Anyone use their hunt dog as a therapy dog too?

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by Hogleg, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. Hogleg

    Hogleg Senior Refuge Member

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    My wife teaches kindergarten and loves therapy dogs. She has somewhat of an ok from her principal to look into it further. New pup is a little young, one organization I looked into won't certify them until after they turn one. She has a great temperament and is quite the lover of attention. I could see her doing well.

    Unfortunately that organization also states that they won't certify a dog that was trained using and ecollar. Anyone have experience with this? They won't have any idea how i trained her and I she'd have to be nails on OB on a leash/collar only before i'd even try.

    Just wondering if anyone on the forum had tried this.
     
  2. Kendall Steffensen

    Kendall Steffensen Senior Refuge Member

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    No experience with therapy dogs, but quite a bit of experience with school districts. It is extremely likely that your wife's school district has a Board of Education policy regarding animals. If the policy is similar to others I have read, it will have strict guidelines regarding animals due to liability concerns ranging from bites to allergic reactions. Check the policy and it will tell you what is allowed.

    I am not an attorney, but my experience with school districts compels me to suggest that you consider the liability concerns of placing a dog with children if you knowingly and willingly obtained a therapy dog certificate without complying exactly with the requirements.

    By the way, where are you located in Nebraska? I am in Pierce.

    Kendall
     
  3. Hogleg

    Hogleg Senior Refuge Member

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    Kendall,
    I'm in Lincoln. I agree. I'm in the loss prevention and safety field and liability is always an issue. Great point on starting with the district's requirements first.

    I don't get the connection between ecollars and therapy dog certification. I'm going to see if there are any other organizations and what their requirements are.
     
  4. mikehmike

    mikehmike Refuge Member

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    Look into the company "off leash k9 training", just google it. They have a therapy dog program and I BELIEVE will get you hooked up with the organization to actually certify the dog. The training is expensive but they apparently are a very well known and used company by a lot of people (athletes, celebs, etc etc).
     
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  5. eugene molloy

    eugene molloy Senior Refuge Member

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    Some years ago I used my Lab "Ross" as a therapy dog, mostly in retirement homes and hospitals, but never in schools. There may be more involved in doing therapy work than you might first imagine for both you and your dog.

    There is an outfit in UK called Pets As Therapy (PAT) and all therapy dogs go through their assessment and training, as do the handlers. There are similar outfits in the US. The AKC have a list of training providers, but the US set up seems very fractured and bitty compared to the UK. Here is a link to the FAQs on the PAT website. http://petsastherapy.org/what-we-do/faqs-2/ to give you some idea of what the hoops and hurdles are.

    The training I found quite easy, "Ross" was a mature dog, very obedient and gentle, and rock steady. I came from a technical training background anyway so it all fitted together.

    One thing that took me somewhat aback, was giving permission for any criminal and Police records (not that I've got any) to be searched; they are looking for child molesters and the like. Something else to consider, is how you are at handling loss and bereavement. Hospital patients and residents of care homes get very attached to you and the dog, and it's a two way process. Several times I walked in only to be told that someone I'd got really fond of had passed away; that's a bit of a sickener, so be aware that your heart strings will be given a fair old tug.

    Overall though, it was a great experience, and I recommend you to give it a go,

    Eug
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
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  6. Hogleg

    Hogleg Senior Refuge Member

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    Eug,
    Thank you for the response. Great information. At this point I haven't really considered retirement homes and hospitals, although the idea does interest me. Bringing joy to those that really need it. My initial reason for the post was for elementary school as my wife teaches kindergarten and has seen first hand how incredible an influence a dog can be for a child that needs it.

    My plan is to get her through hunt training and once I'm confident in her OB and demeanor I will look further into certifying her as a therapy dog.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Chad
     
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  7. professor

    professor Elite Refuge Member

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    Every one of our four American Water Spaniels are therapy dogs. They are titled through Therapy Dog International (TDI). They visit hospitals and schools primarially, but also participate in demonstrations for kids who want to learn how to handle a working dog.
    All of our dogs were trained with an e-collar. TDI says nothing about their method of training as long as they can pass a certification test that they administer. The test takes half a day and involves the dogs social skills. They need to be cool around people in wheelchairs, crutches, and beds. They need to be able to walk by a plate of food on the floor without going to it. They have to tolerate screaming kids and a bunch of pots and pans which are shoved off a table clanking on the floor beside them. They need to be able to remain in the care of a stranger for 3 minutes while their handler/owner leaves the room.
    The patients in our hospital really look forward to the visits from our dogs. Gumbo is their favorite!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  8. Hogleg

    Hogleg Senior Refuge Member

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    Thanks professor!
     

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