Courses - what's the next step? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Courses - what's the next step?

I was just wondering how old your dogs/puppies were when you started your Therapy Dog training classes?

Stark and I just started out obedience level 2 course which will run for another 4 weeks and then we will be starting our obedience level 3 course shortly after.

My trainer's Therapy Dog course states that they only accept dogs that are 1 year of age or older to take the course. I haven't spoken to her about this yet, but it was on her website and in our booklets.

I have been taking Stark to a local nursing home, hospital and school for some time now (since he was about 9 weeks old or so) and he is great with all of it. We have been working very hard on socializing him and it really has paid off, he is such an amazing little guy!

I would also like to try for a BH in the future.

How old was your puppy/dog when you enrolled them in specific classes for therapy training?

What steps did you take in regards to formal training and at what age?

Thanks everyone!

G Wild Winds Zephyr of Cognac BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
Wild Winds Archangel Raphael HIC, TT
XX z Weberhaus
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 11:36 AM
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Re: Courses - what's the next step?

Therapy Dogs International requires that the dog be 1 year old to test: http://www.tdi-dog.org/HowToJoin.asp...g+Requirements

I took a 4 week long therapy dog class with my female when she was about 2, the test was given at the end of the class. I had taken a couple of beginner level obedience classes before that (not good ones), but nothing else.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 12:04 PM
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Re: Courses - what's the next step?

I've never heard of "therapy dog" classes.

He is getting "schooled" on how to behave in "therapy dog mode" everytime you take him to a school, hospital ect... why the need for a special "class" for something he is already doing?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 01:30 PM
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Re: Courses - what's the next step?

Delta gives a series of optional classes to help prepare the team for testing. There is a book to go along with the classes which goes over things that the handler needs to know besides dog handling.

Pet Partners® Team Training Course
Learn the skills needed to visit safely with your animal in hospitals, nursing homes, classrooms, and other facilities. Successful completion of this course, in instructor-led or home-study format, is required for registration as a Pet Partner.

Pet Partners® Team Evaluation
The Team Evaluation process evaluates the animal/handler team, how well the handler interprets and manages the animal's behavior, and how well the animal responds to the handler. This a required step on your way towards becoming a registered Pet Partners® team.

Delta Webpage


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Courses - what's the next step?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: BlackGSDI've never heard of "therapy dog" classes.

He is getting "schooled" on how to behave in "therapy dog mode" everytime you take him to a school, hospital ect... why the need for a special "class" for something he is already doing?
This course through my trainier covers the following:

Exercises

Role playing exercises
Walking on loose leash (Covered in both level 1 and 2 obedience)
Greeting people and other dogs politely (Covered in both level 1 and 2 obedience
Walking through a crowd
Teach "leave it"
Prompt recalls with distraction (Covered in level 1 and 2 obedience)
Sitting politely for petting and grooming
Sit and down on command and hold the position until released (Covered in level 2 and 3 obedience)
Familiarization with hospital equipment
Working around loud noises, food, toys and other distractions
Acclimation to infirmities such as uneven gait, shuffling, heavy coughing, wheezing, falling, etc.
Supervised separation
Appearance and grooming
Additional Topics

Stress and calming signals in dogs
Tellington touch relaxation exercises

Most of these things I have done on my own and socializing has a lot to do with it in my opinion too. Personally I don't think we need to do this course in order to be certified, as I have been working with him since the day he came home. I think we are good to go in those avenues (as long as I keep it up of course).

Can you complete your basic obedience courses and then take the test?

I plan on going through the Level 3 (highest level in my area) obedience course when we are finished this one (we are in level 2 now) and we are continuing to work on our tracking (which we both are loving).

What about the CGN? At what age can this be done at? What do I need to do to obtain this? Would it be a good idea to complete this test first then do the therapy test?

G Wild Winds Zephyr of Cognac BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
Wild Winds Archangel Raphael HIC, TT
XX z Weberhaus
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 07:48 AM
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Re: Courses - what's the next step?

Quote:
Quote: What about the CGN? At what age can this be done at? What do I need to do to obtain this? Would it be a good idea to complete this test first then do the therapy test?
Do you mean the CGC, the Canine Good Citizen Program test?
If so then yes, the CGC first as it is the basis of most programs' testing. If a dog can not pass the CGC then it is not ready to go for Therapy Dog testing.

AKC CGC Link


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Courses - what's the next step?

I believe it is the Canine Good Neighbour test in Canada.

I am located in Ontario, Canada.

http://www.ckc.ca/en/Default.aspx?tabid=91

G Wild Winds Zephyr of Cognac BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
Wild Winds Archangel Raphael HIC, TT
XX z Weberhaus
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 10:57 AM
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Re: Courses - what's the next step?

My bad. I wasn't even paying any attention to your location.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Courses - what's the next step?

That's okay, no problem.

I tend to forget to mention that I am from Canada since the majority here are from the States.

G Wild Winds Zephyr of Cognac BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
Wild Winds Archangel Raphael HIC, TT
XX z Weberhaus
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 05:22 PM
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Re: Courses - what's the next step?

<span style="color: #3366FF">Personally I don't think we need to do this course in order to be certified, as I have been working with him since the day he came home. I think we are good to go in those avenues (as long as I keep it up of course).

Can you complete your basic obedience courses and then take the test?

Would it be a good idea to complete this test first then do the therapy test?</span>
You are correct in thinking that you do not need to do this course in order to be certified as these skills are all part of good socialization for a pup. I have been involved with dog evaluations in York Region for the St. John Ambulance TD program. I've not yet come across anyone who took a specific TD course, just people who have done CGN, which covers almost all the same skills. The SJA evaluation is not that difficult to pass. You need to have a dog that engages readily with people, allows all kinds of physical handling, has basic leash and walking skills, stays calm when walking in a crowd or when exposed to unusual behaviour or sudden noises. If a dog is lacking in a couple of skills, practise and retest at a later date is allowed. All dogs must be well behaved when in close proximity to other dogs. Aggressive behaviour means rejection with no opportunity for a retest. All dogs must be one year old before testing regardless of any previous certifications like CGN. I personally would not rush to get a year old GSD certified. They are still developing and in their teenage mindset at that point. You could be working on OB with Stark, continuing to visit the school, hospital and nursing home settings, and present him for evaluation when he is maturing at 18 months to 2 years.

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