Training a handicapped dog can be a difficult task, but it’s more than worth it.
by Guest Blogger, Dr. Chris Carpenter
Training a handicapped dog can be a difficult task, but it’s more than worth it. You’ll help a friend in need, while strengthening an undying bond between you and man’s best friend. Seeing the joy in their eyes makes all of the hard work worth it in an instant.
The truth is that training a handicapped dog is a whole different ball game. You might find that certain things aren’t as easy, but others are as simple as possible. Their world sometimes seems very limited, with less agility and mobility. However, you’re able to be there to make it seem like the best possible scenario for them!
Keep Your Training Sessions Short
Since you don’t want to overwhelm your pup, it’s important to keep the training sessions short. While they might love the attention and interaction, sudden movements and unexpected lessons can wear down on them more than you might think.
Given that the lessons need to be shortened, you’ll have to pack them with valuable, impactful training. Encourage growth through every session, but don’t push too hard. They’ll grow at their own pace! After all, a dog’s main goal is to please their owner.
Choose Healthy Dog Treats for Rewards
The amount of fillers and unhealthy additives loaded into most dog treats is unsettling. Regardless of being handicapped or not, it’s important to make sure their diet is always as healthy as possible.
Imagine having to eat unhealthy donuts and fast food all throughout the day. It might be nice at first, but after a while your health would start to take a toll. Energy levels dip, and it can even worsen your dog’s pre existing health problems. Dogs have a very limited diet, so always try to make every bite count throughout the day!
Consult a Vet
Each handicapped dog is different. Don’t try to get your pet to do something they physically can’t do. Consult a vet for limitations. Various exercises, medications, diets, and more may all be required to improve your dog’s condition.
In order to truly engrain a concept into a dog’s mind, you have to be consistent. Stick to a schedule, amount of time, and routine as much as possible. You wouldn’t want to put in tons of hard work and end up wasting time!
Not only that, but it keeps that bond growing. Show your dog that you want to help them grow in life, and they’ll continue to remain loyal. You’ll find it to be a tough task to improve their range of training, but consistency always results in positivity and production.
Be Smart With Your Training
When it comes down to it, the main goal is to allow your handicapped dog to feel as least held back as possible. Keep them moving, learning, eating healthy, and well-rounded throughout their lives.
Prior to making any conclusions on your own, talk to your local vet to get a professional opinion. Keep the training sessions meaningful and packed with knowledge, but for a limited amount of time.
Your dog will grow alongside you, and you might just end up asking yourself who’s actually benefiting more from the relationship!
About the Author: Chris Carpenter is the author of the book, Vet Set Go!, which aims to help teach tweens and teens how to become a veterinary volunteer. As a licensed vet himself, Dr. Carpenter hopes his knowledge and passion for animals can help aspiring vets succeed in the industry.