Canines 4 Hope.ORG Raising Awareness for Service Dogs

CANINES4HOPE.ORG   ~   A Non Profit Organization
Service Dogs - Raising Awareness
Raising Awareness through Educational Events and
Providing Guidance and Support for those in need of a Service Dog
Phone:  772-631-4932

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All About Therapy Dogs

therapy dogsTherapy dogs provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities, schools, assisted living facilities, shelters and disaster relief areas.

Therapy Dogs
Therapy dogs come in all sizes and breeds. The most important characteristic of a therapy dog is its temperament. A therapy dog is a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospice, people with learning difficulties, and stressful situations, such as disaster areas. Therefore, it's crucial to have a properly trained Therapy dog to perform these services.

A therapy dog's primary job is to allow unfamiliar people to make physical contact with the dog and to enjoy that contact with people. Children enjoy hugging dogs while adults usually enjoy simply petting the dog. The dog might need to be lifted onto, or climb onto, an individual's lap or bed and sit or lie comfortably there. Many dogs contribute to the visiting experience by performing small tricks for their audience or by playing carefully structured games.

A good therapy dog must be friendly, patient, confident, gentle, and at ease in all situations. Therapy dogs must enjoy human contact and be content to be petted and handled, sometimes clumsily.

In order for your dog to become a good therapy dog candidate, the Therapy dog must

  • Btherapy dog traininge at least one year of age
  • Be good around other dogs
  • Listen to their handlers
  • Allow strangers to touch them all over
  • Not jump on people when interacting
  • Walk on a leash without pulling
  • Not mind strange noises and smells
  • Be calm for petting
  • Not be afraid of people walking unsteadily
  • Be current on all vaccines required by the local laws
  • Have a negative fecal test every 12 months
  • Be clean and well groomed

Any dog of any breed or mix of breeds with the above qualifications is a good candidate to be a therapy dog. With proper training, certification and insurance, a professional dog trainer can train your dog to be a therapy dog.

Therapy dogs are not considered service dogs and do not have the legal access rights that service dogs have.

 
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