A therapy dog is a trained dog that volunteers with their owner to offer emotional support and comfort to individuals in various settings including hospitals, schools and senior living centers. If you plan to become a therapy dog or have a dog that you already own, you may wonder how to go about getting therapy dog training. To begin with, you should make sure that you are prepared to accept the responsibility. A therapy dog’s job is not simply to bark at the wrong people, but they must also be able to aid humans by providing a safe, non-judgmental environment for interaction. Many first-time owners are surprised to learn that a therapy dog requires very little training. In fact, many owners have learned how to bond with their dogs so much that they do not even need to spend time with the training process.
To become certified, dogs must complete a specific number of hours of therapy dog training that is approved by The Therapy Dog Foundation (TDF). After completing the training, the dogs will have completed the necessary hours as well as show evidence of their knowledge and ability to successfully complete the tasks. The foundation will also conduct a final evaluation to determine if the dog has been certified. To qualify, dogs must demonstrate the proper skills, trainability, temperament and endurance.
There are a number of benefits to enrolling your canine in therapy dogs training. First, therapy dogs give emotional support by assisting humans with a variety of disabilities. They work to improve the emotional well-being of patients with varying degrees of impairment. For this reason, therapy dogs are often asked to handle a wide range of clients and situations. Secondly, therapy dogs are trained to assist people with a variety of needs including recovering from a physical injury or illness. As a result, therapy dogs provide a high level of assistance to those who may not be able to accomplish the same tasks on their own.
Dog Therapy Training
The third benefit to using therapy dogs during therapy dog training is that they help develop the obedience needed to become a well-trained canine. When dogs are properly trained, they learn to obey their human companions and show consistent behaviour. In addition to recognizing commands, therapy dogs must learn to respect their owner, obey their owner in the home, and follow simple commands such as sit, stay, heel and more. A dog must also understand that his or her master is the leader and is capable of enforcing rules and behaviour restrictions. Furthermore, a well-behaved canine assists a recovering patient in becoming more independent.
The fourth benefit to using therapy dogs during therapy dog training is that they offer a highly skilled method of protection. This is particularly valuable for individuals with large pets or animals that may pose physical danger. Therapy dogs assist in agility, tracking, and other obedience skills that will help owners protect their pets as well as themselves. In addition to being able to assist in protecting your pet, therapy dogs may also be trained to assist in rescue operations. They may work to locate lost animals and administer first aid until professional assistance can arrive. By using their expertise and comprehensive training, therapy dogs can also spot potential danger and immediately respond to danger.
The fifth benefit to using therapy dogs during therapy dog training is that the animals are trained to be compliant. Although all dogs need to be trained in order to be obedient, therapy dogs receive much more specialized training than regular service dogs do. They are taught to be responsive and obedient while working with their owner, patients, and other animals. Therefore, therapy dogs that obtain the necessary certification and background are more effective and less likely to be involved in harmful situations.
In addition to the need for therapy dog training for owners and animals, there are additional considerations for hospitals that utilize service dogs in their practices. Since service dogs often work alongside doctors, nurses and other health care providers, it is important for hospitals to make sure that they hire only the most appropriate individuals. Not only should they screen potential service dogs for intelligence and obedience, but they should also look for high-level medical knowledge and experience. It is no secret that healthcare professionals are some of the most highly-trained individuals in the world, so finding a hospital that utilizes these professionals can help ensure that they are able to provide the best level of care.
In the End
Finally, it is important to understand that therapy dogs are not just for hospitals. Many organizations and cities have begun work to implement programs that will allow veterinary hospitals and other facilities to add these helpful pets to their list of services. As time goes by, it is likely that more facilities will adopt policies that allow these types of animals into their establishments. The addition of therapy dogs can not only improve the quality of care that is provided to patients, but it can also be very beneficial to the health and well-being of the patients themselves. As time goes on, there is no doubt that healthcare professionals will see the many benefits that come from implementing therapy dog training into their establishments.