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Hi, I'm Elena, just entered the forum. I have Vicente 10 weeks old Lab. We got it for him to play and interact with our children, one of them an 8 year old boy with autism.
It has been very difficult the interaction between puppy and my son. He loves him to jump over him and then lots of chewing start that ends bad. The problem is my son hit the dog back and doesn't realize he can hurt the dog. We are always supervising but is very stressful situation, so it ends up in having just a few contact with puppy.
Does anyone know about trainings, books something that help you to train dog to be a therapy dog? We don't need an assistance or guide dog, but I would like dog to be able to help him reduce stress and contain him.
Thank you very much in advance.
 

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Hi Elena,

I understand how stressful this is for you and your family.

A lab can be a wonderful addition to any family. My Mason is 40kg of pure muscle and teeth a wolf would be proud of but is the most gentle sole.

However as a pup he would bite constantly and scratch. He wasn't being bad - he was just being a lab pup. If he got to rough I would stop playing with him. That's how he learnt his own strength and was is and what is not acceptable.

Even now as an adult he still enjoys mouthing but unlike when he was a pup it is never sore - because he learnt the control as a pup.

Normally my advice is 'This is a normal phase that is important to the development of your lab - it will pass'.

Every guide dog or therapy dog you see will have been allowed to go through this phase of the puppy life before their training began.

However I appreciate that your family's situation is different and it may not be feasible for you to wait for it to pass.
 

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Hi Elena,

I understand how stressful this is for you and your family.

A lab can be a wonderful addition to any family. My Mason is 40kg of pure muscle and teeth a wolf would be proud of but is the most gentle sole.

However as a pup he would bite constantly and scratch. He wasn't being bad - he was just being a lab pup. If he got to rough I would stop playing with him. That's how he learnt his own strength and was is and what is not acceptable.

Even now as an adult he still enjoys mouthing but unlike when he was a pup it is never sore - because he learnt the control as a pup.

Normally my advice is 'This is a normal phase that is important to the development of your lab - it will pass'.

Every guide dog or therapy dog you see will have been allowed to go through this phase of the puppy life before their training began.

However I appreciate that your family's situation is different and it may not be feasible for you to wait for it to pass.
Thank you for your reply Paddy. We are trying to teach my son and dog, both about mouthing. I wanted to know about how to help make the bond between them. I think puppy can help my son with anxiety and other stuff, but I'm a bit worried about the interaction right now.
 

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I suspect that interaction will come by itself later. When both find the other more approachable and calm.
I wouldn't promote much interaction at all, they need to learn each other first I suspect and pup needs to go through it's normal development. Let your boy see you model how to interact with the puppy yourself. 'Just be' and do the usual stuff. Feed, play, toilet, walk, train at home and in classes yourself. Children as a rule of thumb learn from copying so anytime your boy copies or shows interest you can praise and reward him too.

Labrador puppies are renowned crocodiles and crazy things often - just look in the puppy forums! My Luna definitely was a lunatic and the second dog I got was slightly older 14months so that he was through that stage! I suspect there is a reason most assistance dog charities have puppy walkers that take the puppy through the first year before they then head off to learn 'how to assist'.

Don't try to force any relationship or interaction between the two of them at this stage as through inexperience of one with crocodile-pups and the crocodile puppyhood age of the other it is safest to let them 'just be' in the same house together, growing accustomed to each others ways and habits by 'just being'... the rest will come over time <fingers crossed>

PS: No experience! Just giving my thoughts!
 

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Thank you Laura for your words. I did that, just not trying to push. My son is much more interested now in Vicente, and they are both a bit rough in their play anyway, but they like each other. I just supervise him and tell him to be a bit careful.
 
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