Dog Aggression? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Dog Aggression?

After reading another post regarding therapy dogs, it got me thinking about this, and I realized I do not know so I wanted to ask you guys...Can a dog who is dog aggressive, yet loves people, and is gentle with them, basically has every additional quality a therapy dog should, can that dog pass a certification? If no, can the dog still work (by itself obviously) visiting people, or is this illegal? What would be the purpose of a dog being non-dog aggressive for therapy work? I understand the obvious, if you happen to run into another dog, but what if you can know ahead of time that you won't?

Sorry for the multiple questions. I don't mean to waste anyone's time since I asked for this information simply because I'd like to know. I enjoy learning!

-Jackie
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 06:51 PM
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Re: Dog Aggression?

I could be wrong but I'm thinking part of the test was their response when approached by another dog. Perhaps they are just testing overall temperment??

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 07:33 PM
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Re: Dog Aggression?

The dog who is dog-dog aggressive should see a professional to work on this problem. And, no, should not be a therapy dog until he is ok around other dogs. Depending on the environment, how do you know you won't see another dog? Even entering/leaving the premises.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 07:36 PM
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Re: Dog Aggression?

The issue is you won't know whether there won't be another animal, be it dog or cat, around the next corner. At least that
was my experience visiting both hospitals and nursing homes after getting a TDI on my GSD now long gone years ago.

It's a liability nobody wants to insure against, and a risk nobody should take.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 08:39 PM
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Re: Dog Aggression?

The Delta test requires a Meet and Greet, so your dog has to remain in a sit (or wait) while you greet another handler with her dog. Then you have to pass each other, with your dog on a loose leash.

Not only may you encounter another therapy dog that is also working, but some nursing homes (hospice, etc) allow families to bring in family pets to visit clients. These are simply pets and owners that may have no training to speak of, so your dog may have to deal with another dog that really has no social skills.

And even if someone says, "well, I wouldn't want to visit a place like that anyhow," please keep in mind that service dogs go everywhere. These are highly trained dogs -- and yes, they're trained to deal with (ignore) -- distractions. But a person with a disability should not have to deal with an aggressive dog in a hospital or similar setting provoking and possibly endangering his dog (and himself). It's hard enough dealing with such things when you're on the streets, in pet shops, etc and half expecting them.

But dOg says, when an aggressive dog is around the next corner in a place you never expect it, well, it's just not fair to anyone.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-20-2009, 11:09 AM
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Re: Dog Aggression?

Therapy Dogs International also requires dogs to be tested around other dogs during its test.

You have to keep in mind that many therapy dog groups and organizations visit as a group - where you would need to be visiting around other dogs - and your dog would have to be good with other dogs so that this does not cause any issues.

Another thing to consider is that many places, especially retirement homes, now have resident pets who live in the facility and are free to come and go around the hallways as they please. Those animals may not always be well trained or well behaved, so it's doubly important that our therapy dogs are well behaved and we're on the ball to ensure that there won't be any issues during visits.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2009, 09:11 PM
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Re: Dog Aggression?

So if a dog is only cat aggressive, that would disqualify as well then?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2009, 11:00 PM
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Re: Dog Aggression?

Quote:
Quote:So if a dog is only cat aggressive, that would disqualify as well then?
As has been already stated, more and more nursing homes, hospitals, and other sites allow family members to bring pets to visit. There are other types of animals used in therapy work besides dogs.

Any type of animal aggression would have to be addressed by the organization that the therapy dog and handler are associated with and also follow the policies of the facility visiting.

I think you will find that most Therapy Dog groups would say no to any type of animal aggression.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 10:42 PM
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Re: Dog Aggression?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: ILGHAUS
I think you will find that most Therapy Dog groups would say no to any type of animal aggression.
Most therapy dog groups don't test dogs for reaction towards cats or small animals though, just dogs.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 01:25 AM
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Re: Dog Aggression?

When I had my spaniel mix therapy dog of years gone-by tested/evaluated for suitability, they did not test specifically for reactivity to cats, but I did have to fill out a detailed questionaire about his behaviour in different situations, which included how he reacted around cats and bunnies and other small animals.

I know the therapy group I belonged to had several therapy cats, and I think one parrot too!

And just for extra info, when I was active with the group, they had a German Shepherd that won the "Therapy Pet of the Year" award!

Lucia


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