Therapy Dog Training Program
This is a detailed and multistep catered program that will prepare the client and the dog for the desired therapy work chosen. The training will take place in and out of the client’s home and will consist of work in advance obedience as well as public access and social behavior.
A detailed temperament test is completed to first determine if you and your dog make a good fit for the program. Should All Stage Canine Development feel there could be a safety concern, we will not move forward with the training.
Once the program is completed, additional testing may be mandated by the company or organization you wish to do therapy work with. All Stage Canine Development will also prepare you for this if needed.
The obedience training is part of the therapy dog program and will be advanced with both the dog and client. Verbal and hand commands/cues will be mandated as therapy dogs are in many different situations. In addition, there will be an obedience certification test that must be completed and passed in order to proceed to the public access or social behavior areas of the program.
Public access as a therapy dog can mean different things based on the area of “specialty” chosen such as children vs adults, or libraries vs hospitals. In each situation, there must be work on how your dog behaves in public to ensure your safety as well as everyone else around you. Multiple training sessions will be completed to prepare you for the public access test and certification. The training prepares you for extensive work in many levels from car travel, store etiquette, and even safety protocols. Placing your dog in extreme situations help ensure they are prepared for the public and all the uncertainties and uncontrollables that come with it.
Social behavior as a therapy dog is much more complicated than you would think. The public, though unintentional, are very rude creatures to a dog. We greet them quickly, pet them rough, and sometimes accidentally step on their tail or drop things on them. Not every dog has the patience to deal with that. Not to mention the scary medical equipment often around a therapy pet such as a walker or wheelchair.
All Stage Canine Development will not perform training without the presence of the handler. The training program isn’t just for your dog, it is to teach you how to be the handler which can prove to be just as challenging as the training for your therapy dog. This program requires hard work and dedication from you as the handler in training in order for it to be successful.
All Stage Canine Development will also not push a dog through the program if there are any potential safety concerns, even if they may have the behaviors needed for the service work. Each step and certification in the program does not guarantee your dog will finish the program. If there are safety issues, All Stage Canine Development will discontinue moving forward with the training. All Stage Canine Development will be available consistently by phone in between lessons to address any questions.
Please don’t wait ask your questions or voice your concerns as they arise during the training. Sometimes waiting even a week can prolong your training program months.