Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oakland, CA
Submit Photo: 6
Photo Submissions 11 Times in 11 Posts
therapy dog stuff -
sit stay and then come from I think 20 ft. and a separate test item is the 'leave with a friendly stranger for 3 minutes'. other fun items include grooming, tolerates being pet (not by you).
If you were looking at TDI, therapy dogs international, yes, the rules say 1 yr old, but depending on the assessor you can go younger. ollie was intact the first time I took him, I think 6-8 months old. the 'greet a friendly dog' was an intact lab male.
Ollie not only lit him up with a big psycho growl, but in hopes of desensitizing him, we hung out near the male, he had a tent he'd wait in b/t exams... ollie marked the tent. twice, with the male in it.
He still doesn't like intact males. he'll greet them, but if they sniff him too long, or linger around him for more than a minute (after an initial greeting), he'll growl at him.
Girl dogs, totally different story. he's loopy for females. I can even tell if the dog is male or female by how he initially greets the dog.
ok, anyway, I am a speech therapist at a public elementary school. I finally got a new principal last school yr (previous one was NOT a fan of dogs on campus), so Ollie comes once a week and works. he's a little more than a traditional therapy dog, he has so many tricks we actually teach academics to the kids. or we use him as a reward (kids can call out a trick if they get the answer right).
of course Ollie is paid in food, and only works if he gets paid. he's awesome around campus, I don't put him on leash, unleash a co worker is fearful (lame he's so little) but usually he's off leash, and walks at a perfect heel around campus.
He'll work up to 4-5 classrooms in one day, usually a 1/2 hour session, but sometimes we go 45 minutes. he even was a fundraising auction item for the PTA, where he would come visit the winner's classroom for 30 minutes. he's the perfect size to put on the desks, so he'd walk around greeting all the kids at their desks and do tricks in different spots. we have a 'intro' session where we talk about dogs, how to greet them, how to tell if they are friendly, we talk about what the difference is b/t a therapy dog and service dog, and of course tricks. in the upper grades, 4th and 5th, I've shown students how to teach their dog a trick, like waving hello.
anyway, you can PM me for more info. you don't have to go to a training class, you can work on items yourself. Ollie is my third therapy dog, and both my boys are certified therapy dogs. My female anatolian is unfriendly with new dogs (big, deep growl) so she wouldn't pass that item, 'greet a friendly dog' unless it was under 25 lbs and a male, lol!
Last edited by sprorchid; 12-25-2012 at 12:59 PM.