Zeus's Therapy Thread - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Zeus's Therapy Thread

So because I see myself taking lots of pictures of Zeus's adventures in training these next however many months, I'm starting a therapy thread for him! For me to dump pics, ask questions of you all, vent any frustrations, etc. Again, I totally don't think he's ready yet, especially after watching some videos on Youtube on what he'll be tested on, so this is a work in progress! His biggest weaknesses are:

1. Being distracted by other dogs. His attention totally snaps to other dogs when they're around, but it's mostly when they enter a room. If a dog is already in a room when we arrive, he's okay. But if a door opens and someone enters with a dog, he's like "Omg who's that? Why are they here? What's going on? Hey friend!!" accompanied with barks/whines. So... our Number One Thing to Work On is reactivity to dogs. Any advice? We kinda visit dog parks, but stay on the outside.

2. Staying seated while being petted. We work on this pretty much every day with willing strangers at stores/parks.

3. Accepting hugs. He's okay with me snuggling him, but when it comes to full on hugs, he's like, "Uuuuh..what...?" and backs away or starts batting me with his paws because he thinks it's an invitation to play. This is very new to him, so it's a big work in progress.

He doesn't have issue with loud noises, wheelchairs, or walkers. Our other obedience trainers in Texas /always/ had us working with walkers and wheelchairs, so Zeus is used to them. I also purposefully take him to areas in stores that have loud noises (when someone is cutting a key in a store or working with machinery at Home Depot/Lowes) to get him accustomed to strange sounds.

Eventually, I'll need to do everything without his training collar (Sports Dog eCollar) which was used at both of his training facilities in Texas and New Mexico. I know he's not allowed to have it on during the eval or during therapy dog visits, but he was able to pass his CGC and Community Canine, both without his collar, so I'm confident he'll succeed when it's time!

Here are pictures from today We went to Lowe's and I asked some people who showed interest in him to help me with his staying seated to be petted issue. There were also a lot of random things on the ground (flowers that had broken off, pieces of wood, insulation, etc) so I got a lot of practice with the "Leave it" command.




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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 10:44 AM
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This will be a fun tread to follow

Love the pic of Zeus behind the doors , lol
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Time for a question! If I were to attend an obedience trial, would I be able to bring Zeus with me? Or are dogs only allowed if they're competing? I don't know anything about obedience trials.

I asked on the Pet Partners forum about ideas of what I can do to help Zeus practice being around/passing other dogs without showing so much interest, and someone replied that I could enter him in an obedience trial and walk him through the crowds there because the dogs that attend tend to be controlled. (I mentioned most dogs that we come across in parks or whatnot tend to be out of their owner's control. Pulling on the leash. Barking. Etc) But I'm not sure if she meant "enter" as in entering him in the trial, or enter as in a spectator.

Upon searching, there is a dof obedience club here in Albuquerque that does all kinds of AKC trial prep classes. Agility, obedience, rally, conformation, scentwork, tracking, and something called canine freestyle...And there is an obedience trial at the end of August here in ABQ. My mouth was watering! Already contemplating looking into their obedience and rally classes because I can only see that helping overall with my therapy plans! And they don't use an ecollar from what I can tell, so that would be helpful for me.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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I got the answer to my question via the Pet Partners online community.

This week, Zeus and I went to the mall! We also visited Ross. We got some very apprehensive looks there from most of the people shopping, but there were also a handful who were doberman lovers and wanted to pet him. He did an excellent job ignoring the kids in the store as we walked by. At the mall, we met up with another dog from our obedience class named Kevin. He's going through the therapy program given by our obedience trainers, and one of the things the dogs have to be able to do is go up and down escalators. So we practiced that. Zeus was NOT a fan! But after some gentle coaxing and watching his buddy do it, he overcame his fear. He was very popular at the mall. He was wearing his "In Training" vest, and people kept saying that he gets an A+!

And then after all that training with being calm with people, we had a follow up dermatologist appointment yesterday and he went absolutely berserk. *insert eye roll* He LOVES vets and he gets so excited to see them! Which I guess is better than the alternative, and the vets love that he loves them, but they weren't at all helpful!

Anyway. Photo time!







Minding his own business for once!







Random kid, peeking in...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 09:03 PM
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You go Zeus! (Well... and gamer too.)

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