Therapy dog - how do you go about getting them certified to do this ?
And is there a certification process ?
I have a sheltie who is a really well behaved, sweet boy. I have been doing obedience and agility training with him and he has been doing well with it, but better with the obedience.
This little guy is a real love bug - the neighborhood kids adore him, and he is reserved and mannered around people but not typical sheltie scardy cat.
So I was thinking of looking into getting him certified as a therapy dog - the kind that visits senior citizens, or that visits kids in the hospital. I (of course!) think he would be perfect for something like this, but I want to have an objective evaluation of him for this type of thing. I have no idea how to start or where to get him certified (or even if there is an official testing process).
If you are working with a performance dog club, ours has therapy dog testing for both, Delta and TDI.
You can just go to the testing or go to a few classes our dog club gives preparing for that testing, if you want your dog to be more familiar with the test.
The reason we have to certify dogs thru both groups is because we have two hospitals here and each one requires a different certification, so we obligate by offering both programs.
See if your dog club can help you, or ask your hospitals directly how they go about this.
Look up Canine Good Citizen classes or tests in your area; the CGC test is the basis for the therapy dog test (the therapy test adds extra specific stuff, like being comfortable with walkers, wheelchairs, rough petting or tail pulling, etc.), and many dog training clubs that offer the CGC will also have therapy dog testing.
There are some major international groups, like TDI and Delta. My dog is also certified through an SPCA program called Paws for Love, so you can see if your local SPCA does that.
Some of the local hospitals do their own programs--Roswell Park Cancer Institute, for example, has a program of their own and won't take other certifications. So if there's any particular place you want to go, you might want to call them and ask about what process they use for therapy dogs.
Therapy dog certifications or requirements seem to be very lose unless you choose an organization like Delta or TDI. Local nursing homes, hospitals, group homes have their own requirements -or lack of.
Both my dogs have their CGC and passed the local animal shelter's temperament test to become therapy dog volunteers with that local animal shelter. The shelter matches us up with organizations.
The obedience program I have my dog in also has a group that does Therapy Dog visits. The trainer invites you to participate, and then you have to get your cgc which the obedience program offers.My dog and I are going to a visit tonight. Never been to this place. It will be about our 5th time going.