Saturday, September 29, 2012

I think I blogged a while back about touch. Let's add dogs and touch.

Here  [The link won't take you there anymore. She wrote an excellent post on training your kids and "stranger danger." Not sure where it went. More recently (2014) she posted about touch.] is a profound blog post about pets and touch by, yes, a dog person Sarah Wilson - someone I greatly respect for her technique and expertise. 

In the world of therapy dogs there is a growing group of ministry dogs - therapy dogs in yet another venue. Therapy dogs are dogs trained to visit people in nursing homes and other institutional settings. They usually visit with their owners who are trained volunteers. Sometimes their owners are professional teachers, counselors, pastors. The dog (and person) must be good with people, other visiting dogs and animals and the sights, sounds, smells  and activities in nursing homes, schools, and similar institutions and situations. There is also a R.E.A.D dog program where kids can read to therapy dogs who are particularly good with children in a non-judgemental environment.

If you have a dog who is particularly good with people and more specifically kids, google "therapy dogs," "R.E.A.D. dogs, or "ministry dogs" you'll find lots of interesting information. The progression is obedience training so you can pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test with your dog, then there is Therapy Dog training/test, and more specialized R.E.A.D dog training. If your dog is socially" bomb-proof" (calm with people, dogs, cats, and new or crazy situations) and he/she listens to you you'll whizz through the training! If your dog already goes to work with you and loves everyone, you're already there!

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