Behavior Tip of the Month
Could Your Dog Qualify as a Therapy Dog?
My puppy loves everyone and someone said she would make a good Therapy Dog. What does that involve?
Therapy Dogs are usually pets who are specially trained to accompany their handlers into hospitals or convalescent facilities. They bring a smile to patients' faces and ease the loneliness and isolation. Stroking a pet lowers stress and blood pressure. Patients remember their own pets and share stories and memories.
To qualify as a Therapy Dog your dog must be:
1. Very social
3. Polite, friendly and calm
4. Biteless and forgiving even if petted too roughly or hugged
5. Confident, stable and not fearful of new sounds and sights
6. At least one year of age
If your dog can do all of the above, you should look for a good Therapy Dog class. Big cities have them. Also go to www.AKC.org
and click on CGC, Canine Good Citizen. Most Therapy Dog national organizations require your dog to pass this test. It evaluates basic good manners, obedience, stability, aggression and fear. Most obedience clubs give the test as do private trainers and Petsmart.
Joining a National Therapy Dog Organization is very important since you will then have liability insurance to cover you and your dog in the facility. Some national certifying organizations are:
Delta Society Pet Partners Programs
289 Perimeter Rd.
East Renton, WA 98055
Therapy Dogs Inc.
PO Box 5868
Cheyenne, WY 82003
Therapy Dogs International, Inc.
88 Bartely Rd.
Flanders, NJ 07836
Do you want to help other people? Does your dog have what it takes to become a Therapy Dog? If the answer is yes, you and your K9 will give a lot of joy and receive a great amount of satisfaction as well.
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
Do you have a question for Carole? You can reach her at this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps she will use it in an upcoming article on this Web site.
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.