The June Delta Pet Partners Workshop just concluded and several new teams are on their way.
They spent many hours learning the policies and best practices to be a Pet Partner team with their animal. They also learned the unique handling skills and techniques needed to be a successful therapy team.
Such as how to lead a large dog right up to a client whether they are standing, sitting in a chair or wheelchair or lying in bed.
The dog should be calm and move smoothly on a loose leash and position himself right next to the client with no jumping or fast movements or pulling. The dog’s head should rest comfortable on the person’s knee or by his side. Or the dog can be positioned so his rear is within reach (a dog’s favorite position!)
The dog should never be squeezed between a wheelchair or other equipment or permitted to jump on the person. And certainly the dog should never bark or run up to people.
Our large demonstration dog, Koda, showed everyone how an Australian Shepherd can be a gentle giant.
Small dog handling featured Kirby of course and he had a very long day indeed. Kirby came with me for the entire Workshop so he spent quite a bit of his day resting in his stroller.
But when we needed him to demonstrate small dog handling he perked up right away!
He loved showing everyone how a small dog should behave by staying on his little blanket and in whatever position he was asked to stay in.
He snuggled on beds and laps, always on his blanket, and never jumped up, or tried to lick or kiss or squiggle out of unsteady hands.
He got to visit all of his “regulars” and show through example what makes a great therapy dog and why we do this.
Our participants will move on to the next step of their Evaluation with their animals and put into practice what they learned by observing and handling our demo dogs.
Good luck to everyone!