Cats, chickens, miniature horses, and more have all been a part of a therapy team and have helped many folks. They’ll also need to be healthy with a clean bill of health from your vet, up to date on vaccinations and heartworm medications, and on flea prevention. 2. If your dog is startled or scared in new environments or wary around strangers, being a therapy animal might not be the best idea. Therapy dogs will need to be housetrained and able to focus in the midst of all sorts of distractions, like medical equipment and different environments. A dog must be a minimum of one (1) year of age and have a sound temperament. To ensure this kind of recall, you should spend time every day teaching your dog how to respond to your commands. Introduction . In fact, CGC certification is a prerequisite for many therapy dog programs. It's also common to find dogs who may not have the desire to spend that much time with strangers or become easily startled in certain environments. The dog must be registered or listed with AKC. It is used to enhance and complement the benefits of traditional therapy.” This type of therapy animal helps physical and occupational therapists with their clients and help meet different goals in a person’s recovery. I’m so glad to hear that this is the path for you. Some of the animals at Animals as Natural Therapy visit retirement homes and horses on the farm help at-risk youth and veterans connect in a different but utterly meaningful way. Start by finding and talking with therapy dog organizations, and visiting the facilities that they serve on your own. Additionally, it would be good to see what different places require a therapy dog and handler to do. Step 2: A tester/observer in your area test you and your dog. All dogs are eligible to earn AKC Therapy Dog titles, including purebreds and mixed breeds. The Handler should demonstrate that they: Are […] As mentioned, the important aspects include being healthy and properly trained. When you become a Pet Partners team, you represent the best that therapy animal work has to offer. Dogs of all breeds, sizes, and histories can be a therapy dog, as the most important trait is temperament. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. But one study from the University of British Columbia confirms that time with dogs can really boost student wellness! This is going to be the ultimate test of your dog's behavior in real-world settings. A therapy animal is only half of the equation, however. The therapy dog's handler accompanies him when he goes on visits. These therapy animals are what many might think of, as they are usually household pets who visit hospitals, nursing home, detention facilities, and other places with their owners. Each group has its own set of standards, required courses, and special testing before a dog and handler can become a registered therapy team. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The law does not give Therapy Dogs any special rights. According to Psychology Today, animal-assisted therapy is “a therapeutic intervention that incorporates animals, such as horses, dogs, cats, pigs, and birds, into the treatment plan. Can you help me find a place to start? The AKC Canine Good Citizen is one program but there are many others to try. For an animal to be recognized as a therapy dog from a medical and legal perspective, it must receive certification and training. You can choose to train a therapy dog on your own or with professional assistance. Get our FREE training guide when you sign up for the Spruce Pets newsletter. There are some things to keep in mind and some things to do before you and your dog can work as a therapy animal duo. The teams visit facilities such as hospitals, day-care groups, schools and nursing homes to offer companionship and comfort.Therapy teams must be evaluated and registered before they can volunteer to visit facilities.