PDF Therapy Dogs: Training Your Dog to Reach Others

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Even though it is fun to think about dressing your dog up in a festive costume, you may want to consider how your dog feels about this. Most dogs truly do not like wearing human clothes.

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Small dogs are often dressed in human clothes rather routinely and some dogs appear to enjoy dressing up. For many dogs a coat is necessary to keep them warm when outside. My dogs wear a coat on very cold days in the winter. Also dog booties are helpful to keep paws safe in the ice and cold. Clothes can be restrictive for a dog and get in the way of their normal activity. Clothes can also be a hazard. Loose strings and decorative bobbles can easily get swallowed or create other safety concerns for a dog.

My dogs will wear a small decorative collar around their neck mostly for pictures. But it is on for a picture and then removed. I once made the mistake of letting the dogs outside with festive collars on and the end result was a shredded and torn collar that could have been harmful to the dog.

Keep dogs away from pumpkins especially one with candles burning and cornstalks and poinsettia plants and Christmas trees. Any decoration that can be eaten and played with could be a safety concern for dogs. Supervising our dogs around things they could eat or paw at, like a Christmas tree that could topple over, is a good safety measure. Think dog friendly decorations.

The Basics of Therapy Dog Training: Tips to Get You Started

This time of year can be exciting and fast movements and loud voices can be difficult for dogs. Keep everyone safe, especially when excitement levels are high. Children being children and dogs being dogs unsupervised can lead to unfortunate consequences. This is of special concern when young children are having fun and want to play with the dog.

The dog may not welcome loud high-pitched voices and flying arms and little bodies running fast toward them. Pet parent supervision will keep both dogs and children safe without compromising a fun time. When all the children are coming to the door on Halloween it is fun to see the costumes and chat with them. Dogs as a rule react to these high-pitched voices and all the human activity.

If your dog is not reliable in these situations you will want to keep him away from the door in a safe and secure place for him. Taking your dog with you going trick or treating may not be the best thing to do for your dogs benefit. The constant noise and many costumes can be a concern for your dog. Leaving him at home in a room with toys and quiet music may be the best choice. If a dog runs away from a loud noise that may startle him, you may have a lost dog who can only be returned if he is wearing proper ID.

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A tag with current information on how to contact you is important. If you have moved or changed your phone number make sure to change it on the dogs tag. Actually, I have both a microchip and tags on my dogs and it feels more reassuring for me.

We spend so much money on our dogs and the holiday is no exception. I take delight in looking for just that right toy and chew for my dogs. It is important for our dogs to have a gift under the tree with all the other gifts or perhaps a stocking stuffer too. Keeping safety in mind is always important for our dogs well being.


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Beware of choking hazards! Even if it is the cutest toy on the rack it may not be the safest. Jazz and Jive each keep watch for the piece of caramel corn that may drop to the floor. They are there in a flash to scoop it up and savor the find. As mentioned, chocolate is just one holiday favorite our dogs should not have. However, there are many easy to bake treats for dogs.

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I even have bone shaped cookie cutters that make baking doggone fun. Taking a few moments just to be with your dog can help you feel relaxed and even rejuvenated. Dogs have a wonderful way of keeping us in the moment and helping us realize everything will get done, as it needs to. A dog with basic obedience behaviors is often more calm and so is the pet parent.


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  • When family gathers and children are excited our dogs can be excited too. Keeping a loving and watchful eye on our dogs is important when voices are loud and gifts are being opened. I give my dogs a chew that will occupy them for 20 — 30 minutes and put them in a quiet safe place away from the gift opening. They can still see us and we can see them but they are happy with their chews and everyone else is happy opening their gifts.

    After the holiday meal it is fun to go for a walk with your dog. There may be visiting family and friends who would love the opportunity to walk and walking with your dog would be even more fun, especially for your dog. Exercise, exercise, exercise is the best thing you can ever and always do for your dog. Enjoy all those moments that make you smile! Take pictures and surround yourself people and dogs who love you! Pictures capture those special memories and allow us to relive them over and over. Holidays are a very special time to be with family and friends. Including our dogs makes it even more special.

    They feel pain, joy, fear, love and many other feelings. The average dog is as bright linguistically as a 2 year old human child. Dogs use their brain, body and instincts. Dogs have an ability to smell that far surpasses our ability to smell. They sniff out bombs, drugs, diseases and more. If we watch our dogs at work we see them rescuing people from fires, avalanches, crashes, tragedies like and the list goes on.

    They work with our police, military, farmers and ranchers. They are service dogs for persons with physical and invisible disabilities. They bring comfort as pet assisted therapy dogs to our elderly, children and many others. Dogs basically want to be with us and please us. When we step back and look at all the skills our dogs have and their ability to do so many things it is impressive. Actually, we bred different breeds of dogs to assist us as humans in many of our activities. Farmers need dogs to help them herd their animals as do ranchers. Rescue dogs work the oceans and lands to find lost humans.

    Our service dogs sniff out diseases, even Cancer, and work to bring abilities to persons who have disabilities. Dogs hunt and fish with us. Dogs compete with us in sports designed for dogs. So it only makes sense to give our dogs a job to utilize all their natural talents and abilities. The most basic job for every dog is that of training. Teaching your dog basic obedience behaviors and requesting those behaviors from your dog every day will not only result in good manners for your dog but will also lay a foundation of behaviors for your dog that you can build on.

    Now you have a dog who can learn tricks. That is also a fun job for a dog who has to use his brain and his body to learn new behaviors. A dog who is trained and has basic obedience good manners is a fun dog to live with. You now are able to consider a canine sport with your dog or pet assisted therapy work. A dog with basic training in obedience is ready for the next job. The important thing is to find a job that is fun for both of you.