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On raising a therapy dog hopeful, knowing that it may not be your puppy's "thing." 

I recently read a Facebook post from one of the many therapy dog groups I follow. The anonymous poster warned people who were training a therapy dog hopeful that their dog might not like the work. I think Mr. Anonymous saw one too many folks trying to make their dog into something that they weren't. It happens. His message: read your dog, be fair. And of course, this is the hallmark of therapy dog work, if not dog ownership altogether, so fair point Mr. A.


Gus and I have an agreement. We just have fun. Training is fun for him, and if I see him getting distracted, he's over it and we stop. Right now, we are on basic obedience and socializing. Our basic obedience includes sit, stay, chew on toys, not sticks or my hand. Socializing is getting him used to new sights, sounds, and people. To help, I got a puppy stroller...a tool that made my husband check his wallet to ensure his man card wasn't missing. But Gus loves being included in Shay's walk, watching the world go by, and meeting an occasional neighbor kid. Team stroller!


My point is, that all of this is good for any dog. It will make him a great member of society. And if he tells me one day that he's more into frolicking in the lake, or lying on the couch, that's what we'll do. So Mr. Anonymous, don't assume that just because there are "therapy team hopefuls" out there, doesn't mean they can' the immortal words of Ross Gellar...pivot. The world needs more therapy dog teams, so give it a go!


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