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What is the Evaluation Process for Therapy Dogs in Pet Partners?

The evaluation process for therapy dogs in Pet Partners involves assessing the skills, aptitude, and teamwork of dogs and handlers in therapeutic environments. This evaluation ensures that the handler-dog team is capable of providing effective animal-assisted therapy in various settings.

  • Skills: The dog’s ability to follow commands and behave appropriately is tested. This includes basic obedience skills and the ability to adapt to different situations.
  • Aptitude: The dog’s natural ability and inclination for therapy work is assessed. This includes their temperament, responsiveness, and ability to interact positively with people.
  • Teamwork: The handler and dog’s ability to work together effectively is evaluated. This includes the handler’s control over the dog and the dog’s responsiveness to the handler.

What are the Requirements for Therapy Dogs in Therapy Dogs International (TDI)?

In Therapy Dogs International (TDI), dogs must be at least one year old and pass a rigorous test assessing obedience, temperament, and suitability for therapy work. Additionally, handlers must pass a background check to ensure the safety and integrity of the therapy sessions.

  • Age Requirement: Dogs must be at least one year old. This ensures that the dog has reached a level of maturity suitable for therapy work.
  • Obedience and Temperament: Dogs must pass a rigorous test that assesses their obedience and temperament. This ensures that the dog can behave appropriately in a variety of situations and interact positively with people.
  • Background Check: Handlers must pass a background check. This ensures that the handler is trustworthy and capable of providing a safe and effective therapy session.

What is the Certification Process in the Alliance of Therapy Dogs?

The Alliance of Therapy Dogs has a three-part evaluation process that includes a temperament test and observed visits. Once certified, teams receive membership and can participate in therapy visits. 

  • Temperament Test: The dog’s temperament is tested to ensure they are calm, friendly, and responsive to their handlers.
  • Observed Visits: The handler-dog team undergoes observed visits to assess their ability to provide effective therapy.
  • Membership: Once certified, teams receive membership and can participate in therapy visits. This provides opportunities for ongoing training and experience.

What are the Titles Offered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) Therapy Dog Program?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) Therapy Dog Program offers titles such as Therapy Dog Novice (THDN), Therapy Dog (THD), Therapy Dog Advanced (THDA), Therapy Dog Excellent (THDX), and Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD). These titles are based on the number of therapy visits the dog has completed.

  • Therapy Dog Novice (THDN): This title is awarded to dogs that have completed a minimum of 10 therapy visits.
  • Therapy Dog (THD): This title is awarded to dogs that have shown consistent performance in therapy visits.
  • Therapy Dog Advanced (THDA), Therapy Dog Excellent (THDX), and Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD): These titles are awarded to dogs that have completed a significant number of therapy visits and demonstrated exceptional therapy skills.

What are the Registration Processes for Certified Therapy Dogs?

Once dogs and handlers have successfully completed the evaluation and met the requirements, they are registered and given credentials to visit facilities. This registration process varies between organizations but generally involves providing proof of the dog’s skills, temperament, and suitability for therapy work.

  • Pet Partners: Successful teams are registered and given credentials to visit facilities.
  • Therapy Dogs International (TDI): Certified dogs are registered and can participate in TDI activities.
  • Alliance of Therapy Dogs: Certified teams receive membership and can participate in therapy visits.
  • American Kennel Club (AKC): Dogs are registered with AKC and awarded titles based on their number of therapy visits.

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