Does any one know how to go about getting your dog trained as a therapy dog?
You will need to find a dog trainer who is certified at CKC certifications. Typically, they'll be able to give you contact information for getting the dog certified as a therapy dog. Some of the petsmart and petco trainers are certified with CKC (Canine Good Citizen). It may be a place to start getting information from. Typically, I wouldn't say pet store dog trainers are the best, but it's place to start, as some of them are pretty knowledgeable.
I'm not sure if CKC is a requirement for therapy dogs, but that's road I took when I did it. CKC first, then therapy dogs. It's been several years since then though, so I'm not sure if anything has changed.
The training typically consists of knowing sit, stay, down, and a few tricks. It's generally just basic training. The dog will also need to comfortable around loud noises, yelling, and stuff like that. The therapy test will sometimes include dropping keys, brooms, and other objects. Sometimes, there will be a few people arguing. Sometimes, they'll line up the dogs and a judge will have another dog walk by them to see how they react.
They want calm dogs, and dogs that will pretty much just sit even if someone's screaming and throwing things.
My dog, Hooch, is a special therapy dog. He is an 78 pound Plott Hound (really, that's his breed). He has had the basic obiedence and show training. Then he and I joined Rainbow Therapy Dogs. We had additional training there. Based on his laid-back, hound personality, it was suggested that we train for use in schools with autistic and ADD kids. He also helps children learn to read. I wrote about one of our training tricks in an article on eHow. It is "How to Train Your Dog to Teach Your Child Their Alphabet and Colors.
Hooch has visited nursing homes, hospitals and his favorite: the VA hospital. The GI's really love him since he does all kinds of tricks and they can smother him with love without looking silly. (He is NOT one of those little lap dogs!)
Let me know if you have any other questions.
my boxer ( even though we breed them ) ..I should say my therapy boxer is trained to get my shoes, warn for seizures, get most anything I ask for if my back is very , very bad off that day, answer and actually unlock/open the main door, can answer the phone so i can speak if a call comes in and I am having one of those days and she is very obedient and protects her "mamma"..she also has a command where she gets left off duty to play and be a boxer, just like the others..she will be 3 in May
Granny, That is awesome. I will def chck out your e how article about how your therapy dog teaches kids to read. BC Boutique how long did your dog have to train to learn all the things he had to do?
I was surprised how quickly my dog learned this trick. You can teach reading by using words instead of colors or numbers or alphabet letters.
Training to help children has been very rewarding. The kids all know Hooch and wait for his visit. He is the one they really like to read aloud to and they don't even mind if he falls asleep while they are reading!
Let me know if you have any questions. I'll be happy to assist you and your dog get certified.
I met a a good friend who had a therapy dog-- she had a lot of good experiences with him and was very faithful about visiting an eldercare center with him. It was very rewarding. You have to do most of the training yourself, but you can find guidelines about what they need to know-- and what the testing involves. I saw a testing once. The requirements were pretty strict, but well-behaved dogs of any breed can do it.
I think I wrote more than one hub about him-- but this is one:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Peteys-Doggone- … -Happiness
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