Is your pooch one who could provide comfort and cheer to others? If so, he or she might be the perfect candidate for pet therapy readiness training.
What is Pet Therapy?
Animal-assisted therapy, also known as pet therapy, is a form of therapy that involves animals, such as dogs, as treatment.
Therapy dogs are not service dogs. Service dogs are specially trained to perform specific tasks to help people who have a disability (blindness, deafness, mobility impairment, etc), and have special access privileges in public places, such as in restaurants and on airplanes. Therapy dogs, on the other hand, do not have the same special access as service dogs. Instead, therapy dogs and their owners volunteer in settings such as hospitals, schools, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation centers, and disaster areas to improve both the mental and physical health of people of all ages.
Some examples of people who could benefit from the company of a therapy dog may include:
- Young children who need extra help with reading and interpersonal communication
- Older students who are anxious and stressed around midterms and finals
- Children faced with dental or other medical procedures
- People in long-term care facilities
- People with cardiovascular diseases
- People with dementia
- Cancer patients
- Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Having a therapy dog visit is often a very soothing experience for people. In addition to providing comfort, a therapy dog can positively affect a negative disposition and be a pleasant distraction from whatever situation that person is going through.
Temperament is Key to Pet Therapy Readiness
Temperament is the most important characteristic of a therapy dog. The goal of pet therapy is to promote healing to those who need it. In order to achieve this goal, a good therapy dog must be friendly, patient, confident, gentle, and at ease in all situations. In addition to those traits, therapy dogs should:
- Have good canine manners
- Be comfortable with being touched
- Be clean, well-groomed, and healthy
Not all dogs are suited to be therapy animals, and that’s okay. If your dog is overly enthusiastic, fearful, aggressive, possessive of resources (food, toys, you, etc.), or has a health condition, to name a few, then they may be better suited for a different type of job.
What to Expect from Therapy Dog Training
Our Pet Therapy Readiness classes are the first step in becoming a certified therapy dog. The group setting provides a small but social environment in which your pet will learn everything they need to know in order to pass their Therapy Dog certification test.
Our experienced trainer will share her personal experiences working with therapy dogs while showing you and your pet the ropes. In therapy dog training, your trainer will cover everything you and your pet need to achieve success, including:
- Hospital-type environments
- Confined spaces
- Personal boundaries
- Preparation for the sights, sounds, and smells that your pet will encounter
- Safety precautions
- Reliable products
- Effective corrections
Upon completion, our trainer will refer you for your final test and pet therapy readiness certification. Contact us below for more information on classes and upcoming class "de-TAILS!"
Complete the Form Below to Get Started
Think your pup has what it takes? Fill out the form below to check for upcoming classes and reserve your spot! Our classes accept dogs of all ages and breeds.