Therapy Dog Training
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines SERVICE DOGS as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal who is trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. For example, some dogs are trained to pull wheelchairs, others are taught to alert to the sounds of the telephone, oven timers, alarm clocks, smoke alarms, and even a baby’s cry. Service dogs are not considered pets. [petfinder.com]
- The most common type of THERAPY DOGS (therapeutic visitation dogs) are household pets whose owners take time to visit hospitals, nursing homes, detention facilities, and rehabilitation facilities. Therapy dogs help people who have to be away from home due to mental or physical illness. These people miss their pets, and a visit from a visitation dog can brighten the day, lift spirits, and help motivate them in their therapy or treatment with the goal of going home to see their own pets. [Therapy Dogs of VT]
THERAPY DOG VS. SERVICE DOG
- To cover yourself against accidents (liability & accident insurance is provided by therapy dog organizations during sponsored visits).
- Access to more facilities (many facilities require certification).
- For support and guidance through the process and the best steps and practices.
- Being certified means that you and your dog have gone through a training process to help you be more prepared for the unexpected.
REASONS TO BECOME CERTIFIED
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR BECOMING
A CERTIFIED THERAPY DOG TEAM?
- DOGS ONLY
Any dog breed or mix of breed must be at least one year of age to be tested and observed. Dogs must have lived with their owner for 6 months or longer. However, you can begin training your dog anytime!
You're in the right place! Frank has trained over 80 certified dog/handler teams. (see pics of dogs here)
Test with an evaluator through a licensed Therapy Dog organization. Our trainer, Frank, is an evaluator for The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. (BBTD) and he is in the Powell/Cody area every spring and fall.
- BECOMING A MEMBER of The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc.
After passing your test, mail in your membership kit including fees, a picture of your dog(s), and a health certification documenting:
- Fecal check
- Year round heart worm medication and/or a yearly heartworm test
- Titer Report in lieu of shots (not rabies).
Once your membership is accepted, you will receive ample information on what you need to do next. The right collars, leashes, tags, grooming requirements – everything you will need to know to get started and to keep you, your dog, and people you visit safe!
- Visiting with animals can help people feel less lonely and less depressed. People are more active and responsive both during - and after - a visit with animals. Medical studies and clinical research show that a therapy dog can not only have medical benefits - such as stress relief, or lower blood pressure - but provide a sense of comfort, confidence, and companionship. [Therapy Dogs United]
BENEFITS OF A THERAPY DOG
- Sometimes a therapy dog just sits or lies quietly while being petted - listening to story after story about a nursing home resident's former dog. Sometimes a therapy dog will visit an elementary school to help teach children about the humane care of animals, or join in during story time to help relax the group. But, did you know that a therapy dog can help a child to learn? A child who has difficulty reading is the perfect candidate to curl up alongside a therapy dog to enjoy a good book. Studies show children find the non-judgmental ears of a therapy dog the perfect choice to hone and improve their reading skills. A therapy dog may also work with disabled or autistic children. In a hospital setting, a therapy dog might visit patients in pediatrics, oncology, or even hospice centers. Sometimes a hospital will invite a therapy dog to visit the emergency room because of the calming effect on patients, doctors, nurses and staff members working in the high-stress environment. [Therapy Dogs United]
WHAT DOES A THERAPY DOG DO?
- The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc.
facebook: click here!
COST: (as of 8/15 posting)
$50 Membership (one handler & one dog) & $15 for each additional dog or handler for first year. $40 annually thereafter.
$20 Testing fee
FRANK BRADER, our Trainer, is a an evaluator for The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc.
Reactions to therapy dogs are unmistakable, well documented, and amazing. Not all dogs possess the very special temperament that is necessary to become a therapy dog. However, if a dog has this potential we can help unlock and develop it. We understand how strong the love and bond can be between owner/handler and dog, and the unequaled pleasure that comes from volunteering with one's own dog as a team to aid others.
We want to help people get started and we want to help them succeed. The honorable "road" to working with a dog as a therapy dog should be a positive experience and not paved with intimidation, humiliation or stress. Nor should a handler who desires to work as a volunteer with his or her dog, pay a fortune for the privilege to do so.
- Alliance of Therapy Dogs
facebook: click here!
COST: (as of 8/15 posting)
$40 Membership (one handler & one dog) & $10 for each additional dog or handler for first year. $30 annually thereafter.
? Testing fee
Evaluators available in Cody, WY
It is a goal of ATD to provide registration, support, and insurance for members who are involved in volunteer animal assisted activities. These activities include, but are not limited to, visits to hospitals, special needs centers, schools, and nursing homes. Our objective is to form a network of caring individuals who are willing to share their special animals in order to bring happiness and cheer to people, young and old alike.
Any dog of any breed or mix of breeds with these qualifications is a good candidate to be a therapy dog. The membership process involves the handler/dog team passing the handling portion of the test followed by 3 successful supervised visits in the field. At this point, the handler sends in the membership packet with appropriate fees to the office where upon ATD has sole authority in accepting the team for membership into the organization. Upon acceptance, the newly registered team receives a membership card, a certificate and a heart shaped tag for the dog's collar, to be worn when representing ATD The team may only begin visiting after receiving this packet.