Therapy training and IPO? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Therapy training and IPO?

I will be bringing home my new GSD puppy this weekend. I am active duty military and I am interested in getting him titled in IPO but I would also love to get him trained / certified as a therapy dog so that I could take him to the children's hospital and VA clinic here in Omaha.

Is this possible? Or are these types of work too opposite to succeed in both? I've been getting a lot of mixed information.

One school of thought is that people don't think a dog trained in protection work would be safe / reliable around children / elderly / wounded veterans. That if he misread a command at the wrong time you could have a bad situation.

The other school of thought is that a well trained protection dog would actually be MORE reliable in these situations because he's trained how to recognize an actual threat and to respond with restraint until ordered.

Any thoughts or input?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 11:57 AM
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yes-I think tdi allows it -the VA is really welcoming to dogs-the veterans love them visiting-the dog just needs to be certified through tdi
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 12:58 PM
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I wonder how many out there do both? Midnite is a therapy dog and has never showed an interest in IPO. Then again I never trained with him for it, he looked at me like I was crazy when I wanted him to bite a sleeve. Robyn on the other hand thinks the sleeve is the best thing in the world and she isn't a therapy dog. She could do it, but not like Midnite and vice versa. It just depends on the dog I would think.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1N1A View Post
I will be bringing home my new GSD puppy this weekend. I am active duty military and I am interested in getting him titled in IPO but I would also love to get him trained / certified as a therapy dog so that I could take him to the children's hospital and VA clinic here in Omaha.

Is this possible? Or are these types of work too opposite to succeed in both? I've been getting a lot of mixed information.

One school of thought is that people don't think a dog trained in protection work would be safe / reliable around children / elderly / wounded veterans. That if he misread a command at the wrong time you could have a bad situation.

The other school of thought is that a well trained protection dog would actually be MORE reliable in these situations because he's trained how to recognize an actual threat and to respond with restraint until ordered.

Any thoughts or input?
My only thought is that this will depend on the dog. Not all dogs are going to want to be therapy dogs. My male working line would love it. My female would have hated it when she was young.

I think your cart is before your horse.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 04:22 AM
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You will need to find out what groups are active in the area where you will wish to work. Then you will need to clear this with them. Some organizations will allow this while some will not.

And as already posted, you will need to wait and see how your dog develops and matures to see if he even shows an interest in doing therapy. Many groups will not deal with a dog under a year old to even evaluate. And some of those dogs who were fine at 12-14 months of age are not able to stay after reaching the age of 18-24 months.

The only thing that you can do toward that goal is to really work at keeping your pup socialized around people and other animals. Sometimes there are several TDs working in one area at the same time.

Some dogs could handle both but you can not really count on it until the dog begins to mature and he will let you know what he enjoys.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 08:15 AM
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I tried with my local organization. There insurance does not allow dogs that have bite work training at all. My boy would love doing therapy work, but can't.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 09:15 AM
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Each therapy group is different with what they allow - best to check the groups around you and see. Also remember that all dogs are different. My friend and I both have GSDs training in IPO. Her dog would make an excellent therapy dog, but mine is more aloof with strangers and would not enjoy the work.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-28-2016, 05:50 PM
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My 3 females are registered with Alliance of Therapy Dogs, formerly Therapy Dogs incorporated. My IPO3 titled female was my first registered therapy dog. You just have to find a national organization that does not have the restriction of bite work. Most actually do not understand that the bite work is all about obedience.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 11:09 PM
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I have a service dog and in some states, no dog that has been trained for guard/protection work is legally allowed to be a service dog. But there isn't a uniform law regarding it so you will need to do the research for where you are.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 02:09 AM
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I have a service dog and in some states, no dog that has been trained for guard/protection work is legally allowed to be a service dog. But there isn't a uniform law regarding it so you will need to do the research for where you are.
State laws can only give additional benefits -- not take away any rights to SD owners that are given or protected by federal laws. As in most cases, laws can be tricky to read.

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