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Thread: Therapy Work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Therapy Work

    I was wondering for those of you who do therapy work with your dogs how did you know your dog would be a good candidate for this line of work? Im interested in doing this with Ellie when she is able to (she isnt a year old yet) and I have contatced TDI and they are sending me some info. I was also curious if there were classes you went with your dog to to expose them to the situations tested by TDI or you just practiced at home with what you could. Thanks for the help!
    Jasmine, mommy to Ellie (tri girl), Griffin, Hunter, & Dexter (kitties)

    Ellie is here!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Toronto, Ontario
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    Hi Jasmine ~

    The most important thing is to get your dog used to different types of situations.. take them to ball games, soccer games, football games - basically any social outing that they are allowed to go to. There you will find a variety of different people - handicapped, tall, young, old etc.

    I knew Kosmo would be a good candidate for Therapy work because he's very gentle with people and he loves everybody. He's most happy in your lap but I think most cavaliers are.

    I have hard Cavaliers double as the "comfort" spaniel. When I told the TDI woman what I was testing with she said "a cavalier? Don't worry, you'll pass." So I guess they're really known for this type of stuff.

    Unfortunately we'd never seen anybody in a wheelchair but they let you talk to your dog during that test (well they did me anyways.) She RACED up on a wheel chair and was like "OH A PUPPY!" coming fast and loud and so I played along - I was like "Kosmo - who is that?! Are they here to see you?! Kosmo give them kisses!" and he was happy to meet this person. I think dogs respond to their handler's actions too.

    I dont know what else I can tell you other than have confidence in your dog - if they don't want to do this type of work, they'll let you know!
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Dublin, Ireland
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    You need a fairly outgoing and confident as well as calm and self-controlled dog. Some will fit some but not all these categories. A shy dog will be too stressed and afraid to be good at therapy. A really energetic and active dog that is easily bored will also not be good at this task. Some dogs are just too young and need time to mature to be good candidates. Of my three, only Lily would be a possibility as a therapy dog.

    They need to be laid back in a variety of situations and in the US in particular, you'd do training courses to qualify the dog; this isn;t something you can really do at home if you haven;'t previously trained dogs for this qualification. The final exam is challenging and needs preparation -- a dog that is OK when pots and pans drop on the floor, for example! Training up to this point is important -- it would be cruel to a dog and very stressful to just out of the blue try to train it to noise by dropping things in the house.

    Those who do this work find it really rewarding but do remember it takes ongoing, regular commitment.
    Cavaliers: Tansy : Mindy Connie Roxy Neasa Gus
    In memory: My beautiful Jaspar Lucy Leo Lily Libby


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