therapy dog training, where to start?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by shazbot, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. shazbot

    shazbot not so newby

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,824
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NC
    My little guy Murray has made leaps and bounds on his socialization. He's found his love for people and has become quite the little love bug.

    I've always wanted to try and train a dog for therapy work and think that Murray would be great at it. He's very patient with new people, he sits nicely and soaks up the love they give him. I was wondering if any one could point me in the direction of starting therapy work. Where do I start? What training does he need to have prior to starting therapy training?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MisssAshby

    MisssAshby Richy Rich HM Twit!

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Edmond, OK
    Call around (or look online) to some training places local to you. Many off a therapy dog class. It basically goes over all the items that will be part of the test. It allows you find out if you dog has a problem with a certain item on the test and if so you have time to work on it, etc. They are very helpful with making sure you are on the right track before test time.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I'd start training him to earn his CGC to start with. Everything they ask for is all foundation obedience and socialization for you to build on. TDI should have a list of things the tester will do the TDI test on, so you can get an idea of what you're shooting for eventually.
     
  4. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Messages:
    55,145
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Victor and I contacted our Therapy group that we hoped to join. PETS FOR LIFE in Kansas City. They gave us information of what was expected WE took the first test and did not pass it. This group is very stringent and the test is hard. So we practiced for a year because he is a high strung over sensitive dog and I can honestly say it was the best thing I ever did for him and his nerves. HE passed the second with flying colors.
    Get your dog use to noise, and different situations, and surprises. I had belonged to a group before, Platte County Power Pets with Bronki. HE was just a different kind of dog and that test was easy. I believe tho that Victor's test made us more bomb proof for not having any kind of accidents in a hospital setting. You don't want your dog to startle and rip out someone's iv is the whole point. They dropped a big metal mixing bowl on the ground behind Victor in his final test. Behind him. If that had happened when I first got him I would have found him in the next county. I wish you could have seen the big cheese eating grin he had as he turned his head and said meh...don't bother me none. He had to stay in down. They give them 3 chances. No reacting to other dogs or cats, loose leash control always, stay when your out of the room. I also made sure mine did not take food from others because of one old man that was always trying to hand Bronki his meds and or vitamins when we went by.
     
  5. Miakoda

    Miakoda New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Messages:
    7,666
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This.


    I've done this with one of my rescued 'pit bulls'. First, I started some serious obedience at home. One thing to work out: NO LICKING! Licking is a big no-no to people!

    After I had her in a good place, I had her obtain her CGC. It was done at a local Petsmart on a day where they had the people in.

    Then I aimed her for the American Temperament Test, and found out when the next testing date was to be. She passed that with flying colors.

    I then worked with TDI and got her certified with them.

    The next dog I had done, an APBT, was certified with Delta. TDI denied us at the time saying they weren't "currently accepting pit bulls as therapy dogs". I was one pissed off lady...

    It's a lot of work, but it's easier with truly the right dog. :)
     
  6. shazbot

    shazbot not so newby

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,824
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NC
    Thank you all for the great advice.

    How do I get him to not lick? He's a very big licker.

    Also, I'm finding that holds grudges. We went to a small pet store where there was dog who was allowed to rush up and be quite over bearing in his intro, even after I asked the guy to control his dog, he still allowed this. That scared Murray though he reacted well. About an hour later the same guy and his dog walked buy as we were eating outside and Murray snarled and lunged at the dog. I was able to stop before he got evenmore snarky. He stopped immediately after I told him no. He had no problems with any other dogs that had gone by, even the other dog that the guy had he was fine with. Any ideas how to work on this? He's still pretty young about 5.5 mos now.

    I'm working on his basics and looking for formal training in the area, I just moved a few weeks ago. He goes all sorts of places with me where there is a lot people and dogs. The area we go with him is very dog friendly.
     
  7. BlackPuppy

    BlackPuppy Owned by Belgians

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I didn't train my therapy dog (my Laekenois), he's a natural. He has obedience training, though. A therapy dog needs to be able to do everything the CGC test has, plus he needs to be good around wheelchairs and crutches.

    We did our test at a local hospital that has a therapy dog program. They bring in about 6 dogs per test and most of the test is just watching us all interacting in the waiting room and walking through the hospital hallways. Then the specifics are tested in a special area with "actors".
     

Share This Page