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A therapy dog's primary job is to allow unfamiliar people to make physical contact with him and to enjoy that contact. Children in particular enjoy hugging animals; adults usually enjoy simply petting the dog. The dog might need to be lifted onto, or climb onto, an invalids lap or bed and sit or lie comfortably there. Many dogs add to the visiting experience by performing small tricks for their audiences or by playing carefully structured games. Therapy dogs are not service dogs. Service dogs directly assist humans, and have a legal right to accompany their owners in most areas. In the United States, service dogs are legally protected at the federal level by the Americans with Disabilities act of 1990. Therapy dogs do not provide direct assistance and are not mentioned in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Institutions may invite, limit, or prohibit access by therapy dogs. If allowed, many institutions have rigorous requirements for therapy dogs.I can prepare you for testing and accreditation for therapy dogs. I require that a dog pass the equivalent of the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen test, and then add further requirements specific to the environments in which the dogs will be working. Typical tests might ensure that a dog can handle sudden loud or strange noises, can walk on assorted unfamiliar surfaces comfortably, are not frightened by people with canes, wheelchairs, or unusual styles of walking or moving, get along well with children and with the elderly, and so on.
Note: See the page on the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Test.
Over the years other Chandler health care professionals and heath care professionals worldwide have noticed the therapeutic effect of animal companionship, such as relieving stress, lowering blood pressure, and raising spirits, and the demand for therapy dogs continues to grow. In recent years, therapy dogs have been enlisted to help children overcome speech and emotional disorders.
Therapy dogs come in all sizes and breeds. The most important aspect of a therapy dog is temperament. A good therapy dog must be friendly, patient, confident, at ease in all situations, and gentle. Therapy dogs must enjoy human contact and be content to be petted and handled, sometimes clumsily.
Therapy Dog Training
Train your dog for therapy