Therapy Dog Assessment, Training, Etc?

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Therapy Dog Assessment, Training, Etc?

This is a discussion on Therapy Dog Assessment, Training, Etc? within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; Hello, I've always wanted to get into animal therapy and used certain criteria I felt would be needed in that field when picking my most ...

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Old 02-01-2013, 01:40 AM
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Therapy Dog Assessment, Training, Etc?

Hello, I've always wanted to get into animal therapy and used certain criteria I felt would be needed in that field when picking my most recent dog. I just had a few questions for those experienced.

What is a good place to start learning? As far as information, books, articles, websites, organizations, etc? Does a dog have to get it's CGC before it can begin trying for therapy certification?

What is the best free online assessment for your dog's temperament? I've found several of them over the past few months I've researched (most I've lost however, so if you could like that would be fantastic!)

Does a therapy dog have to be certified and gain proof of this certification or can it's owner simply contact the nursing home/therapy center, etc, that they would like to visit?

Also if there is anything you would consider relevant to a newbie hoping to participate in animal-assisted therapy, please share! I would love to get in touch with other therapy dog owners/trainers/workers just to know they are out there and hear their stories!
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:04 AM
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I am currently working with my dog on getting her trained to be a therapy dog. So, the CGC is a great place to start but it's not the test to become a therapy dog. They simply get to be a good citizen, however, what's on the test to be a CGC is very related to what is on the test to become a therapy dog.

You need to have your dog pass the test in order to bring the dog in facilities for therapy.

I would definitely check out the Therapy Dogs International page because they have pretty much all the information you need to get started, including what they look for in a therapy dog.

Therapy Dogs International
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:58 AM
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The Therapy Dog International is a wonderful resource. The dog does not need to get it's CGC before the TDI certification. The tests are very similar, so if you want a good indicator of how you'll do with the TDI testing, you can try for your CGC first.

You can contact local kennel/obedience clubs to see if they offer prep classes. They aren't necessary, but it helps to practice in different locations with different distractions. Plus you may get lucky and your instructor may be an evaluator.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:12 PM
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Eek, I don't like TDI because, believe it or not, they discriminate against people with disabilities. I like Delta Society: petpartners.org
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:40 AM
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Ion, my youngest rough collie, is registered through TDI. We had a local training class that assisted us in prepping for the conditions of the test. In addition, I contacted some local nursing homes where they encouraged teams in training to come by. All we had to do was provide proof of current vaccines (as you'll be required once registered anyway, good to get into the pratice). The CGC is an excellent prep test regardless of which organize you should choose to test with, but all of them have resources online. I would see if there is any place in your area that has a class--the reason is that they should introduce to scenarios and equipment you will be seeing.

In April Ion and I will be starting out at a local hospice after our orientation there. I seriously cannot wait for that as a therapy dog that came when my father was in hospice care was what started me on that road.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:12 AM
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Willow got both her CGC and is also a Therapy dog threw TD Inc.
I never went to any classes, I trained her myself and took the tests. Both tests have some similarities but the Therapy test is more extensive. CGC is a good start to see how he/ she does and then go from there
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:59 PM
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Locally we have an organization called St. Huberts, it's in Madison NJ. I looked into it a few years ago. They have training programs towards Good Citizen certification and do the testing. Then you have the option of joining one of the volunteer groups-St. Barnabas Heath Care System oversees a bunch of medical facilities and has Paws for Patients. You might want to look up their information just for research.

In smaller towns and rural areas, I'm sure it's more about contacting hospitals and nursing homes on your own, maybe some places don't even require formal certification, I don't know but you might find out more resources that way too.

Sophie would have been good with senior citizens but she couldn't have passed the certification. A dog has to be able to sit/stay while the handler walks a distance away, she won't let me go two feet away. Plus she gets wacky seeing other dogs on leash. Might be great for you though, good luck!
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEROtic View Post
Eek, I don't like TDI because, believe it or not, they discriminate against people with disabilities. I like Delta Society: petpartners.org
Wow! How ironic....

The active group in my community is the Delta Society. They get together to work on training and go do functions/visits together.
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