Raising a Puppy to be a Therapy Dog — First Steps?

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/g65fol/raising_a_puppy_to_be_a_therapy_dog_first_steps/

Here`s another great article:

Meet Honey, my 10 wk old puppy and new best bud!

I raised a couple of puppies (border collies) growing up and practiced a lot of basic clicker training/obedience with them. But this is my first dog of my own, and I have hops of training her for AKC Good Citizen certification and, ultimately, to volunteer with me as a therapy dog team.

I've seen all the articles and videos on what tricks and basic lessons to teach a companion dog first (sit, stay, potty training, etc.) And those are all awesome tricks for a happy, obedient dog! But if I have high hopes for our partnership as a team, what behaviors should I be focusing on from the start?

In other words, what behaviors–like not eating food off the floor, how to meet new people, how to seek my attention, how to respond to distractions outside, seeking eye contact with me–are especially helpful to practice as a team from the very beginning? Any resources you'd recommend?

Any advice is welcome! Also, of course we are taking it slow and just focusing on bonding and basic house rules right now 🙂 She's only been home with me for a few days, but she has a wonderful temperament and is eager to please, so I want to do my best from week 1!


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