Our Canine Therapy Teams attend public and private events and assist with bringing joy and happiness to those around them. If you think you and your dog would make a great addition to our team please see the evaluation breakdown below for what we are looking for. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to start your volunteer application today
Many people ask us what the process is for the evaluations for a Therapy Dog. As we do not make our exact evaluation public, here are some commands/guidelines as to what we are looking for in both the dog and handler as individuals and a team.
Leave It - This one is one of the most important commands to have as we visit facilities where medications are given out and human medication can be extremely harmful to dogs. There are also chances that hosted events have other animals and food so your dog needs to be able to respect you and your command of “leave it” for their safety)
Loose leash walking - Handler is not to be "dragged" around and you need to show that your dog can walk beside you in a controlled manner
Dog needs to enjoy interacting with humans and being touched and handled by strangers. This needs to be a controlled voluntary action of the dog meaning that they do not just approach anyone unless you have let them know that it is ok to do so. No forcing your dog to interact if they are not comfortable.)
Dog needs to have a balanced mannerism where they are comfortable with other dogs and animals around them.
We do not allow our therapy dogs to interact with one another at events, but they still need to not react in any aggressive manner if they see another dog/animal/human. There are cases where we are able to have members attend a more private event but 90% of the time there will be other dogs around. Separate evaluation will be held to see how your dog is with the farms animals that are a part of the foundation.
Dog needs to be able to handle small and large crowds out in public settings both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Dog will need to be able to handle loud noises (clapping, things falling on the floor, screaming) different equipment (wheelchair, walker, cane, crutches etc) and odd movement (twitches etc).
Know your dog’s signals
It is very important that you advocate for your dog. If they are in a situation that is making them uncomfortable, it is in your and their best interest to remove them before things escalate.
Please note that if your dog shows extreme fear or reactivity during the evaluation is an automatic fail. We have a responsibility to keep the public and other members safe at all times.
If you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s level of training please reach out as we work with Karing Holmes and they are constantly offering many different classes and seminars for you and your dog.
For cats we are looking for those that are comfortable being out in public in busier settings and comfortable in a harness or enclosed stroller for their safety. They must be comfortable with dogs in the area and LOVE to be pet by humans.
All of these animals must be comfortable around humans and other animals. We are currently working on a certification process for livestock animals as we are grow and find how much interest they bring to the public to meet and learn about.
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