The last twenty years have seen an explosion of uses for working dogs. Service dogs are now asked to perform a variety of tasks for people with disabilities. And therapy dogs--once largely seen only at nursing homes--are now used for emotional support and motivation in schools, libraries, courts, universities,hospitals, churches and employee lounges.
This book provides positive-motivation training techniques for basic manners and specific tasks expected of working dogs. Beyond training these animals, the reader can learn to evaluate both the suitability of a working dog and the suitability of the dog's client.
A final goal of this book is to help working dog owners, clients, and trainers-- and dog owners in general--to understand the capabilities, needs and limitations of these dedicated animals.
Many years back, Oklahoma native Barbara Lewis acquired a Cairn Terrier to help fill her "empty nest." Attending training classes for her new dog, she enjoyed the process and began reading voraciously about dog training while attending workshops, seminars and conferences. She gravitated from obedience competition to volunteering as a therapy dog handler, but after a move to a rural home she started training dogs and conducting training classes. She later accepted a position with a national agency placing service dogs in Oklahoma. After she helped start a dog-training program at an Oklahoma correctional facility, she and a small group formed the nonprofit agency A New Leash on Life in Norman, Okla., adding the training of therapy dogs and service dogs to the group's efforts. With her publication of Successful Working Dogs, she hopes to promote more successful service and therapy dogs in communities nationwide.