Therapy Animals

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Becky89*, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Becky89*

    Becky89* Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2008
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    I've been researching about therapy animals and I was wondering if anyone here took part in either AAT or AAA. I want to register my border collie and my house bunny with the Delta Society, I just worry that we practice and practice and we all mess up at the very last minute.
     
  2. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    [​IMG]

    other inquiring minds also wanna know...
     
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    What tests does a rabbit have to pass? [​IMG]
     
  4. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    Quote:Potty training! [​IMG]
     
  5. peepacheep

    peepacheep Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have have done animal assisted activities with my 2 Labradors and 3 rabbits since 1999. Several years ago I was also a Delta instructor. Last Saturday my two 2 year old Labs passed their first Delta evaluations. For all the evaluations that my animals and I have gone through I am always the one who is nervous. Not because I think my dogs will do something terrible but because I know my Labradors are 4 footed comedians. My dignity is not their priority. The most important thing to remember during your evaluation is to breath. If you happen to not pass this time it is excellent practice for the next evaluation. Have you taken the handler class or done the home study? One caution I would have to say about working with rabbits is how stress impacts their GI system. GI stasis can kill them very quickly. I have a great rabbit vet who has lined me out on medications to have on hand at the first sign of a problem. Temperatures over 85 degrees is also something else to be very mindful of with rabbits. I do not want sound negative about working with rabbits, on the contrary, it was profoundly moving to see how people connected with them. People who would not make eye contact with the Labs or I would light up when I visited with one of the rabbits. Please feel free to pm me. I would be happy to help if you have questions.
     
  6. Becky89*

    Becky89* Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2008
    pennsylvania
    I have done the home study but that's as far as I have gone. I have been visiting the Delta Society's website frequently and I printed out the senario picture sheets where it shows what the dog has to be able to handle. Rocket, my border collie and I can handle all but three of the problems and they are the loud noises, the other dog, and when someone is yelling toward me. [​IMG]

    Patches, my house bunny who is seven has been litter trained since he was two and he never leaves a mess anywhere outside his cage. Patches has problems when it comes to being bounced around.....I am working with him on it but sometimes he just doesn't want to listen [​IMG]
     
  7. peepacheep

    peepacheep Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think I can clarify a couple of those things. The angry yelling portion is not directed towards the dog or handler. It is usually done off to one side of the room. When I helped with evaluations we picked a silly thing to argue about like stinky sneakers or parking spaces. With my first 2 Labs I was concerned how they would react to this so I had friends stage short arguments while I fed treats to the Labs. The Labs got so tuned into it when they heard people raise their voices the dogs plunked into a sit and looked at me for a treat. While treats can not be given or even carried by the handler during the evaluation it is very nice for the dogs to have the association of good things happen with loud voices. In real life during real visits to nursing homes it is invaluable to have the dogs look towards to me if a resident had a loud frustrated or confused moment. The loud noise test is often something like a clip board or cookie sheet dropping out of view of the dog. The point is to see how the dog handles sudden loud noises, does it recover quickly and how does the handler help the dog recover. I have stainless steel dog dishes so some banging and clanging is part of mealtime. Also I train the dogs to look at me on cue, if they get distracted I can regain their attention. Again, with Labs it's all about treats for training. Meeting the neutral dog was the toughest part for my dog June last week. The dog can not cross the handler's center line as they approach the person with the neutral dog. Even with a lot of practice the bottom line is June really likes meeting dogs. As we approached the other dog handler I had to stop and quietly remind her to heel. Before I tried to shake the dog handler's hand I took a moment to tell June to sit and stay both with words and hand signals. Something to keep in mind is that therapy dog evaluations are not like obedience competition. The point of the evaluation is to see that the dog is safe and predictable and how the handler guides the dog to succeed. Delta's 8 hour handler course is very helpful before doing a first time evaluation. The Canine Good Citizen test is similar to Delta's evaluation. If you can take a class for it or even simply take the test it could be useful practice for your dog. Also the Delta site has listings of registered teams, instructors, evaluators and affiliated groups, there might teams in your area.
     
  8. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Would a bird or even a chicken be able to become a therapy animal?
     
  9. peepacheep

    peepacheep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens can become registered therapy animals as well as some other bird species. It is my understanding that there are not many. The health forms from Delta that my vet had to fill out for the dogs has a section for bird health screening on it. Salmonella, avian TB, chlamydia/psittacosis and a fecal test for intestinal parasites are required for birds.
     
  10. dgeter

    dgeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Quote:Thats really cool.. I've thought several times about getting Peanut registered (my silkie roo). Id love to be able to take him places and he IS a big stress relief for me.
     

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