Danny and I have been doing all of this pet therapy for a layer of reasons. We love training together, showing off dog tricks, and making others smile and feel comforted, but the roots for this project? It is for my Girl Scout Gold Award! I’ve just been informed (through a comment on this blog, actually) that through all of my endeavors, I’ve received the Gold Award!! I’m so pumped and I know Dannyboy is too!
Although I’m at college now, Danny and I are gonna try to do pet therapy when I come home for the holidays!!
Thanks everyone! Don’t go anywhere!
The last private sesh of pet therapy training was last thursday! For about 30 minutes Danny and I went through the therapy test with Robin, performing each task about 3-5 times just to stick some extra training in there. I only fed him sparingly because treats cannot be given during the actual test and I wanted him to adjust his mindset that he won’t be getting food every single time.
We ran through our usual routine like I’ve been posting about, and Robin said if she were to be harsh on us she’d give us a 21.5 out of 24 and you need at 17 to pass! It was .5 point off for getting up during the lay down and stay, and 2 off for not following me closely enough/sniffing the ground too much during our loose leash walking.
Of course, I’d like to get a perfect 24, but at least we’re gonna pass! I’m very confident but still slightly nervous…
WOAH It feels weird being in the same level for three whole days!
Tonight we practiced the hand signal commands with chairs again, and made the dogs sit while we tried to walk around them (almost like a “stay” command–which Danny knows but isn’t perfect at).
His best stay is definitely a Lay Down so I will use that for my go-to position for what Danny should do if we’re not moving but connected by a leash. We practiced the one where I’m walking backwards while luring him and then turning with him ending up on my left side again. Danny’s getting the hang of this one, but once we do it in random space instead of in a vertical line he gets a bit too distracted still.
We also learned “touch” which is where the dog’s nose touches the palm of my hand and then he gets a treat. Apparently this will be very useful in avoiding distractions, in games, and as a building block for more complex behaviors. Danny already knows this command, so I ramped it up a notch by having him touch my hand to the side, up high, down low, and even between my legs!
Good news!–> He wasn’t as hungry this time, which made the training treats desirable but not absolutely-urgent-feed-me-nows. I actually almost ran out of treats tonight D:
I might need to get Danny a no-pull front-clip harness so that he learns to walk more properly on a leash! 😦 $$$
Hopefully our next class is Saturday!