Animal Assisted Therapy: Breed Consideration

Go Back   Dog Forum > Dog Shows and Performance > Working Dogs

Animal Assisted Therapy: Breed Consideration

This is a discussion on Animal Assisted Therapy: Breed Consideration within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; Currently, I'm completing my master's in social work and once I'm finished I would like to become certified to provide animal assisted therapy. I still ...

User Tag List

Like Tree4Likes
  • 1 Post By Rileysaur
  • 1 Post By VictoriaLeeAnne
  • 1 Post By aclarino
  • 1 Post By Tilden

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-18-2014, 06:43 PM
  #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Animal Assisted Therapy: Breed Consideration

Currently, I'm completing my master's in social work and once I'm finished I would like to become certified to provide animal assisted therapy. I still have at least a year to graduation from my MSW, but I'm always perusing various breeds to see which ones would suit the job. I personally am more comfortable with medium to larger dogs and I don't have a coat preference. I'm open to adopting rescues as well is which is what I may end up doing, but does anyone have any suggestions for breeds that may be suited to that type of work? I've owned Labs all of my life and love the breed, but I'm interested in broadening my horizons. That said, if Labs do the best job, then Labs it will be.
Thoughts? Opinions?
16Paws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2014, 01:44 PM
  #2
Senior Member
 
Rileysaur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,689
Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I don't really know what the best breed for therapy work is, but I have been doing a lot of research on the Keeshond and they seem like a perfect fit! They are medium-size, very fluffy and double-coated. Temperament-wise they are supposed to be very friendly, people-oriented and intelligent. Perhaps it's a breed you could look into
16Paws likes this.
Rileysaur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2014, 08:53 PM
  #3
Junior Member
 
VictoriaLeeAnne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Golden Retrievers are very even tempered and patient. I know it's not a common choice, but I have seen a Rottweiler as a therapy dog before. They are a very intelligebt breed and are very quick learners (though stubborn).
16Paws likes this.
VictoriaLeeAnne is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 12-21-2014, 10:14 PM
  #4
Senior Member
 
aclarino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,070
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Welcome! I have my BSW and my dog and I are a registered Therapy Dog Team through Pet Partners. She is a rescue coon hound mix. She is very even tempered. Most of the dogs in my class were rescues. I would look into rescues, it also gives you a really good story to tell when the patients ask about the dog. We dont go to facilities that often due to my work schedule and we are actively involved in agility. Just remember if you plan on integrating the animal assisted therapy into your work you will need additional insurance, on top of the insurance provided by whatever organization you chose, if you receive pay for your work.
16Paws likes this.
aclarino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2014, 01:44 PM
  #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by aclarino View Post
Welcome! I have my BSW and my dog and I are a registered Therapy Dog Team through Pet Partners. She is a rescue coon hound mix. She is very even tempered. Most of the dogs in my class were rescues. I would look into rescues, it also gives you a really good story to tell when the patients ask about the dog. We dont go to facilities that often due to my work schedule and we are actively involved in agility. Just remember if you plan on integrating the animal assisted therapy into your work you will need additional insurance, on top of the insurance provided by whatever organization you chose, if you receive pay for your work.
I do think the rescue route is the direction I will take. In that way, as you say, it's helping in more than one way. Thanks for your reply.
16Paws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2014, 09:04 PM
  #6
Senior Member
 
aclarino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,070
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I enjoy hounds and they are so goofy so they get my vote, but they kind of do their own thing, you just need to make your thing. their thing lol. Lab mixes are popular and over crowd shelters. Herding breeds are handler oriented and could be easier to train.
aclarino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2014, 11:30 AM
  #7
Senior Member
 
Tilden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 516
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
In my local chapter of TDI, we have around a hundred handlers and dogs, and there's everything from chihuahuas and toy poodles to mastiffs and Swiss Bernese Mountain dogs. My own TDI dog is a 24 lb. terrier mix. In our individual testing group of four (they split the twenty or so dogs testing that day into groups of four so they could really concentrate on the work of the handlers/dogs), all of whom passed, there was a Great Dane, a Cairn terrier, an Airedale, and my terrier mix.
At the last large pack event which my dog and I attended--a remembrance service sponsored by a local funeral home--there were about twenty dogs, the smallest of which was a tiny Shih Tzu and the largest of which was Landseer Newfoundland. There were golden retrievers but there were also Shelties and German shepherds and bichons and poodles and mixes...you name it, and we probably have one in our chapter.

What's really most important is that you get the dog with the right temperament, regardless of the breed. The first thing my dog did when the people at the shelter placed him in my arms was to roll over on his back and start licking my face. I was also able to get him to sit and shake on that visit, and he walked reasonably well on a leash. I was then able to watch him interact with other dogs and people of a variety of ages, all of which he did just fine. It was a long visit before I signed those papers, but it was time well spent, because it gave me a good idea of his personality. If you have a particular therapy group in mind (Pet Partners, TDI, Delta Society etc.), you might check out their individual testing requirements and keep them in mind when you're looking at individual dogs. I went with TDI just because that's the active group in this area, and I knew someone with two dogs certified through TDI. Oh, and if you're interested in the AKC therapy dog titles (and mutts can qualify for them too), you might want to look to see which certifications they accept for their titles. There are several different groups that they've okayed; I know TDI is one of them but there are four or five others too.

The other thing to be aware of is that some dogs have a therapy preference--they just light up more, say, with older people or with children. My dog was beyond happy doing an end of semester therapy event at a local college, so I may look into seeing if they'd like to have more regularly scheduled events; the students I spoke to were certainly enthusiastic about the idea of being able to play with dogs more often. As one student put it, "There's always midterms too. Or Tuesdays. Tuesdays would be good." Two others played with him for fifteen minutes or so (they signed up for fifteen minutes therapy "appointments") and then sighed and said, "Now it's back to chemistry and physics."
16Paws likes this.
Tilden is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Emotional Support Animal. Which breed!? KodaKeet Dog Breeds 13 09-21-2013 01:40 PM
Extreme animal abuse: Petition to audit Coffee County Animal Control! mrdrawingguy General Dog Discussion 2 02-22-2013 05:22 AM
Therapy Dogs International Announces New Therapy Dog Title dogtherapist Working Dogs 0 06-22-2011 08:38 AM
Prong Collar Consideration spaniellovex3 Dog Training and Behavior 31 03-16-2011 08:10 AM


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.