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 Post subject: Getting Started
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:41 pm 
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Location: Northern Alberta, Canada
There are lots and lots of great therapy dog organizations out there. Along with a couple of nationally-recognized programs, many smaller communities have their own programs.

Our local program is not affiliated with any of the large-scale programs. We have our own screening and education process developed, and I think it would be similar to any other small group.

Our initial screening tool is a shadow visit, where the person that is interested in taking part in pet therapy follows a certified team around on one of their visits. This allows them to experience the setting and people involved without them having to worry about their dog. If they are still interested in joining our pet therapy group, they have to take the Canine Good Neighbour test, as offered by the Canadian Kennel Club. The CGN test is modeled after the AKC's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test - it is a test of basic manners that shows that your dog can be a good member of the community. Our group doesn't require that a dog/handler team pass the entire CGN test (there are elements of the test that don't really pertain to therapy dogs), but the dog/handler team must be able to interact with strangers and unknown dogs without anxiety. We have never had a team fail the CGN test.

After the CGN test, the dog/handler team goes through an orientation weekend with the other teams that have passed the CGN. It's a Friday evening, Saturday day and Sunday morning event, with a reference binder for each team, lectures and role-playing. On Sunday we do dog/handler testing, using particular scenarios that they might encounter during therapy visits.

Following the course, each team must complete 2-3 practicum visits. The recreation therapist accompanies all teams on their visits, but for practicum visits, a senior member of the pet therapy group also tag along, just to provide support to the new team, and to evaluate their progress.

We meet monthly to talk about how everybody is doing. Our venue coordinators come to the meetings, as do the recreation therapists. It's just another way that we provide support to each other.

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Kelly & the KLAD Cockers
Farley, Grace & Jack Jack
http://www.kladphotography.com


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:45 pm 
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Location: Northern Alberta, Canada
Some of the more well-known therapy dog programs

TDI - http://www.tdi-dog.org/

Delta Society - http://www.deltasociety.org

St John's Ambulance (Canada) - http://www.sja.ca/Canada/CommunityServices/Programs/Pages/TherapyDogServices.aspx

Therapy Dogs - http://www.therapydogs.com

AKC Canine Good Citizen Program - http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/program.cfm

CKC Canine Good Neighbour Program - http://www.ckc.ca/en/Default.aspx?tabid=91

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Kelly & the KLAD Cockers
Farley, Grace & Jack Jack
http://www.kladphotography.com


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:01 pm 
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Location: Westchester, NY
Cody is certified through TDI (Therapy Dogs International). He had to pass his Canine Good Citizen test as well as meet the TDI requirements:

For an overview of our Testing Requirements, and what each dog/handler team is tested for, please view our TDI Testing Requirements Brochure.

The test must be conducted by a TDI CERTIFIED EVALUATOR. To find a TDI Evaluator in your area, please refer to the Upcoming Tests area of the website, or use the Evaluator Search Tool on our Evaluators page.

The following policies apply for dog/handler teams interested in taking the TDI Test:

-Dogs must be a minimum of one year old to be tested.
-The dog must be healthy. (Please see our Registration Requirements Page for our Health Requirements)
-The handler must be of good character.
-There is NO minimum age for handlers, but handlers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult on visitations and the Registration Form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
-TDI Associate Members and their dog(s) may not visit, be registered by, or be active under the auspices of another Therapy Dog-related visitation program, organization, or group other than TDI.
-TDI cannot register deaf dogs.
-The Evaluation begins as soon as the Evaluator is able to observe you and your dog, not only when you are going through the test requirements as a dog/handler team.
-Potential applicants are NOT required to take any Therapy Dog classes. At the present time, TDI does not offer or sanction any Therapy Dog classes.
-If a handler wants to visit with more than one dog at a time, all dogs visiting together must be tested at the same time. The team must go through the entire test and work as one unit. All dogs tested together in a mulitple dog test must have passed the TDI Test individually first.

The TDI link is: http://www.tdi-dog.org/

_________________
Teddy - 11/11/03
Annie - 2/13/05
Jennie - Gotcha 9/14/11
Cody - 9/2/08
Monkey Cat - 1993 - 2013
Cori - My First - 1/2/91 - 12/15/03
Maxine - My Angel - Gotcha - 9/5/09 - 7/28/11
Maddie - Good Boy - Gotcha 6/17/12 - 7/25/13


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:02 pm 
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There is also the licensing group Love On A Leash http://loveonaleash.org/

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Domino: Adopted 2004
Ensign: Adopted November, 2010

Kelso: Adopted 2007-September 20, 2010


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:12 pm 
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Location: Atlanta Ga
Kelly--and others that know...
Are these programs privately funded and sponsored?.
I was looking at some of the requirements and saw "Must be of good character" and then ruled myself out but not Moose.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Steve Smith wrote:
Kelly--and others that know...
Are these programs privately funded and sponsored?.
I was looking at some of the requirements and saw "Must be of good character" and then ruled myself out but not Moose.


Gee Steve - you sound like a character to me! All kidding aside - IF you are asking a real question - I would take "must be of good character" as meaning there are no outstanding warrents and having a clean profile if someone checks the national registry for abuse or sexual offenders. Even that I would discuss with whatever program I was hoping to affiliate with. For instance - if you are hoping to do prison visits I imagine there is some variance as to if you need a clean criminal record (I imagine still the abuse/sexual component would be in place) but if you did 10 to 15 for armed robbery and have since turned your life around I don't see that as an impediment. I think that's up to the group that's providing you with insurance.

_________________
Teddy - 11/11/03
Annie - 2/13/05
Jennie - Gotcha 9/14/11
Cody - 9/2/08
Monkey Cat - 1993 - 2013
Cori - My First - 1/2/91 - 12/15/03
Maxine - My Angel - Gotcha - 9/5/09 - 7/28/11
Maddie - Good Boy - Gotcha 6/17/12 - 7/25/13


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:26 am 
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Moose thinks Iam some kind of character. I was not thinking of that aspect of the question. I was thinking about nursing homes and hospitals visits. I dont think that I would like prison to visit or to live.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:00 am 
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To be honest, if you are thinking nursing homes and such I imagine a regular background check would be expected to come up clean. Past that, I think the important thing is to find a venue where both you and the pup are comfortable. For instance, I work with developmentally disabled - some very involved. There are people that can't get past the front door of my place - it's just too hard for them. They don't "click" with that population. Needless to say if they came in with a pup the pup would pick up on their anxiety and it wouldn't be a good fit for either of them. Other people I know would rather be boiled in oil than go to a nursing home; the smell bothers them, the surroundings remind them of when they lost grandma, whatever. Same issues would crop up.

_________________
Teddy - 11/11/03
Annie - 2/13/05
Jennie - Gotcha 9/14/11
Cody - 9/2/08
Monkey Cat - 1993 - 2013
Cori - My First - 1/2/91 - 12/15/03
Maxine - My Angel - Gotcha - 9/5/09 - 7/28/11
Maddie - Good Boy - Gotcha 6/17/12 - 7/25/13


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:36 am 
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The program that I work with - PAWs For People - is funded by the local United Way chapter, so basically by donations. We have a very small budget, as we're a small group. Individuals wishing to visit with our group are required to have a clean Criminal Records Check prior to taking part in any visits. That's because the hospital and schools that we work with require that.

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Kelly & the KLAD Cockers
Farley, Grace & Jack Jack
http://www.kladphotography.com


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:00 am 
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I dont have a problebem with background check I really am ok. I go to a church that supports and is active with hospitals and hospices but my Moose is not a puppy and is good with people. He has not been to any kind of classes.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:32 am 
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It's not too late if you are interested. Any dog can learn from classes as long as the owner is consistent. Let's face it - our dogs WANT to please us so if we are clear and consistent they will do what we ask them to do. It is really basic obedience but, for the therapy dog part, there is also the temperment component to consider. If you think Moose has the right temperment I'd say take a few classes and see how it goes.

_________________
Teddy - 11/11/03
Annie - 2/13/05
Jennie - Gotcha 9/14/11
Cody - 9/2/08
Monkey Cat - 1993 - 2013
Cori - My First - 1/2/91 - 12/15/03
Maxine - My Angel - Gotcha - 9/5/09 - 7/28/11
Maddie - Good Boy - Gotcha 6/17/12 - 7/25/13


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Awesome info! Thanks so much!

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Chevy-Doberman- 9/15/03 to 6/30/12 rest in peace sweet baby
Nova- Cocker- born 5-3-12


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 Post subject: Re: Getting Started
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:08 am 
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Sara A wrote:
Awesome info! Thanks so much!


Are you thinking of doing therapy with your pup?

_________________
Teddy - 11/11/03
Annie - 2/13/05
Jennie - Gotcha 9/14/11
Cody - 9/2/08
Monkey Cat - 1993 - 2013
Cori - My First - 1/2/91 - 12/15/03
Maxine - My Angel - Gotcha - 9/5/09 - 7/28/11
Maddie - Good Boy - Gotcha 6/17/12 - 7/25/13


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