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 Looking to possible get started

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Odysseus

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Number of posts : 76
Age : 38
Location : New Jersey
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Looking to possible get started   Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:10 pm

Does any one have any tips or suggestions on how to get started? When I first got Odie I was looking to do agility with him, but he is a laid back mellow personality. Although he would like the training end of it, I quickly realized that was not the best path for him. I think he may do well as a therapy dog, but I would love some advice on how to get started.

I have done some web searches and the like but would like to get a feel from someone who has done it... if any of you have.


Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:18 pm

Okay well when i talked to a therapy organization, they said he needs some obedience training. Then after the training, you have to do therapy training, I would find a therapy organization near you! hope it helps! Very Happy

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He is your friend, your partner, your defender,your dog. You are his life, his love,his leader. He will be yours, faithful, and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion
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sheplovr

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Number of posts : 129
Age : 79
Location : Pa. U.S.A.
Registration date : 2008-01-02

PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:06 pm

Obdience is necessary before any sport it seems. I have done Therapy in old folks home and hospital. Mine are not verified, but I know docters and homes and they let me take a dog in that I tell them will not bite.

Mine love attention, at first the wheel chairs in homes and walkers scared a couple, but after I broke my ankel Oct first, 06, I used a walker and crutches, it became second nature to them all. If u knew anybody u could borrow a walker, crutches to use around the dog, rent a wheel chair, that is about it if the dog has good temperment u could get by going into homes that some of the folks love dogs.

Mine just cheerd some up till they laughed and clapped with delight.
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Odysseus

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Number of posts : 76
Age : 38
Location : New Jersey
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:10 pm

My mom is had knee surgery a little over a year ago so Odie already is okay with walkers and wheel chairs... canes bother him a little sometimes though. He is an odd dog. While my mom was in rehab they let me bring Odie in to see her and he loooved it there. He was so good for a puppy and just let everyone love on him. He loved it and so did the people there.
Although he isn't formally trained he knows 25 tricks and walks fine on a lead. Do you think I should seek more formal training?

I know there are several therapy groups around the area and I contacted them for the dog awareness and adoption day I set up. One agreed to come but then never showed and the other kept passing me back and forth between two divisions. I am located in NJ near Philadelphia so there was some confusion which group was better suited to help. Sometimes it is just difficult to navigate the site and figure out who to contact or how to pursue it.
Thanks so much!
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sheplovr

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PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:53 pm

If you know any owner of a home for elderly that you could just walk in with the dog and know it will not bite. Then this is a start. Keep going weekly couple times or at least once.
Let people pet him, scratch him or her and go from there. I can go into the childrens ward of our hospital because some docters n nurses know my dog. I could probably get him certified but, why bother, I am too old and he is known to produce great temperment.

Your young and can do this and have fun also. I would make some contacts and investagate the work involved and testing.

Here is a good link to find out alot:
http://www.therapydogsgltd.org/gl00006.htm
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Odysseus

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PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Thu Jan 10, 2008 4:52 pm

Thanks!!

Yeah biting is not a concern at all. Odie doesn't have a real gsd temperament. He is way too friendly! I think golden... you know helping the burglar rob you. He is the sweetest dog I have ever met... on the submissive side to. He is great at reading other dogs aw well. He has a gift in getting dogs to play and socialize. Great temperament even if it isn't the typical gsd. Prete was far more gsd in temperament.
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rexandbaby

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Location : Limington, Maine
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:36 pm

You just described REX!! He just loves everyone and everything, well, except maybe cats, they were born to be herded up the trees or at least upstairs! What a Face
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Patti B.

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PostSubject: DELTA therapy dogs and training   Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:04 pm

There seem to be several training organizations for certification, assuming that is needed where you live ... I think it depends, as others have already said, where you live and who you may know. The one most recognized and accepted in the Denver area, primarily because it has the most stringent training and expectations of a dog/handler for certification, is DELTA. Here's the listing of training sessions currently scheduled per state on its website: http://www.deltasociety.org/VolunteerAboutCalendar.htm

It's really pretty interesting training - I just didn't have time for it and I really don't have time to regularly take Cruiser into the hospitals and nursing homes, so we do a literacy program at the library (read to the dogs), and we have an appt. this Saturday to see if Cruiser qualifies to be a blood donor.

I didn't see anything in Pennsylvania and I don't know if the training offered in NJ is either conveniently located or conveniently scheduled for you, not being even remotely familiar with NJ. Sorry! Neutral You must live across the river from Philly, which is where my sister lives, and that's the extent of my geographic knowledge of that part of the country! Laughing
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sheplovr

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Number of posts : 129
Age : 79
Location : Pa. U.S.A.
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:18 pm

Yes, not much in Pa state of anything really. Had one big Seiger Show in Pittsburgh several years ago, not a huge turnout but some Germans did make it over. I did not go down got very cold in Oct about middle of the month. Most I ever have found to happen nearby me.
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Patti B.

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PostSubject: Dog show (although that's slightly off the topic of Therapy)   Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:52 pm

Ever come down towards Colorado for the 4-day dog show over President's Day weekend? It's sponsored by two different clubs ... I believe Plum Creek is Friday & Saturday, and then some other club on Sunday & Monday. Lots of dogs come almost directly from the Westminster ... I just hang about and lap it up (pun intended). cheers
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Patti B.

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Number of posts : 256
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:54 pm

And here's the info for the aforementioned dog show. Um, well ... at least for the 1st two days: http://www.onofrio.com/execpgm/wbshwpg?SHOW=PLUM135359

Okay, enough "off topic" from me. Think I'll go walk the also aforementioned G.S. before he gets too anxious.
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sparrowhawk



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Age : 48
Location : Illinois
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:33 pm

I don't believe it is hard to get your dog certified as a therapy dog. You do need to start with obedience. I also believe you need to pass the CGC test. That is offered through the AKC. I take my dogs to a different place each day. I load them into the car and head out.
We try new things, like going to the walmart parking lot. I will walk between cars-sit on the bench and let people pet them, etc. Shopping carts, wheelchairs, baby strollers are all good testers. If your dog has the temperment, you can do it. Just find a local trainer and ask them.
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zoran



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PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:39 pm

The main concern of therapy dog organizations is that your dog doesn't growl at other dogs. One growl and you're out forever, you can't repeat the test. He has to let people touch him all over the body, not be afraid of pans being dropped on the floor, not be afraid of carts, crutches, walkers etc. You have to be able to walk him through lots of people milling around, not much to it really.
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TravisGSD

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PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:43 pm

Have you looked at the Therapy Dogs International site?
http://www.tdi-dog.org/

They require that your dog first passes the CGC test before taking the TDI test.

Here is a list of what you can expect to see on the test

Test 1: Accepting a Friendly Stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The Evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the Evaluator.

The dog must be tested around medical equipment (such as a wheelchair, crutches, cane, walker, or other devices which would ordinarily be found in a facility) to judge the dog’s reactions to common health care equipment. At the discretion of the Evaluator, this part of the test may be included in any of the following tests: 2,3,5 or 9

Test 2: Sitting Politely for Petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. The dog should sit at the handler’s side as the Evaluator approaches and begins to pet the dog on the head and body only. The dog may stand in place to accept petting. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and Grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility. The Evaluator inspects the dog, then combs or brushes the dog, and lightly examines the ears and each front foot.

Test 4: Out For a Walk
(Walking on a Loose Leash)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog can be on either side of the handler, whichever the handler prefers. There must be a left turn, a right turn and an about turn, with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.

Test 5: Walking Through a Crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers, without appearing overexuberant, shy or resentful. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not be straining at the leash.

Test 6: Sit and Down on Command/Staying in Place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s command to sit and down, and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to make the dog sit and then down. When instructed by the Evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of a 20-foot line. The dog must remain in place, but may change positions.

Test 7: Coming when Called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell the dog to “stay” or “wait,” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog as the Evaluator provides mild distraction (e.g., petting).

Test 8: Reaction to Another Dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 10 yards, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 5 yards. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other.

Test 9: Reactions to Distractions
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations, such as the dropping of a large book or a jogger running in front of the dog. The dog may express a natural interest and curiosity and/or appear slightly startled, but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness or bark.

Leave-It: The handler with the dog on a loose leash walks past food on the ground (placed within a distance of three feet) and, upon command, the dog should ignore the food. (Please note: TDI does not permit the use of food/treats during actual therapy dog visits.)

Acclimation to Infirmities: This test demonstrates the dog’s confidence when exposed to people walking with an uneven gait, shuffling, breathing heavily, coughing, wheezing or other distractions which may be encountered in a facility.

Test 10: Supervised Separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain its training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.

Test 11: Say Hello
The TDI Certified Evaluator will test the willingness of each dog to visit a person and that the dog can be made readily accessible for petting (i.e., small dogs can be placed on a person’s lap or can be held, medium and larger dogs can sit on a chair or stand close to the patient to be easily reached.)

The dog must be able to work well around all types of populations, including children. The dog's behavior around children must be evaluated during testing. It is important that during the testing the potential therapy dog and the children are not in direct contact. This means the dog can only be observed for a reaction toward playing, running or in general children present at the testing site. Any negative reaction by the dog will result in automatic failure. Negative reaction means a dog showing signs of aggression.

Additional Rules for TDI Testing
1. Dogs must be tested on a plain buckle collar or harness. Training collars, training harnesses, halties, or any other corrective devices are not permitted during testing or visiting as a TDI registered Therapy Dog.
2. Greyhounds are not required to sit for tdi testing.


Taken straight from the Therapy Dogs International site.


I'm working with my boy to get his CGC and TDI. :]
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rexandbaby

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PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:36 pm

Thank you for posting this! cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to possible get started   Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:57 pm

great post, want Gideon to get his CGC!

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Amanda

He is your friend, your partner, your defender,your dog. You are his life, his love,his leader. He will be yours, faithful, and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion
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