Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's a De-Stress Fest! Come Relax, Revive and Rejuvenate at Morris K9 Campus!

Need to de-stress and want to do it with your pooch? Morris K9 Campus is hosting a “De-Stress Fest,” for you and your dog on Friday, March 1st , so save the date. From 6-9 pm, head over with your pooch for a little R&R.

The fest will feature Doga (Yoga that is beneficial to both you and your dog). Doga is a great way to calm both you and your dog. Attending this event and class is the perfect way to get introduced to a new fitness routine that is becoming popular across the country.
Chair Massages

The event will also include other activities for you, from chair massages, and foot baths, glitter hair strands for you from Alora Spa. Your pups will get their own pampering with dog stenciling and retail goodies.

Dog Stenciling
Creature Comfort Pet Therapy will be in attendance, providing more information on how your pooch can become a pet therapy dog.

While you are here don’t miss the opportunity to enter for a chance to win a gift basket, valued at $100.

Bring your dog down and give them an opportunity to socialize with other canine friends, while you and your dog enjoy refreshments.

The event is for everyone and entry is free. The first 50 attendees will receive a goody bag, so get your friends together and bring your pooch on March 1st, where you all can relax, revive and rejuvenate! Call 973-252-5100 with questions.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Final Week of Pet Therapy Prep Class - How is it Going?

We practice down, stay, leave it and come!

This week is the last class before Abbie and Livvy test to become a Pet Therapy Team. This week was all about fine tuning some of the skills learned in previous classes. Abbie and Livvy are scheduled to take their evaluation test next week on January 26th.

Quickly, Abbie knew that one of her biggest challenges with Livvy was applying the command “leave it,” to anything that Livvy was supposed to ignore. “I practiced leave it a lot at home with dropping things on the floor while cooking and having treats nearby to reward Livvy when she didn’t try to eat anything off the floor.” says Abbie. It’s important to provide real-life situations as Pet Therapy teams volunteer in such places as schools and hospitals where there are certainly going to be things that are off-limits for dogs.

This week was also about building skills to be able to put multiple commends together, like in the video above, such as sit, down, stay, and come. Having a dog with an arsenal of reliable behaviors ultimately makes for a more well-rounded pet but can certainly make pet therapy visits much more enjoyable for the dog and owner. Abbie says, “I know Livvy has an excellent stay, adding distractions like people, treats, and toys was challenging but Livvy did great and I know this is an exercise that she would be able to do very well in any situation.”

We will be taking a week off so that Abbie and Livvy can continuing practicing, stay tuned for the results of their Creature Comfort Pet Therapy evaluation!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Week Two – Abbie and Livvy’s Pet Therapy Prep Class at Morris K9 Campus

This week we continue to follow the daycare manager Abbie and her six-year-old Shepherd mix Livvy through the pet therapy prep class, as they get another week closer to the evaluation. With the first class done, they have two more weeks to work on the skills necessary to make sure Livvy passes her Creature Comfort certification.

Livvy is introduced to the medical equipment.
Even on week one, Abbie felt Livvy would make a great therapy dog. She said, “I can tell that she is low stressed in a high excitement environment,” which is good, but she added that Livvy still has a lot to work on in the two weeks leading up to her evaluation.

The benefit of the three-week course is to identify and fix any problem areas in order for both the owner and dog to succeed. Abbie mentioned Livvy needs to work on “Leave it,” especially with food, and “No jumping.” This is something they are continuing to focus on outside of class. “To teach her a different behavior gets her the attention that she wants. For example, Livvy has to be sitting or have four on the floor in order for anyone to pet her.”

Morris K9 Campus pet trainer Robin Lash, provides owners and their dogs with the tools they need to succeed, handing out weekly self evaluations detailing home instructions.

Livvy works on down and stay commands.
Since last week, Abbie says that Livvy’s behavior in class has improved greatly, commenting that she is “calmer in class than she was last week,” a trait that is essential in therapy dogs.

Next week is the final week of the prep class. Then they have one week to practice before the evaluation takes place through Creature Comfort Pet Therapy. We will continue to track Abbie and Livvy’s progress to let you know how they do.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What is a Pet Therapy Dog?

The benefits of having a therapy dogs seem to be endless. Morris K9 Campus along with Creature Comfort Pet Therapy have developed a class aimed at helping to prepare your pooch to become a therapy dog. Once your dog is a certified therapy dog, they can visit a variety of places such as schools and nursing homes. Studies have shown that dogs have a calming effect on people which can help reduce stress and assist in opening up communications.
Therapy dogs are often confused with service dogs, but the two duties are vastly different. Service dogs are trained to focus on one specific person for a particular disability. Therapy dogs work with more than one person or groups for a variety of reasons. A therapy dog is considered a pet, and the owner and dog volunteer their time in order to help others. A service dog is not considered a pet, they are working dogs, which is the reason they are allowed in places, such as restaurants or other places that have “no pet” policies.
The Pet Therapy Prep class at Morris K9 Campus, partners with Creature Comfort Pet Therapy, and is a four-week course. It includes three weeks of instruction, followed by your dog’s evaluation with Creature Comfort.

Abbie Stuttard is the Daycare Manager at Morris K9 Campus, and is currently enrolled in the Pet Therapy Prep course. Abbie is hoping to find a positive outlet that really highlights her dog’s love of people. She said, “Livvy is a 6 ½ year old Shepherd mix that I rescued at 3 months. From the moment I rescued her, she always had a love for people, tall and short, old and young. Since joining Morris K9 Campus and going through pet training and agility, I wanted to find her something that truly makes her happy and can give joy to others.”

Over the course of the next month we will follow Livvy’s progress through the Pet Therapy Prep class.