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!

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