Author Topic: Therapy Dogs  (Read 2630 times)

Offline Boobearsmom

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Therapy Dogs
« on: March 07, 2006, 11:16:56 am »
After much talk with my parents, Boo's trainer and new trainer-to-be and some observation of Boo, I think I've decided to see if Boo would be a good therapy dog.  But, that being said, I don't know the first thing about going into this.  Anyone whose dog is a therapy dog, any advice would be greatly appreciated.  She's still really young (8 1/2 months old), but is there anything I can do now to start steering her in that direction?  She starts intermediate obedience next week.  She loves meeting new people (ok, maybe a little bit too much  ;D) and people are always coming over to her and saying that there is just "something about her" that makes them want to approach her.  Any ideas?

Offline jabear

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Re: Therapy Dogs
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006, 12:38:23 pm »
Therapy work is so awesome! I think that Boo will be great too!  ;D We got tested through TDI (Therapy Dogs International) but i know that the Delta Society is also a widely used organization.

Since you are in obedience classes now the work that you will need to do to pass your therapy dog test is not much harder. The people that test you are pretty flexible too. Our lady kept reminding us that "this is not an obedience test" so that the parents would relax.  :)
 
Here are a few tips that I can give you from my experience. Make sure that your dog is not fearful of things because there is so much going on in the hospitals that they really need to be as calm as possible. Make sure that your dog doesn't like to chase tennis balls obsessively because the people with walkers keep tennis balls on the legs. (FYI-anyone wondering...it was Cody who wanted to eat the balls)  ;D Exercise your dog before you get there because they do need to be calm and well behaved and ready to just be loved on for a long period of time. Also, if you work with another dog make sure that they know when they need to work and when they need to play.

In my short time doing this (3 months) I have had a blast and love every minute of it. The people are so loving and kind and really do appreciate any time that you spend with them. We volunteer on Sunday (every other) and each Wednesday at two different facilities. Good luck and let us know how things turn out!
« Last Edit: March 07, 2006, 12:43:33 pm by jabear »
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Offline Newf Lover

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Re: Therapy Dogs
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 01:22:57 pm »
I just wanted to add that if you don't have the time right now to get your dog Therapy trained, many Rest Homes and Assisted Living communities will allow you to bring your big dog in to visit the people living there.  There is a Rest Home near us that specializes in treating people with Alzheimers and Dementia.  The nurses are so excited when we bring Drake in and really appreciate us taking the time to come to them.  Many of those places get so few visitors and/or outside contact with the world.  It really brightens the day of many of the people who live and work there, just to see such an unusual dog and it will also make you feel really good too.  Just make sure that it's OK to bring in your dog because some places don't allow it and they will be very insistant that you leave.  It's just an alternative I thought might be worth sharing with y'all, something you could even do on your daily walk through the neighborhoods.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2006, 01:25:50 pm by Newf Lover »
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