The first steps to take in becoming a therapy dog include learning some manners and understanding basic commands! We enrolled in Puppy I and Puppy II at our local pet store which was a huge help. I highly recommend puppy classes even if you are not going to train to be a therapy dog since every dog needs to follow commands.
I chose a group setting so that we had a chance to interact with other dogs. We had 12 weeks of puppy sessions with our trainer and a few other puppy classmates that participated. Each week we met to go over new commands and talk about what our cute puppies were currently doing to frustrate us like barking, biting, chewing. All the fun ways puppies keep up on our toes… so lucky they are cute! It was fun to see the puppies grow, and to see how different breeds learned differently.
What did we learn?
Derby is a smart guy! He was quick to learn a command, and he would do anything for a treat. He has a ton of energy… and a lot to say. It figures the speech therapist gets the “chatty” dog! He spent the majority of class barking. Thankfully, a few treats or dog food spread around the floor kept him too busy to bark.
We are still working on:
Come- he will come if he knows
Loose Leash Walking
Next month is Adult II. We will continue to practice the above commands. In Adult II the distractions are increased. We will work more on loose leash walking and halting. Less treats for more work, but don’t tell Derby.