Jennifer Arnold — the founder of Canine Assistants, a groundbreaking program that trains service dogs for people with special needs — has developed several secrets to raising brilliant and loving pups.
The following tips are some of the same ones Canine Assistants uses on its elite service dogs, who can do everything from opening doors and signaling for help in an emergency to detecting seizures and dangerous blood sugar fluctuations.
--DOGGY DO #1: Teach Don’t Train
While most dog parents make the mistake of conditioning their dog to do a certain behavior when cued, Canine Assistants dogs are taught to think for themselves.
--DOGGY DO #2: Find the Fun
Canine Assistants teachers play fetch, hide-n-seek, or tug-of-war with their dogs -- letting them both win AND lose -- to keep the dogs happy and responsive to their handlers.
--DOGGY DO #3: Speak “Dog”
Canine Assistants teachers know to listen carefully for changes in a dog’s bark. Subtle changes could mean the difference between a bathroom break or a life-and-death emergency.
--DOGGY DO #4: Champion a Choice
Canine Assistants hero dogs will choose to let themselves get brushed or be given a bath because association with eating Milk-Bone treats makes these actions desirable for them.
--DOGGY DO #5: Focus on Focusing
For more background on the Canine Assistants program and its partnership with Milk-Bone (including some videos of hero dogs in action), visit this link: http://sharethecare.milkbone.com/