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Do As I Do is an important tool used with therapy dogs

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Do As I Do is an important tool used with therapy dogs

Why use Do As I Do when working with school dogs and therapy dogs?

Do As I Do (DAID) is a method for teaching dogs various behaviors, often advanced ones that may take a long time to train using traditional methods. It can be a single behavior or a sequence of behaviors, such as opening a drawer, retrieving an item from the drawer, and delivering the object to a specific place. The dog learns by sitting and observing what a person does, then imitating the same behavior. Learning in this way is called social learning. Do As I Do is a systematic procedure with fairly simple "rules" to make the method predictable for the dog, so it knows when to pay attention to a behavior and when to imitate it. It is also a method or procedure for teaching the dog the principle of copying behaviors. Do As I Do is a procedure for teaching the dog the concept of social learning. Social learning is an interesting and effective method to implement in DAID.

Do As I Do is an important tool used with children/youths and therapy dogs

When working with the Do As I Do method, it is important to follow the procedure and give the dog clear signals. This makes Do As I Do a useful tool in working with school dogs and therapy dogs when dealing with children and youth facing challenges such as concentration difficulties, socio-emotional issues, and low self-esteem. The procedure requires that the child/youth be organized, focused, patient and able to understand how the dog perceives their communication/body language. They must be aware of their own body language, the dog's body language, and what the body language conveys. The exercise can be challenging but is often perceived as exciting and fun. This leads to increased concentration, more motivation, and helps the youth/child practice handling frustration. The procedure requires calmness, order and the ability to analyze. The exercise trains the child's or youth's impulse control, self-regulation, and patience. We find that, after working with this method, youths and children become more aware of their own body language, others' body language, and the importance of body language for communication.

Do As I Do in Rehabilitation

Do As I Do is a useful exercise for physical rehabilitation for individuals who have undergone injuries, surgeries, or other health challenges. The procedure and collaboration with the dog can increase motivation and engagement in rehabilitation, diverting attention from any pain. Working with a dog can help reduce stress and anxiety in the patient. This can have a positive impact on the rehabilitation process by helping the patient be more relaxed and positive. Repetitive, tedious exercises become more enjoyable, and the patient may forget they are working on rehabilitation. Many patients look forward to and enjoy activities with the dog. For those admitted to the hospital or institution, this becomes a welcomed break from an often dull routine.

Social learning and Do As I Do have many applications and have become an important tool we frequently use in interventions with therapy dogs. We continuously develop how we implement it in various situations and for different needs and challenges among our clients.

Do As I Do online course


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