1. Is your dog well socialized ?
A) He’s been familiarized with many places, situations, folks and other dogs since he was a puppy.
B) Oh, I let him out in the yard everyday and that’s as far as he goes.
2. Does your dog jump up on people ?
A) I don’t permit this conduct; I’ve trained him carefully and can remind him with a gentle correction
B) Only when they ring the bell, meet us in the street, talk to him or me, walk by, etc., etc.
3. Are you surprised when your dog puts his
best paw forward ?
A) No, I’ve worked hard to train him and I expect him to behave properly.
B) Yeah! You never know…(WHAT he’ll do…?)
4. How does your dog react to rolling shopping carts, roller blades and skateboards?
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.
5. How do you and your dog handle the unexpected?
A) Appropriately, like Lassie
B) Does Cujo come to mind?
6. How does your dog behave at the vet or groomer?
A) He compliantly agrees to whatever fate awaits him.
B) They meet us at the door with a muzzle.
7. Have you and your dog had any formal training? How about at home training yourself?
A) Yes, we have been through at least beginners’ class and we still practice at home.
B) We’re perfect; we don’t need no stinkin’ training! (dog drags handler away…).
8. Does your dog have any health problems?
A) No, he’s fine. He sees the vet regularly and I check him frequently for lumps and sensitive areas.
B) He has this interesting case of flatulence. Oh, and bad breath.
9. How does your dog accept a treat?
A) He sits and waits until given the signal and then gently takes it from my hand.
B) How many fingers do you have?
10. Do people cringe at the sight of your dog?
A) No, they smile sweetly and pat him fondly.
B) Is that what they’re doing? Oh.
11. What happens when your dog sees another dog?
A) He exhibits mild curiosity and wags his tail.
B) He barks, growls, snarls, and pulls you down the street to the other dog.
12. Does your dog like children?
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.
13. Does your dog bark incessantly – ever?
A) No, not ever. I wouldn’t allow it and he knows that is unacceptable behavior.
B) Yes, he’s a true watchdog, heh, heh. You should see what happens when the bell rings.
14. Does your dog growl at strangers, children, or anyone for that matter(delivery men…)?
A) No, my dog really likes people.
B) Yes, occasionally he just doesn’t like someone…
15. Does the postman cross the street when he sees you approach with your dog?
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 all “A” responses – congratulations !!
You and Bowser are ready !!
The world is your oyster and you should test as soon as possible !
However, If you scored even one – yes, one “B” response, perhaps you should consider a training course before venturing out to take the therapy dog test with your dog. You’ll be thankful you did.