Jump to content

Menu

Anyone had a certified therapy dog?


ktgrok
 Share

Recommended Posts

Therapy dog as in you visited hospitals or such, not one that was a service dog for you. 

I think Pet Partners (delta) and Therapy Dogs International both have evaluators in my area, and both are allowed at the local hospitals - is there one that is better? Looks like TDI is cheaper, but no insurance included, and Pet Partners is significantly more costly but includes liability insurance, is that right? Do you need liability insurance? On the one hand seems the facilities insurance would cover issues, but on the other hand people do like to sue....so maybe?  Never mind, seems there is also insurance with TDI. Also, can't feed raw with Pet Partners, and although we mostly do cooked/kibble we do often give raw bones. I'm more than willing to not give them for say, a few days before a visit, but for Pet Partners he can't have had a raw bone for several months before a visit, so something to consider

We are still working on Tracker's training, but he's made huge strides and matured a LOT. He also is turning out to be VERY low drive... no interest in retrieving, no interest in tracking (actually laid down in the middle of track because he was hot...even knowing there was pulled pork a few feet away!), very low food drive, etc. We may try Barn Hunt just to see if live "prey" motivates him, but otherwise, I'm thinking Therapy Dog might be his thing. He's very good and gentle with kids and loves to be pet, but doesn't jump up or slobber and kiss or anything. We'd need to continue working on our obedience, but I think we can get there. 

Anyone do this and have tips/thoughts/etc?

Photo of kids and dog just for fun ? 

37296564_10155863285088666_4370037590552739840_n.jpg

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

No experience, but I love the picture!  And if he is mellowing and gentle and working on obedience, he might just be a fantastic therapy dog.  I don’t personally like the really laid back ones, but a little energy without being too excitable is a nice balance.  Some therapy animals seem like they’re sleeping with their eyes open - personality needs to be there!

That's him. He really does love people, when we go to the dog park he has to make sure to greet everyone and get pet by everyone, lol. And people love him. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have one myself but an acquaintance trains them.  It is very, very expensive to get the certification done in our area. It cost her at least a couple thousand per dog for all of their certifications.  I know she was very frustrated one day because she had paid for a certification session and another dog her attacked her dog at the testing session and she had to repay to take the certification again because of her dogs response.  The other dog was completely disqualified but her dog was only reacting to being bitten, so they let her retest. She has trained several dogs for hospitals, so she feels confident that it was a one-off situation, but it didn't change the cost to her to pay to retest.  BTW, this person is a former ER doctor who spends her retirement volunteering,  working to train dogs for various forms of service. Gotta love a person like that!  ?

I would look into the total cost of what your end goal is before starting the process. She says there are several steps to certification and what they are allowed to do and which clients they can work with. I don't know if it is state specific or not. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Tap said:

I don't have one myself but an acquaintance trains them.  It is very, very expensive to get the certification done in our area. It cost her at least a couple thousand per dog for all of their certifications.  I know she was very frustrated one day because she had paid for a certification session and another dog her attacked her dog at the testing session and she had to repay to take the certification again because of her dogs response.  The other dog was completely disqualified but her dog was only reacting to being bitten, so they let her retest. She has trained several dogs for hospitals, so she feels confident that it was a one-off situation, but it didn't change the cost to her to pay to retest.  BTW, this person is a former ER doctor who spends her retirement volunteering,  working to train dogs for various forms of service. Gotta love a person like that!  ?

I would look into the total cost of what your end goal is before starting the process. She says there are several steps to certification and what they are allowed to do and which clients they can work with. I don't know if it is state specific or not. 

Oh wow! From what I can see Pet Partners (Delta) is about $150 for two years, give or take, and Therapy Dogs International is only $10 to test. I cannot imagine how she paid thousands? Unless maybe she was paying for classes, not just the testing/registration?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Ktgrok said:

Oh wow! From what I can see Pet Partners (Delta) is about $150 for two years, give or take, and Therapy Dogs International is only $10 to test. I cannot imagine how she paid thousands? Unless maybe she was paying for classes, not just the testing/registration?

It had to do with the type of certification and the areas of the hospital the animal was allowed to go into.  I know it was a more advanced type of certificate but I just wanted you to know if you were anticipating certain activities while there. If you are wanting to go to a certain hospital, you may want to call ahead and ask if there are certain requirements for the animals they allow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are 80+ dogs that go through ORMC.  I would probably try to connect with that group if possible, you could get a wealth of information.  If you can't find anyone, let me know and I can connect you.  We do not have any raw restrictions for my daughter's service dog but it is still something we have never considered since her dog is frequently around children, possibly those that may be immunocompromised and I just think it is the wise thing to do.  Not trying to be political, but I view it up there with my kids being vaccinated and being around other kids and those that are immunocompromised....  Doesn't matter what our organization's requirements are, it is the ethical, moral thing to do.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am with Pet Partners, mainly because that is where everyone I know gets their certification. I don't do hospitals though. I work at nursing homes and facilities for vets. My dog is okay with kids but loves, loves men. Since she is a breed traditionally used as a "Dog of War"; we go where there are injured military dog handlers, VFWs, etc. 

I don't know if anyone has pointed this out to you, but be careful how much you let your dog work. Dogs can become depressed if they go on too many therapy visits in a month, especially if it is a stressful environment. It really depends on the dog --some can go every two weeks and some can only go once every month or two.

There are lots of options besides hospitals and nursing homes. Some teams  work with children as assistant play therapists, reading assistant dogs (not right name but can't remember), and other things. You might want to look up Therapy Animal Services near you to get with a group.

It is expensive, but I would train anyway. I also carry umbrella insurance, just in case. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...