Therapy Dogs

@trickiwoo (2702)
United States
July 8, 2008 1:52pm CST
So I've recently become interested in getting a therapy dog. I would really like to find out as much information as I can about therapy dogs. If you have or have had therapy dogs, I would love to hear from you! What kind of dog(s) do you have? What kind of training did you and your dog(s) go through before becoming a therapy dog? Where do you volunteer- a hospital, a nursing home, etc.? How often do you visit? There's a local dog training facility here that has a therapy dog training program. In order to start the training, your dog needs to have the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification. Has anyone gone through the Canine Good Citizen training? What can you tell me about it? Also, what breeds of dogs make good therapy dogs? Any information at all would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!
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4 responses
• United States
8 Jul 08
I never heard of therapy dogs. What are they for? I hope it has nothing to with testing on animals. I'm against that.
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@trickiwoo (2702)
• United States
8 Jul 08
No, not at all! Therapy dogs are volunteer dogs that go to hospitals, schools, nursing homes, mental institutions, and other similar facilities and visit with patients- usually children and elderly patients. The dogs provide companionship, comfort, and affection to the patients. It's great for the patients because dogs have proven to help with healing by relieving stress and raising spirits. And it's great for the dogs because it gives them a job to do. Dogs without jobs or tasks to perform can become easily frustrated and bored and this can lead to a lot of behavioral problems.
• United States
8 Jul 08
That's great. I've seen therapy dogs in action. It's really an awesome scene to witness. My family was going to do this with our older dog, but sadly she has passed on. The first thing you have to think about is the dog itself. How is their temperament? They have to be the most docile dog in the world. Try googling for some great sites that might help you out. Personally, I've seen a lot of Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Cocker Spaniels, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Mixed Breeds.
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• United States
8 Jul 08
I have thought about Therapy dogs, but I 'm not good at training mine. Some breeds, I'm sure, are better than others. Patients in the hospital can really appreciate a visit from a friendly dog. I've been told it reduces stress and speeds healing. It seems like a nice thing to do with your pet and spare time. Maybe one day, I'll get the spare time and a cooperative pet.
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@snowy22315 (56070)
• United States
8 Jul 08
Unfortunately, I dont have any info. for you on that although I would not volunteer my dog for that assignment. He is generally sweet and charming,but has a temper when he's tired and probably would get mad if he was touched the wrong way. He's a doxie, terrier combo, but there might be some of that mix that would be ok.
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