Tell me about Therapy dog training

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by carolinagirl58, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    I have an Anatolian Shepherd Dog puppy that I think will make an awesome therapy dog. He is fun loving, outgoing and not easily rattled by new things. Please tell me where to start. I know he has a long way to go before he can get certified but I am not sure where to begin with his training. also I read something on the local Therapy dog's web site that has me really puzzled. It says "Animals who are fed a raw diet or who live with other animals fed raw diets are not permitted in the program". I can't for the life of me figure this one out! Are they worried about aggression? Germs?? Can someone help me with this? Thanks!

    http://www.prescriptionpaws.org/Volunteer.htm
     
  2. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
  3. Whitewinterwolf

    Whitewinterwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Massachusetts
    Wow, I guess I understand but just wow.
    I never thought a raw diet would be an issue? I have a few dogs that are therapy dogs, and that never was an issue? [​IMG] I guess I need to go talk to someone then XD
     
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    yes, some organizations have a bias against RAW fed dogs. Others don't.
    You can also get a dog certified tested through an agency and visit on your own if that is something you are interested in.

    http://www.dogplay.com/Activities/Therapy/index.html#overview?source=9593&_$ja=tsid:11853|prd:85386 has some great links to get started.

    How old is your pup? I'd start him out the same as I do any dog - socialize socialize socialize. I try to do 100 new things in 100 days. Keep all interactions positive and don't over do it in the beginning. Puppies get tired easily and being out in a new environment uses a lot of brain power.
    Take him everywhere with you that you can - the feed store, the vet's office, even just sitting on the benches outside wal-mart.

    Start from the day he comes home teaching basic manners like always keeping his feet on the floor (no jumping up or pawing for attention allowed!)

    What kind of therapy work do you want to do? Do you want to work with children or adults? Do you want to go with a group or work on your own? Nursing home or a hospital setting?
    There is also a "library dog" program http://www.librarydogs.com/
    Therapy
    Dog International has a similar program. Basically, you can do as much as you want in any venue you want.

    The Canine Good Citizen test is a great place to start for training goals. http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm
     
  5. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:it depends on the organization you work with.
     
  6. LaBaze

    LaBaze Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2011
    Covington, LA
    I looked into the program for my dog. The best place to start is going to the therapy dogs website http://therapydogs.com/ and make sure to look at all the rules and requirements for this program.
    It is a very good idea to look into the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) too, getting certified with this program makes you look good. [​IMG]
    Raw meat can contain parasites that would not be good for sick or young or old people that have a weak immune system.
    Hope this helps!
     
  7. JellyBeanCee

    JellyBeanCee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 26, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Echoing others...I think a lot of the criteria for various programs are specific to where you are taking the animals & individual programs rules/regs. I work at a children's hospital and criteria are different here than at some other places I've heard about. Just depends....

    That said, therapy dogs are a wonderful thing! I just had the privilege of hugging some big ole Great Pyrennes earlier. I'm not a kid in the hospital, but it was certainly therapeutic for me! [​IMG]
     
  8. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    http://www.dogplay.com/Activities/Therapy/join.html

    is
    searchable by local/national/international groups. Find a group in your area that does work you want to be a part of. They can steer you in the right direction since every group can have slightly different requirements.
    Another option would be to contact a facility you would like to work with, find out if they are working with a therapy dog group and if so, which one.

    Until then, socialize socialize socialize. Basic manners. Get the pup used to being handled by a ton of people.
     
  9. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    that is great information! Thanks so much! I think I'd like the idea of working on our own, as our schedule permits. Nursing homes are an awesome place to take dogs. My mom is in a nursing home and all the patients love it when Dad brings mom's little poodle to visit. I'd really like to do that, as well as hospitals.

    The pup is 4 months old. We go to handling classes once a week and to the farmers market and Tractor supply store on Saturday mornings. Living in a rural area it's hard to get him out more than that but I'll do my best. He loves handling classes! He loves riding in the car too. I'll work towards the Canine Good Citizen. I think our local obedience club might have info about that.
     
  10. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good thing about working on your own - you set all the rules about when and where you will visit.
    Bad thing about working on your own - you do all the work and assume all the liability if something goes wrong.

    Even if you join an organization, you aren't locked into going everywhere they go, everytime they are there. [​IMG] Another good thing about belonging to a group is the training. You're going to have to get the dog used to riding in elevators (if you're visiting hospitals), used to a ton of different medical equipment, beeping monitors, etc. Plus, you have the backup of people to teach YOU how to deal with issues and how to help your dog along.
     

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