Therapy Dog Program
Each year millions are touched by the comfort and healing of therapy dogs visits. Studies have shown that spending time with dogs can also offer physical and mental health benefits. Some dogs will go to schools to help children improve their reading by practicing the skill in a fun, nonjudgmental environment. They snuggle up with a dog and read a book aloud when they might normally not even opt to read at all. A therapy dog is a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, etc. The most important characteristic of a therapy dog is its temperament. A good candidate must be friendly, gentle, patient, and well-trained.
The purpose of our program
To provide training skills for both the human and the dog in order to prepare them for visiting people in a situation providing educational, therapeutic, recreational and /or specific therapy.
To design and organize therapeutic programs in facilities where therapy dogs are requested, as well as to provide ongoing support to visiting therapy dogs and their handlers. This includes continuing training to sustain the handler-dog relationship and learning new skills for specific goals within each program. This package includes Beginner, Intermediate and advance commands. C.G.C certification, Therapy Dog certification, socialization while in training, lifetime membership.
All dogs must be up to date with their shots and yearly health certificates. Our Therapy Dog Program consists of private and group lessons that can take 12 weeks or more. All dogs get 2-4 private lessons to get them started; then, they join a group of peers learning the same commands. Dogs will learn and must complete our beginner, intermediate, advanced, and CGC test prior to graduation. The dogs who graduate then become mentor trainers for the upcoming classes and are able to take our classes over and over again.
What is required for my dog and I to become a therapy dog team?
First, you will need a dog that is “social”. Our definition of sociability is defined as a dog that, even after their initial friendly greeting of a person, continues to desire more interaction with that person.
Next, you will need to train the dog to respond to you consistently, even in distracting situations. While your dog may sit, stay and come when you call him in your own home, ask yourself if your dog would respond the same way in a distracting environment such as your local pet store or in a busy veterinarian’s office.
The best dog for therapy work is a friendly one, but if you have a dog who is jumping wildly at the end of a leash, most people will not feel comfortable petting or interacting with them.