I know for some people it isn't important to have a dog that is friendly with everyone - but for me, it is VERY important, my dogs are in public places alot, as well we have a large family that has people of all ages. Some dogs you have to work at it with ... others seem to come that way. My dogs are a combination of a bit of everything, but I am proud to say, they are pretty unflappable in just about any situation I put them in - while knowing their limitations - ie. not putting Jane with small Children and being careful with other dogs. But in situations like pubic places, busy parks, elevators, other peoples homes ... they are pretty good.
Gyp was very shy when I first got her, and quite afraid of men. She has always loved kids and is very gentle with them - and if they can throw a ball - she will fetch ... it's quite simple really.
This past weekend, we had the opportunity to Certify for Children Pet Therapy. You have to be Certified already in the program a year, which we are, and I thought it would be fun to work with kids - she loves the elderly, but kids, as you know have a different energy.
The tests we have done for both certifications, are rather stressful!!! They really do a good job of testing dogs temperaments and how they deal with stressful situations.
The tests inlcuded:
Ring around the Rosie: 10 people including kids, singing and holding hands while circling us, then they all fall down on the floor at the same time. Gyp was curious, and went up to each person individually to meet them ... funny girl.
Play time: Kids playing on the floor with Toys and a Stroller, laughing and being loud, once again Gyp went up and met them all and tried to entice them to play.
Running at the dog: one at a time the kids ran towards Gyp then fell on the ground laughing or screaming .... Gyp thought it was weird - but just sat at my side and by the last falling child, tried to get them to play with her when they were on the ground.
Meeting the dog: the kids came up to pet her one at a time - of course she was fine with that.
Mob: we stood in the room, and all of the kids and people swarmed her, talking and petting, laughing ... again she thought that was pretty cool - hey kid, throw me a toy.
So we look forward to our next level of Therapy Dog work ... we will see how much we like working with the Kids, it will be much different than hearing the fun stories of the elderly, but should be just as uplifting.