers for success in all you do. 💕🙏🏻🌻

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