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 Post subject: How to know if being a therapy dog is right for your dog?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:57 pm 
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How did you guys know (if you did know) that your dog would be a good therapy dog?

I am considering trying to certify Jasper to be a therapy dog. He sees kids on a daily basis (we live next to a school so he sees a lot) and isn't one of the dogs that actively seeks kids out in preference over adults, but he does like to go say hi and really could care less that they can be loud and move differently than adults. He also is very tolerant of being roughly handled.

However, while he looooves meeting new people, once he's met them he isn't as excited about them. He tends to go around the room and only spend about 30 seconds saying hi to each person and then he wants to be with me again. Do you guys think he is too much of a one-person dog to be a good therapy dog?

He could easily pass the TDI test and it is offered at my club, so I guess I could just certify him and see how he does. But if I am really going to commit to this, I want to work on a better repertoire of tricks too. I feel like I am kinda doing it because I would enjoy it rather than him.

Do you guys think it would be okay to call up a group and tell them that it is something I am interested in but I don't know if my dog would enjoy it and is it okay if he passes the test that we come and try it out once or twice?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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Melissa

Jasper CGC NA NAJ CL2 TIAD TG3 ~ adopted 7/6/06


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 Post subject: Re: How to know if being a therapy dog is right for your dog
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:06 pm 
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My suggestion is to get him certified then find a place for him to practice his craft. There are SO many venues for therapy dogs; hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, homes for the disabled, schools, etc. I'm sure you can find one that he would really enjoy. My Cody is a cuddler. He has done schools and he loves children but give him an old lady (besides me) with a cookie and a need to cuddle and he's right there. He goes to a local convent and the Sisters just love him to pieces and all he needs to do is be present.

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 Post subject: Re: How to know if being a therapy dog is right for your dog
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Star is a one person dog as well but she does her job very well. In my case she had no choice but to be a therapy dog since I'm a psychologist and she's with me all the time. She had her debut at 8 weeks, within 24 hours of flying in from Brazil.

Many people just want an animal to pet and she complies very well with that. As she has matured she has become more sensitive to people's emotions and definitely comforts people when they are sad. She does the same at the store where she greets customers and escorts them out.

Being certified does not mean that they have to work and you can try it as is convenient and slowly find out if he enjoys it or not.

Good luck! (We need current pictures of Jasper)

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Spirit, my soulmate 5-17-1992 to 1-28-2008
Sky, my tender baby boy 11-16-2007 to 8-26-2008

Star the bright light in my life St. James Bright STAR Angel 7-20-2008


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 Post subject: Re: How to know if being a therapy dog is right for your dog
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Melissa, I think he may suprise you and it is so rewarding. I originally wanted to do therapy work with Bailey but my husband and him ended up taking the test, we all took classes and I misunderstood that it is the team that has to take the test, not just the dog. I was afraid Bailey would bark too much, but honestly these dogs seem to know. As soon as he walks into the hospital, he is a new dog and seems to know he is at work. They go once a week to the hospital and both of them seem to really enjoy it. I say give Jasper a try, you might be suprised.


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 Post subject: Re: How to know if being a therapy dog is right for your dog
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:29 pm 
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What is a therapy dog? This is the first time I've heard of it.

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Money will buy a fine cocker spaniel dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.


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 Post subject: Re: How to know if being a therapy dog is right for your dog
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:43 pm 
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CospyCockerSpaniel wrote:
What is a therapy dog? This is the first time I've heard of it.


A therapy dog is a well-trained dog over the age of 1 year that has passed the therapy dog test. They are then able to work in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, libraries, care facilities, etc. If you go to Therapy Dogs International's website you may get some ideas. There are also other programs (I don't know the names but I'm sure someone here does) that also make use of therapy dogs. For the most part they need to pass obedience classes and a special test for therapy dogs which, among other things, assesses their ability/temperment to work with people in need.

_________________
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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