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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read something around here about therapy dogs......

How does one get their dog involved in this? It just occurred to me that it might be a very good thing for Mia......she is very people oriented and extremely gentle........... I wonder where I might find more information?
 

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It is not official therapy work, but you could take your dog to visit a nursing home. At the nursing home where I work, the only true requirement is that the dog's rabies vax records be on file with the health clinic. The dog is, of course, expected to be well-behaved, always leashed, comfortable around wheelchairs, cleaned up after, etc. But, the only requirement to visit is the vax record. And, the residents absolutely love it.
 

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I think a true therapy dog is trained from a very young age- like a seeing eye dog or police dog. As far as hospital/nursing home dogs, I'm not sure of the requirements, maybe call a local hospital and ask their rules.
 

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Short version....A therapy dog is a dog that visits nursing homes, hospitals, etc. Service animals are dogs (or other animals) that assist a person in some manner seeing eye dog, seizure alert etc.

My old dog and my dogs now are therapy dogs and registered with the Delta Society. To become registered with the DS my dogs had to pass a test to see how they would react in odd situations, make sure they knew basic commands, and behaved in a somewhat civilized manner. Dogs do not need to be trained to competition level obedience but must know the basics and respond to them. They also need to be pretty close to bomb proof, they cannot be fearful or act aggressivley.
This is a nice site that saves me a whole lot of typing
http://www.patch-o-pits.com/therapy.html

Here is the Delta Society website http://www.deltasociety.org/VolunteerAboutAbout.htm
 

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I would start with the Canine Good Citizen test which should be easy to find someone to administer it in your area. Not all areas have TDI or Delta society people around. But knowing whats on the CGC will give you a basis of what to train for that will eventually lead to good therapy skills. I am interested in this too. We are taking our CGC tonight. Wish us luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good luck Bensmom!

Thanks for all the tips ladies. My himalayan ( years back) visited nursing homes and actually got one woman who hadn't talked in months......to talk to him!

I will look into the links you provided. I think Mia would be great at it as she loves to just sit and be petted. Probably a nursing home environment would be a good simple way for her to help people.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rowansmomma View Post
Probably a nursing home environment would be a good simple way for her to help people.

Oh, please do it! The residents love it when dogs come to visit. And, some of them REALLY love the big dogs. There is a huge mastiff that come to the home where I work, and he is such a hit.

Just call up a local nursing home and ask if they have a visiting animal program. As I said, our only true requirement is the rabies vax on file. I do know that other homes have more requirements and might want to see your dog in person or see a "good citizen" certificate before introducing to the residents.

Is Mia okay with cats? I ask because it has become somewhat trendy for nursing homes to have resident cats on certain units. So, if Mia would be majorly distracted by a cat, make sure to ask if the home has them. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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Originally Posted by gealach View Post
Oh, please do it! The residents love it when dogs come to visit. And, some of them REALLY love the big dogs. There is a huge mastiff that come to the home where I work, and he is such a hit.

Just call up a local nursing home and ask if they have a visiting animal program. As I said, our only true requirement is the rabies vax on file. I do know that other homes have more requirements and might want to see your dog in person or see a "good citizen" certificate before introducing to the residents.

Is Mia okay with cats? I ask because it has become somewhat trendy for nursing homes to have resident cats on certain units. So, if Mia would be majorly distracted by a cat, make sure to ask if the home has them. Good luck!
All I'd need to do is show her rabies certificate and they'd put it on file......right?

I don't know how she is with cats.......she's never been exposed to them but I THINK I'd prefer she not meet one for the first time in a setting like that. So, probably I'd want to make sure there aren't any before I took her. I'll do the good citizen test and see if she really is as good as I THINK she is and then I will look into some nursing homes. I think it would be good for not only the residents, but her too. She's an attention whore.
 

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I really really want to have a dog I can do this with some day. I used to think maybe we could do it with Ata, but he's just too true to breed and doesn't warm up to new people at all quickly. Someday, though, we'll have a dog for whom this would work...
 
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