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Thread: Therapy Cavalier's??? Anyone...

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  1. #1
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    Default Therapy Cavalier's??? Anyone...

    Hello all, so I'm looking for advice on having Fletcher and I learning to be a therapy dog. Well, ok I don't wanna be a dog, but you get the idea. Is there anyone on CT who has experence with this in the U.S., I can find 2 organizations that offer cert's in my area, the requirements to pass the test are very easliy stated and understood. My problem is Fletcher needs a bunch of obedence classes to learn all this stuff. Sure, he's just a puppy now but if I plan on giving this a go I need to start puppy classes......that's where it gets hard. Plus I'm hoping this training is fun and bonds us even closer, I want to have fun!!!!!!!

    So IF you have any experence with therapy dogs please let me know. Right now it feels like an underworld I can't get into......

    Thank you,

    Melissa

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    Hi Melissa,

    I plan on doing this eventually with Sonny too! Sonny has only attended puppy school or obedience 1, but that is about it. We are starting his next level of obedience classes this summer. After I feel confident in his obedience skills I plan to have him take the Canine Good Citizen Test. I think then the next step is to decide what organization you are going to do the pet therapy through whether it is a hospital, non-profit , private practice , ect. I am guessing that each organization probably has an evaluation or specific test that the dog would need to pass. One of the programs I looked at briefly was TDI (therapy dogs international) I am not sure if this is the organization I will try to get involved with or not. I haven't really started researching yet. I'm sure others will have better advice! I am interested to hear other's input. This is a great thread!

  3. #3
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    Melissa & Ashleighelizabeth...
    We have a couple at our church that does this..and they work through this network.
    http://www.therapydogs.com/
    Don't know if you have already checked into them?..but from what they have said..they like it.
    If you click TESTERS/OBSERVERS.... and then put in your state..there are people you can contact that will give you more information on how to get started.
    *Diane ~ Mom to~
    Wrigley ( Cavalier) Zeb ( Labrador) & Jake ( Labradoodle)

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    I have looked into it. That said, I don't think either of my dogs matured with the temprament to be therapy dogs. My rescue Sparky gets excited and barks too much and Lucky gets agitated at other dogs. (long story ... I now blame all his issues on my druggie ex-dog walker ...)

    We have talked about doing Therapy with my sister's English Toy (aka King Charles) Gemma. She has the PERFECT temprament for therapy.

    A couple things to keep in mind:

    1) most organizations require a dog to be at least a year to do therapy
    2) if you decide to feed Raw to Fletcher then Delta is not an option for you (I feed my guys a dehydrated raw). Delta does not allow raw for what they claim to be sanitary reasons.

    Good luck. I'd just focus on training now and when he's a year old if he's doing great and capable of passing his Caninie Good Citizen class, then he'll likely be a great prospect for Therapy.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

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    Melissa, I plan on doing this too with BB. I have found organizations that do the certification pretty easily with a google search. I am heading to TX right now but once I get there I will PM you the link, maybe they will have the secret code or just be able to make a recommendation close to you.
    Noelle, B.B., & Tucker

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    A huge thing is just getting them used to "medical stuff", wheelchairs or people walking with an IV drip, or a walker can be absolutely terrifying for someone just a few inches tall. So outside of formal training, visiting or meeting people with "equipment" is really important.

    Guinness could never be a therapy dog, he sees the tennis balls on the bottom of a walker, and he tries to rip them off and play fetch. Thistle has a much better temperament for therapy.
    Last edited by Soushiruiuma; 20th June 2012 at 06:27 AM.

  7. #7
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    I do pet therapy with my dogs and love it. The clients love the dogs and I enjoy getting out and visiting people. I have trained through delta society.

    Your dog doesn't have to be perfect, but as a team you have to know your dog's limits. My dog is a wild child but loves to visit. His visits are very different from what I would do with my Sunshine. For her visits would do long individual visits, but with my BB we do short visits to many people. Delta society will match the team (you and your dog) to the type of visit your dog will like.

    I almost forgot to add, your dog needs to be a year old to be a therapy pet through delta. The best training you can do now is socialize your dog.

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    My Tess is all ready to be a therapy dog through our local SPCA/Humane Society. She has passed her CGC test and the SPCA test. They sent me a bunch of paperwork, and I just need to fill it out. She will be a reading volunteer at the local library. They bring dogs in and allow the children to read stories to them. It helps the children in many ways. we may venture into hospitals and senior centers at some point also. My daughter is the primary handler and that will depend somewhat on her interests. The dogs do need to be at least one year old, and every organization has its own set of rules, tests, and types of assignments. It's certainly not too soon to begin with the training, and figure out which organization you might want to work through. Good luck!

  9. #9
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    There we go....thanks all I know I turned to the right place! My ultimate goal would be the visit children in a hospital. We have a very large very good children's hospital in my area. I would love to combined my love of kids with my love of dogs. I know the hospital will require background checks and such but that is NOT a problem (in childcare in my state you need 3 background checks done every 3 yrs) I believe Fletcher may have the temperament for it too. But we will see, I also understand training is work but it should be fun work for the both of us. But now I have the info I need thanks again.

    Melissa

  10. #10
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    My dog Luke is a therapy dog. We started this year, and he is certified through Therapy Dogs International. One of the tips I would have for someone who is interested in doing it and has a puppy, would be to take the dog everywhere. Take him anywhere they'll let him come in. My dog failed the CGC test the first time we took it because of the supervised separation. When we went to retake that, they had therapy testing at the same time. I figured I'd just sign him up for that too, so I could get an idea of what to work on based on what he failed. He didn't fail though. I think because he had been going to so many places, and seeing so many people and things, none of the stuff was a big deal to him.

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