As part of our staff's continuing education training to continuously improve, we take yearly seminars to improve our skills.
Encourage people to let the dog come to them.
- Works especially well for cats
- Pet for 3 seconds. Stoop. Watch for stress signals.
Relationship builder: Point out treats that you "find" on the ground,
- Work for 90 minutes.
- Break for 60.
- Work for 90.
Introducing a dog:
- Use a stuffed dog
- "Do you want to know a secret about dogs?" Never hug a dog.
- Pet chest, choulders, under chin
- Give cues to child so they do them (then ask you to do them!)
- Use a flat palm to feed a dog
Activities to do with a dog:
- Feed them
- Teach them something (like targeting)
- Play fetch
- Building a mock agility course (obstacle course)
- Hide food for dog to find
- Feelings ball (place in baskets that say Never, Sometimes, Often), and talk to dog while doing it
- Hide and seek (child hides)
- Ask "What do you think Fido is feeling right now?"
- Play "Leave It" with treats and the dog (teaches patience)
- Tug of War (or "Rope Tug")
- Kid's job: have fun, but make sure dog is not too excited
- Let the dog win sometimes
Look Into My Eyes." Helpful for children with ASD (they can teach the dog to do this, which teaches them lessons, too)
- Hold treat to side
- Dog looks at it
- Finally, dog looks at you in confusion
- Click, treat.
Game: If you teach a dog to spin a spinner, the child can go to corresponding stations.
Game: Child buries items in sandbox, dog digs them up.
Game: Doggie Hotline
- Tell child about dog's problems and ask child for advice on how to help the dog.
- You can pretend the child is aat a call-in TV show, and child is a guest expert.
- The problems can be similar to the child's problems
- Chance to ask "How did you feel when..."
Death of a therapy animal
- Put up a picture
- Have a box (with slot) where clients can leave a message to or about the animal
- Leave out cards and markers for the clients
- A letter by the box from the animal can sometimes be appropriate