That would be GREAT Catherine, this is something I plan on doing with Riley and my new little guy. I have already taken Riley to a few classes and hope to take a class for his CGC this summer. The only problem I am having is sit/stay. In order to pass the test you have to be able to get your dog in a sit/stay position and be able to walk away 20 feet and back without him getting up to follow you (sorry no exceptions for velcro dogs LOL) My breeder told me he will do better at this as he gets older so I am hoping to give it a shot this summer. In order to be a Therapy dog you must pass the CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Test. I wish you the best of luck and hope you decide to give it a try.
Ohh, one more thing you may want to think about doing that would be fun is Freesyle Dancing.. Rily’s School is talking about adding a class which I would love to do seeing how he already loves to dance on his hind legs, spin and weave in and out of my legs..
I do not know that much about it but I do know you have to make a strong commitment once you are accepted . They expect you to show up every week same time as the patients become used to you .
I think some programs are more flexible than others . You have options as to where you want to visit - hospitals hospices senior homes , childrens wards .
I considered doing it with Asta but we travel in the summer and I could not make a weekly commitment all year round ..
Good luck . The people I know who have done it find it very rewarding and they say the dogs really make a difference ands seem to understand that they are making a difference in those peoples lives .
Havs are great therapy dogs. We have several in threrapy dogs. Pam's parents live in an assisted living home with one of our retired females. She is a FANTASTIC therapy dog without any training. Everyone there loves her and she brightens their days.
Hi Catherine. So glad you are considering pet therapy for Ollie. Havs seem to make great pet therapy dogs. I know from experience that pet therapy helps with sickness. It puts a glow on people's faces.
Lynn you make me sound like a therapy prodigy. But I haven't gotten around to researching it too much yet. Busy, busy, busy at work. It is tax season for us pencil pushers. Yuck!!!!!!!!
I believe that the dogs have to be a year old to get certified. So my breeder recommended taking the puppy out as much as possible (after he has all his vaccinations) and getting him used to noises. She also said start with puppy classes.
The article in the paper also showed rabbits doing pet therapy. I love rabbits too but I cannot imagine how you train them not to poop on patients.
For people who are considering this before getting a puppy, make sure you tell your breeder. They will pick a puppy for you with the right temperament but you really cannot be too choosey on color. They do tend to lean more towards boys because they tend to sit on your lap for a longer time then girls. But it really depends on the dog and a good breeder will help place you with the right pup. My breeder said "you need a puppy that won't respond to a bomb going off" Which is true. They have to get used to the sound of walkers, canes, oxygen tanks, etc.
As soon as I find out more, I will share. You do the same. When we get our act together and maybe we can ask for a Therapy section from Melissa.
There are a few different therapy options. http://www.tdi-dog.org/ or delta society are two. Check locally, with your hospital, etc to find ones for your area. There are a few places that just require your dog to test in to their program.
My Dora has her TDI certificate. We went to do Delta but Dora would not stand on the ground and backed away when they tried to brush her. She was 13 months at the time so I wasnt sure but thought I would try. She did do the obedience part well. Delta has some strict rules- no raw meat/bones at all, the dog has be bathed before every visit, they also want set schedules. But they were at the hospital near my home so I thought I would try them first. When we didn't pass, a friend said well just get her TDI. Then there are tons of groups and venues for you to go through depending upon what type of therapy you want to be involved with and what commitment you and your dog can give.
As to what dogs would be great- it depends what kind of therapy you like and your dog likes As to Dora, she really doesnt like hospital visits as much as nursing homes. She is only two and is a bit too restless for sitting still. So we do the nursing home thing. There are a group of us that go once a month to different ones. Your dog does have to be one year to test. My maltese could sit with anyone. We are doing her testing at the end of the month, I had to wait until now for her to calm down.
CGC is a great way to get started and prepare- I think TDI does CGC at the same time. You can get your CGC at 6 months (Dora did this after her 2 puppy classes) and then start preparing for TDI. Like someone mentioned before exposure and training are the most important parts. Probably the scariest part of the TDI test for me, as you are walking they drop a bed pan behind you without warning. It scared me more than my Dora but Dora read my reaction! Look over the website they go through some of the things you have to do.