Mr. N doesn’t let his size or breed(s) stop him from doing anything. He plays with much bigger dogs, goes hiking, competes in sports and does pretty much anything he sets his mind to. And I’ve encouraged him to do so most of the time. Jumping off a cliff after a squirrel is not recommended no matter what your size.
The last couple of months, Mr. N has been training to become a therapy dog. When I told my co-workers about his classes, one of them asked about Mr. N’s breed and said, “oh aren’t those the yappy, snappy ones?”
I told her actually Mr. N is following in the footsteps of the first therapy dog of record who was also a Yorkie. Smoky was also a war dog who served in World War II.
In his training class, Mr. N was the smallest (by far) and oldest and most energetic. The other dogs would start napping or winding down at the end of class and Mr. N showed no signs of being tired (I have no photos because we were too busy working the entire time).
Mr. N will be working with at-risk children at a domestic violence shelter. The therapy program teaches kids positive communication skills by using clicker training and positive reinforcement to work with the dogs. He has orientation this week and we’ll have a few supervised sessions before he becomes a bona fide therapy dog.
Since we adopted him, I’ve been positively training Mr. N and working on his socialization. I’ve taught him that kids are a source of good things and they will pet him and feed him and praise him. We’ve also worked extensively on his leash reactivity to the point where he was able to take the training classes with the other dogs and focus instead of barking and lunging the entire class.
I think it will be good for Mr. N to have a “job.” Who says little dogs are useless?
Next month’s blog hop will be on October 6th. The theme will be Positive Training Fun with A Box!