Friday training talk: What's up with your pack

AnchorageAugust 23, 2013 

This photo's a little blurry but it captures Jillie's personality. She just went in the mud up to her neck but she came up smiling.

MIKE LEWIS — adn.com/dogblog

I've been a slacker on the Dog Blog lately, with only a few posts, but I'm back and feel like talking about dogs. What's up with your crew? Any new skills? Challenges? Accomplishments?

Jillie, if I can get her cleaned up in time, will take her Pet Partners therapy dog test tomorrow. It will be her third try at the test -- she failed the first and passed her second two years ago. She's up for renewal tomorrow.

She is well-suited to be a therapy dog because she's tiny, fits right up on hospital beds and has a great personality. Her only problem is significant -- she has a tendency to lick. Some people will say it's submissive behavior, but I'm not sure that's it with her. I feel like she's doing it for attention. Either that, or she just likes how we taste.

"Kissing" is a no-no for therapy dogs. They can get away with one, maybe two, but any persistent licking is a disqualification. That's how we failed during her first attempt. Since then, she learned a "No kisses" command. I taught it like every other trick my dogs do -- she got treats for not licking.

It works well, but I have to keep saying it. Whether we pass is how well she listens to me tomorrow. Wish us luck!

What's up with your crew?

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