Is My Dog A "Therapy Dog?"
The first step on your way to testing to be a therapy dog is to take and pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test. You can do that right here at Southtowns Dog Training Club! Please refer to the "Classes" page for more information on these classes.
While we totally understand why people would want to have a therapy dog, this is where we all should take a step back and look at our dog. Does HE want to be a therapy dog? This kind of work can be very stressful for your dog. If your dog will be working in a hospital, there is a possibility she can pick up a bug you really don't want to bring home. And how is your dog's "leave it?" There will be food and possibly medication on the floor that can be very tempting to your pup. Your dog may also be subject to rough handling and rude greetings, can he handle that? People should be realistic about what to expect.
Also, be prepared for some pretty weird stuff in your testing, it's not just what is in the brochure. The evaluator has to be sure your dog will be good in all kinds of situations, so be prepared for the evaluator to play rough with your dog or twist their paw to see how they react. It's not that they're being unfair, they have to make sure your dog won't turn around and bite!
The purpose of this program is to recognize AKC dogs and their owners who have given their time and helped people by volunteering as a therapy dog and owner team.
The AKC Therapy Dog program awards an official AKC title awarded to dogs who have worked to improve the lives of the people they have visited.
The AKC Therapy Dog title (THD) can be earned by dogs who have been certified by AKC recognized therapy dog organizations and have performed 50 or more community visits.
AKC does not certify therapy dogs; the certification and training is done by qualified therapy dog organizations. The certification organizations are the experts in this area and their efforts should be acknowledged and appreciated.
Why Did AKC Start A Therapy Dog Title?
AKC has received frequent, ongoing requests from dog owners who participate in therapy work to "acknowledge the great work our dogs are doing." Many of our constituents are understandably proud of their dogs.
Earning an AKC Therapy Dog title builds on the skills taught in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and Canine Good Citizen programs which creates a sound and friendly temperament needed by a successful therapy dog.
founding members of The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. have been
testing, evaluating and training therapy dogs since 1992. We have been working
with our own therapy dogs since 1988.
Our purpose and objective is to help owners of well-behaved dogs, as they share
the special love and attention their pets give to them, with other less
The Bright and
Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization which evaluates,
tests, trains and qualifies owners and their well behaved dogs as therapy dog
teams. These teams give unconditional love, boost self-esteem, and relieve
loneliness and boredom. Did you know petting a dog will lower your blood
pressure? The benefits are endless. They work in nursing homes, hospitals,
psychiatric wards, shelters, schools and many other facilities.
visit www.golden-dogs.org/ for more
Delta Society is a national 501(c)(3)non-profit organization that helps people live healthier and happier lives by incorporating therapy, service and companion animals into their lives. We receive no government funding and rely on individuals, foundations and corporations for financial support.
At the heart of all Delta Society programs is a research foundation which demonstrates that when animals are around, people's blood pressure goes down, stress and anxiety levels are reduced, people feel less lonely and less depressed, and they tend to be more social and community oriented.
Delta Society's Pet Partners program trains and screens volunteers with their pets so they can visit patients/clients in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice and physical therapy centers, schools, libraries and many other facilities. Over 10,000 handler/animal teams bring joy, comfort and compassion to those in need. These dedicated volunteers and their pets have been credited for helping people forget about their pain, providing distractions so nurses can perform medical procedures on pediatric patients, inspiring patients recovering from strokes to perform more physical therapy exercises than when they work with just their human therapists, and even bringing people out of comas!
Maybe visiting hospitals and nursing homes isn't your thing. If your dog is gentle and good with children, he or she could qualify as a Reading Therapy Dog for children who benefit from a nonjudgmental, patient listener. There are many ways a dog can become a reading dog; through Delta Society or TDI, even Dog Scouts of America has a reading dog program. For more information, visit www.librarydogs.com
The SPCA is seeking people and pets of all kinds for its visitation program. Two- and four-footed volunteers bring joy to the lives of those in nursing homes, hospitals, and more. Dogs, cats, even pocket pets are encouraged to apply! To learn more, contact Paws for Love Coordinator Debbie Braun, 716-681-0744.
TAWNY serves as a clearinghouse for information related to therapy animals. Our goal is to increase awareness of the incredible value of the use of animals in therapy. We can help you find the resources you need to get your animal certified, and then find a location for you and your therapy animal to visit.
Therapy Dogs International (TDIŽ) is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.
To belong to Therapy Dogs International (TDIŽ) all dogs must be tested and evaluated by a Certified TDI Evaluator. A dog must be a minimum of one (1) year of age and have a sound temperament. Each dog must pass a temperament evaluation for suitability to become a Therapy Dog, which includes the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC). The test will also include the evaluation of the dog's behavior around people with the use of some type of service equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.).
WESTERN NEW YORK HEROES
Western New York Heroes, Inc., founded by Chris Kreiger. WNY heroes Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference for our Western New York Veterans and Troops. The mission of WNY Heroes is to provide veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased veterans with access to essential services and resources that support their lives and sustain their dignity.
For information about this organization, contact Cindy Goss
Guarding Hearts Therapy Dogs guardingheartstherapydogs.com