Is Your Dog Ready for Therapy Dog Visits?
There are many examinations that various associations use to determine if a dog is ready to work as a therapy dog. Admittedly, not being ready can have disastrous results. We are categorically, always responsible for our dog’s conduct. So, how do we know, when we’re ready? You know Fido or Fifi better than any trainer or evaluator. Make your own evaluation! Take the following test:
- Is your dog well socialized?
- A. He’s accustomed to many kinds of situations, people and other dogs.
B. Yes, I let him out in the yard everyday and that’s as far as he goes.
A. I don’t permit this conduct; I use a sharp correction.
B. Only when they ring the bell, meet us in the street, talk to him or me, etc.
- A. No, I’ve worked hard to train him and I expect him to behave.
B. Yeah! You never know (WHAT he’ll do…?)
A. He calmly watches with curiosity as they move past.
B. The eyes glaze over, the mouth foams and with curled up lips he barks and growls furiously.
A. Appropriately, just like Lassie.
B. Does Cujo come to mind?
A. He compliantly agrees to whatever fate awaits him.
B. They meet us at the door with a muzzle.
A. Yes, we have been through at least beginners and we still practice at home.
B. We’re perfect, we don’t need no stinkin’ training.
A. No, as far as I know he’s fine, but I check him regularly for lumps and sensitive areas.
B. He has this interesting case of flatulence. Oh, and bad breath.
A. He sits and waits until given the signal and then gently takes it from my hand.
B. How many fingers do you have?
A. No, they smile sweetly and pat him fondly.
B. Is that what they’re doing? Oh.
A. He exhibits mild curiosity and wags his tail.
B. He growls, snarls, and drags you down the street.
A. Yes, he wags his tail and wants to go play – gently. He knows not to jump up and scare little ones.
B. Yes, baked, broiled or boiled, he doesn’t care.
A. No, not ever. He knows that is unacceptable behavior
B. Yes, he’s a true watch dog heh, heh. You should see what happens when the bell rings.
A. No, my dog really likes people.
B. Yes, occasionally he just doesn’t like someone.
A. No, the postman likes to pet my Fido. They’ve been good friends since he was a pup (Fido,that is).
B. The postman, the UPS man, the meter reader ..They all run away!
If you scored mostly A) responses – congratulations!! You and Bowser are ready!! The world is your oyster and you should get tested as soon as possible.
If you however, scored even one – yes, one . B). response perhaps you should consider a training course before venturing out to do Therapy work with your dog.