Therapy team dreams

December 20, 2010

Michele Forto

Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to your local community.  There are many ways to volunteer but one in particular that seems to be very popular today is volunteering as a Therapy Team with your dog.

At Dog Works Training Centers, we get countless calls and inquiries monthly regarding individuals interested in certifying their dog as a therapy dog.  Many times, the individual is taken aback once they learn what it takes. You see not every dog can or wants to work.  Not every dog has the temperament or drive to make itself available emotionally and physically to strangers in new unfamiliar environments.

[ Info on Therapy Dog Training at Denver Dog Works ]

That being said Dog Works Training Centers offers many different levels of Therapy Team training.  Including temperament testing and recertification training, we are familiar with the practices and testing requirements of Delta Society (http://www.deltasociety.org), Therapy Dogs International, Children’s Hospital, and S.A.R.A. therapy team certification.

If you are thinking about volunteering with your dog and becoming a therapy team take some time and research your endeavor.  Ask at the local assisted living homes, hospitals, schools, and libraries if they utilize this service and what certification they are looking for.  There are also several private therapists, in home care businesses and enrichment programs that utilize therapy teams.  Your local dog trainer is a great resource and I would recommend starting with a trainer who is certified or experienced in therapy training.

Training recommendations for therapy dogs; basic obedience, Canine Good Citizen, a form of public access training, and proper socialization with people and outside environments.

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Michele Forto is the Denver Dog Training Examiner, the lead trainer at Denver Dog Works and the co-host of the Dog Works Radio Show.

 

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Is your puppy bored?

December 19, 2010

Michele Forto

Believe it or not your puppy can get bored!  How can that be?  My puppy has baskets full of toys in the house and outside.  I take my puppy on two walks a day and spend time with him in the evening.

When I’m asked to come to a client’s home to help them when their puppy has been chewing the furniture or is urinating from excitement or isn’t able to quiet down the first thing I observe is that there are too many choices.

Too many choices = boredom

I recommend just five toys and activities.  I have found that this keeps the puppy interested and keeps the family interested.  With all of the choices out there in the big box stores its no wonder we buy too much for our puppy.  We are sucked into the marketing skeem and the guilt ridden commercials with the cute and cuddlies with big brown eyes.  Truth be known, puppies will seek out items that feel good, taste good and make their teeth feel better.  They like chewing on the table legs and door jams because wood, although hard is also chewy and soft in a dog’s mouth offering just enough give when they sink their teeth in.  Puppies seek out shoes, socks, and other unmentionables because truth be known, they smell like us.

[ Rewind: Puppy Wish List ]

The following are the toys I recommend for medium to large breed dogs – remember a puppy will only entertain himself for so long.

  1. Tennis ball or rubber ball of like size
  2. Soccer ball – size 3 slightly deflated (outside)
  3. Stuffable treat toys like KONG
  4. Frisbee made from material, hard plastic can hurt their mouths
  5. Dog safe stuffed toy with rope

I also recommend that you incorporate obedience training into your games with your puppy.  This challenges them and makes the playtime more interactive.

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Michele Forto is the Denver Dog Training Examiner, the lead trainer at Denver Dog Works and the co-host of the Dog Works Radio Show.

 


Dog Works Radio: Pit Bulls as Service Dogs? Not in Denver

December 13, 2010

Pit Bulls as Service Dogs?

On the latest edition of the Dog Works Radio we spoke to an expert in ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) policy in Denver, Candice Adler about the recent ruling to not allow Pit Bulls as service dogs in Denver.

Pit Bulls as service dogs will be not allowed in the City and County of Denver, CO in a landmark ruling last week. The City Council turned down down an amendment to the decade long breed ban that includes Pit Bulls. A suit was brought forth by a US Solider to be allowed to keep his pit bull as a service dog. The Department of Justice announced this summer that new rules will be in place this coming March. The City of Denver said it doesn’t care and they are not making exceptions. A suit is in the works…

The Dog Works Radio Show is hosted by well respected canine behaviorist, Dr. Robert Forto and is brought to you by Twine Group Media and Dog Works Training Centers. The Dig Doctor Radio Show demonstrates through guests, call-ins, chats and social media how dog owners can have a balanced relationship with their dogs.

Listen to the latest show here:

Dog Works Radio: Pit Bulls as Service Dogs? Not in Denver

We welcome your comments suggestions and concerns. Please comment below or send them to live@dogdoctorradio.com

[ Rewind: Mush You Huskies: Ballad of the Northland ]

[ Rewind: Dog Works Radio: Atticus the Wolfdog of a US Solider ]

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Dr. Robert Forto is a canine behaviorist and the training director for Dog Works Training Centers. Dr. Forto is a musher currently in Alaska training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular programs, Dog Works Radio and Mush! You Huskies.

 


Behind the Breed: Bloodhound

November 27, 2010

In this series we will profile breeds registered with the American Kennel Club to give dog owners some ideas of what to expect of their dog. At Denver Dog Works we work with a network of breeders and with 20 years experience and training thousands of dogs we can help the new dog owner choose a breed that is right for you, your family and lifestyle.

Behind the Breed: Bloodhound

Bloodhound

Trainers Note: The bloodhound is a great breed of dog. Many of you have seen these dogs in action on the movies doing search and rescue and scent work to track down missing people. The bloodhound is highly intelligent and requires a great deal of training to work in a search and rescue capacity.

Described as a “unique looking dog in a baggy suit,” the Bloodhound is one of the oldest breeds of dogs that hunt by scent. Although affectionate, they can posses shy natures, sensitive to kindness or correction by their master. Colors of the Bloodhound include black and tan, liver and tan, and red, sometimes flecked with white. The actual term “Bloodhound” refers not to what the Bloodhound trails but instead refers to its status as the “blooded hound,” meaning aristocratic, since such great lengths were taken early on to keep the strain clean.

A Look Back

The Bloodhound made its appearance in Europe long before the Crusades, when the first specimens were brought from Constantinople in two strains, black and white. Established in America for over a century, it proved early on to be a tireless worker for law enforcement, being so accurate that evidence trailed by a Bloodhound has been accepted in a court of law.

Right Breed for You?
While Bloodhounds are extremely affectionate, they are take-charge dogs, so it is important to be kind, but be the undisputed boss in your household. Bloodhounds should be groomed weekly to eliminate dead hair and facilitate a routine that will help them look, feel, and smell better.

Learn more about purchasing a Bloodhound puppy.

  • Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1885.
  • Ranging in size from 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Scent tracker.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc. http://www.akc.org

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works

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Dr. Robert Forto the owner of Denver Dog Works and Alaska Dog Works, is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows

 


Behind the Breed: Cocker Spaniel

November 25, 2010

In this series we will profile breeds registered with the American Kennel Club to give dog owners some ideas of what to expect of their dog. At Denver Dog Works we work with a network of breeders and with 20 years experience and training thousands of dogs we can help the new dog owner choose a breed that is right for you, your family and lifestyle.

Behind the Breed: Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel

Trainers Note: The Cocker Spaniel, otherwise known as the Cocker is another one of America’s favorite breeds. These dogs should be equable in temperament with no suggestion of timidity.

Exhibited in the US since the 1880s, the Cocker Spaniel remains one of the most popular breeds according to AKC® registration statistics. The Cocker has a sturdy, compact body and a silky, flat or wavy coat. He is a merry, well-balanced dog that is capable of considerable speed and great endurance. Cocker Spaniels can be black, black with tan points, parti-colored or any solid color other than black (ASCOB).

A Look Back
As far back as the 14th Century there is mention of the Spanyell, which came to be divided into water and land spaniels. “Cockers” are the smallest of the spaniels and the Sporting Group. The American Cocker has evolved somewhat differently in appearance from the breed now recognized as the English Cocker Spaniel. His desire to hunt renders him a capable gun dog; he covers territory speedily, flushing game and retrieving only when under command. He takes to water readily.

Right Breed for You?
Despite their small size, the Cocker Spaniel is still an active Sporting breed that needs daily exercise. Regular brushing and a trim every few months helps keep the coat free of mats. Cockers are intelligent, gentle dogs that thrive as part of a family.

  • Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1878.
  • Average size: from 13 ½ inches to 15 ½ inches at the shoulder.
  • Family pet, hunting dog.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc. http://www.akc.org

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works

___________________

Dr. Robert Forto the owner of Denver Dog Works and Alaska Dog Works, is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows

 


Behind the Breed: Belgian Malinois

November 23, 2010

In this series we will profile breeds registered with the American Kennel Club to give dog owners some ideas of what to expect of their dog. At Denver Dog Works we work with a network of breeders and with 20 years experience and training thousands of dogs we can help the new dog owner choose a breed that is right for you, your family and lifestyle.

Behind the Breed: Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois

Trainers Note: We have trained several Belgian Malinois’ over the years and most recently one stayed with us for the better part of the summer while his owner was serving in Afghanistan. Linux was an exceptional dog. Malinois can do just about anything. They are used for many jobs throughout the world in the areas of police work, search and rescue, tracking and protection training. These dogs are highly intelligent and have the drive to go with it. These dogs will need a lot of exercise and training and a “job to do.”

One of the four types of Belgian sheepherding dogs, the Belgian Malinois is an alert, high-energy breed, popular as both a police and military working dog. Although sometimes mistaken for the German Shepherd Dog, the Malinois is more elegant in build and lighter-boned, but does not lack for strength, agility or herding ability. Active participants in conformation, obedience, schutzhund, herding, sledding, and tracking, the breed ranges in color from rich fawn to mahogany, with black tips on the hairs and a black mask and ears.

A Look Back

Developed in the city of Malines, where it got its name, the Malinois shares a common foundation with the Belgian Sheepdog and the Belgian Tervuren. In fact, the Belgian dogs share a breed standard in all countries except the United States. The original breeders prized the Malinois’ working character, and historically, the breed has been the favorite type of Belgian Shepherd in its native country.

Right Breed for You?
Intelligent and trainable, the Belgian Malinois possesses a strong desire to work and is happiest with regular activity and a job to do. A relatively easy keeper due to their medium size and short coat, this confident breed loves their families, but may be somewhat reserved with strangers. They are naturally protective of their owners without being overly aggressive.

  • Herding Group; AKC recognized in 1959.
  • Ranging in size from 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Sheep herder.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc. http://www.akc.org

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works

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Dr. Robert Forto the owner of Denver Dog Works and Alaska Dog Works, is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows


Behind the Breed: Siberian Husky

November 22, 2010

In this series we will profile breeds registered with the American Kennel Club to give dog owners some ideas of what to expect of their dog. At Denver Dog Works we work with a network of breeders and with 20 years experience and training thousands of dogs we can help the new dog owner choose a breed that is right for you, your family and lifestyle.

Behind the Breed: Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

Trainers Note: As many of you know the Siberian Husky of Sibe as we call them have been a huge part of my life since getting my first one in 1987. His name was Axl (after the singer in Guns and Roses who was hugely popular at the time). This breed has captured my heart the primary reason I am a trainer today. I have competed in many events with my Sibes over the years including conformation, obedience, weight pulls, Canine Good Citizen, Service and Therapy work, and of course dog sledding. My plans are to run a competitive team of Siberians in the Iditarod in the near future.

Bred in Northeast Asia as a sled dog, the Siberian Husky is known for its amazing endurance and willingness to work. Its agreeable and outgoing temperament makes it a great all-around dog, suitable for anything from sledding to therapy work. Because it originated in cold climates, Siberians have a thicker coat then most other breeds of dog, made up of a dense cashmere-like undercoat and a longer, coarse top coat. All colors from black to pure white are allowed, and a variety of markings on the head is common.

A Look Back
The Siberian Husky is widely believed to have originated from within the Chukchi Tribe, off the eastern Siberian peninsula. These dogs were used in 1908 for the All-Alaskan Sweepstakes, which consisted of a 408 mile long dogsled race, and served in the Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit during World War II.

Right Breed for You?
Siberians are relatively easy keepers, but their thick coats require weekly brushing. New owners should be prepared to provide an outlet for exercise daily, whether through walks or an enclosed space in which to run. Predatory instincts are strong, so Siberians should be supervised around small animals in and around the home.

  • Working Group; AKC recognized in 1930.
  • Ranging in size from 20 to 23 ½ inches tall at the shoulder and 35 to 60 pounds.
  • Sled dog.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc. http://www.akc.org

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works

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Dr. Robert Forto the owner of Denver Dog Works and Alaska Dog Works, is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows