therapy cert (not sure where to put this) - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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therapy cert (not sure where to put this)

I copy/pasted this from my other thread.

I just thought of another question and although I think I know the answer I thought I should double check. I graduate with my AAHSM (Human Services Management) in June and start my BA program (Crisis Counseling) at Liberty University on June 27.

I am in the final stages of being approved as a foster home visitor, just waiting on background check to clear. It is a volunteer position and entails meeting the foster parents and child, inspecting the home and building a relationship with the child. I am doing this because it is in my career field of choice once I graduate. If the puppy was therapy certified (which I want to do) do you think this breed would be a good fit for that type of work? Interacting with foster children. Of course any interaction would be closely supervised and would depend on the personality and any special needs the child might have.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 11:34 PM
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Havanese make remarkable therapy dogs. I am sure those with therapy dogs will be able to confirm this. Before we moved to our present location, I took RICO and ChaCha to a seniors living center daily and the residents absolutely adored them. The dogs were sensitive to the elderly people and were quite gentle with them.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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That's what I thought but just wanted to double check. Kids in foster care typically have emotional problems and some dogs are very sensitive (not in a good way) to that.

Pattie I sent you a email
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennBaxterFamily View Post
That's what I thought but just wanted to double check. Kids in foster care typically have emotional problems and some dogs are very sensitive (not in a good way) to that.

Pattie I sent you a email
Havs are very sensitive, but also seem very sympathetic. I think as long as the child is nice to them, the will get a positive response out of most Havs. BUT, you should specifically talk to to your prospective breeder about wanting to do this kind of work. Every puppy has a bit different personality. Some are "busier", some are a bit more independent, and some are lower energy, total love-bug, lap dogs. The latter personality is probably best for therapy work at a young age.

Kodi loves EVERYONE, and he'd probably do fine with kids. But at 2 he definitely isn't ready for therapy work with elderly or ill people. As friendly as he is, he's still got a LOT of energy... too much to spend a lot of time sitting in laps. OTOH, if a kid wants to throw a ball for him or play "chase" in the back yard, he's CERTAINLY up for that!!!

Good breeders know their pups well, and will be able to guide you toward that calm, confident, lap-dog personality.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 06:52 AM
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I would think that if you used a Havanense in this type work you would need to have them their their CGC (Canine Good Citizen) and Therapy Dog Certification.
My Lexi is a certified Therapy dog and not only visits with the elderly she also "reads" with the kindergarteners. she does very well with the children and absolutely LOVES it!
I think you would have to supervise very closely as you would want to be sure that the pup is being treated properly. Many of the children that Lexi has worked with have written stories about her, drawn pictures of her, brought stories home about her - she definately makes in an impact. It think that it is a wonderful to consider!!!

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 06:53 AM
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most therapy dog cert. programs won't certify a dog under 1 yr of age.

Havs are absolutely awesome dogs, don't get me wrong, but every dog is it's own dog. enuf said. good luck.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 09:31 AM
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Regarding a therapy dog for foster kids, you must be extremely careful to assess the child's needs before visiting. ( I'm sure you'll do this) The right dog with the right child could do wonders for the child.

Although Havs can become great therapy dogs, they are not all suited to every situation. I have 3 registered therapy dogs, and I wouldn't bring any of them into some places. Our group visits a homeless shelter and the children tend to be "all over the dogs". A great big Goldendoodle in our group is the choice visitor there, since she doesn't mind the kids' doing that. That wouldn't be the place for us to visit, as I don't think any of my dogs could take that kind of attention.
The first obligation of the handler is the safety of the dog.

We do the READ program, visit an assisted living facility, and our next endeavor will be visiting the Ante partum dept. of a local hospital, where pregnant moms on bed rest will get a visit from one of my dogs.

You should definitely discuss your plans with the breeder, so he/she can help you choose the pup with the right temperament for the PARTICULAR therapy work you want to do. Then you'll have to do the training and wait until the pup is one year and if it's ready, you can get the CGC and therapy cert. as Laurie said.
Good luck!

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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thank you all for the response. I should have been more clear as I do realize that it would be at least a year, once the puppy is in my home, before I could even think about adding puppy to home visits.

I have picked out my training center and have audited a class there. They have a bunch of classes which starts at puppy and does every class you can think of including CGC, therapy cert, and rally. The training center does not allow dogs into their therapy cert classes until they have completed CGC, which makes sense to me.

I have a checklist that I followed and so far I have the training classes, crate, the food, and treats. Just trying to find a breeder now. I almost got tricked by a not so good breeder which to my very untrained eye looked very good.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 08:36 PM
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I am starting the process for Sugarbaby to be a therapy dog, however, at this time Sugarbaby does not really like to be petted. She likes to lay on the couch a couple of feet away and she follows me when I go to another room but cuddling or petting, not so much. So I figure the training is great and will help with everyday situations but I will not force her to be a therapy dog unless she changes her mind on the petting thing. She is only 6 months old so she has 6 months to make up her mind.....
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 08:55 PM
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So, I'm just going to dish a little right now. I hope you all don't mind.

I'm a specialist in the public schools, and I've had 1 certified therapy dog, he was a rescue anatolian, abandoned by 2 previous owners. I got Cosmo when he was 5.5 yrs old, he past away last feb, and I miss him dearly. he was like a dog polar bear, and beyond chill. very cool dog.

I also was a CASA, court appointed special advocate, for 3 yrs. it's a volunteer position, and we advocate for wards of the court, aka foster kids.

Ok, so I b/c Cosmo was so cool, my other dogs have had a chance to work with kids at my school, and in the summer they worked with all types of students. Cosmo was 125 lbs, Kara my female 130 lbs, Ollie the 1/2 hav and 1/2 shih tzu, he started 'working' too, he's now 14 lbs.

My regular assignment is a K-5 elementary school and my site house 2 special day classes for moderate to severe kids with autism.

Ok...I hate to say this but it's true, please don't judge me, but I love my dogs more than any of my students... I wouldn't want to ever have any of my dogs poked at our even remotely scared.

Luckily my big dogs, Cosmo and Kara love kids and are idiot proof. One student, severely autistic, so interested in Cosmo's teeth b/c they are BIG, she put her hand in his mouth, to touch his teeth and he let her.

even with regular ed. kids here's a list of possible not cool things that can happen to your dog, which HAS happened to one or all of mine while working (and I and all the staff which the kids like hawks):
tail pulled, stepped on,
penis stepped on (preschooler did that, by accident, only 1 time)
pulled ears, fingers in ears
faces put very close to the dogs face
pet the wrong way
yelled at
screamed at
stepped on paws

you get the picture. Ollie my little guy, kids ALWAYS try to pick him up, and I tell them not to, even the severely developmentally delayed kids try to pick him up that just can't help it. for my big dogs, the kids like to sit or lay on them or bounce on them.

so yeah, my point is you just never know. I highly suggest before you take them into a foster care situation, start easy with a paws to read program or something like that.

I think the world needs more ppl like you. but like everything there is always a downside, just wanted to make you aware now.

btw I did take Ollie to get certified last yr, but he growled that the friendly dog test item, and then later on, after we failed the test, Ollie tried to mark the same friendly dog. I blame it on his shih tzu side of course.

I try to get all my dogs certified as therapy dogs, it's a great way to bond with your dogs, and for me practical b/c it's such an amazing tool and benefit for my students, and heck it's just down right cool.

good luck. may the force be with you.
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