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Old 07-05-2012, 09:21 PM
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Default Chihuahuas as certified therapy dogs?

I do know that Chihuahuas can be excellent little therapy dogs. Do any of you have certified therapy Chis?

I would love to bring Stella into hospitals or nursing homes. I think she would make people so happy.

So does a dog have to be "certified" in order to visit? And if so, what kinds of tests do we have to go through?

I know Stella needs to work on confidence, for sure... but are there other specific things I would need to work on? Like getting used to wheelchairs, etc?

Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:34 PM
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As soon as we can get Hope certified we plan for her to become a therapy dog.

She was evaluated and received a perfect recommendation.

First will come Canine Good Citizen certification. Hope will likely get hers in our home since she cannot eat treats others give their dogs at training facilities. Here are links to what is required:
AKC's Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program

Canine Good Citizen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Next, she will be registered with Delta Society. Here is their link:
Improving human health through Therapy, Service & Companion animals - Pet Partners

The group explained to me that even though you always see big dogs sitting by a bed side or a wheelchair that small dogs are also important. Some people need to HOLD a dog, not just pet a dog.

In terms of temperament, Hope is not a barker, has never met a stranger, is fine being held by anyone, is not overly excitable or jumpy and is not a bit skittish nor scared. She will kiss anyone of any size, gender or age.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:21 PM
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Do therapy dogs get paid? Or is out of charity? Or does it depends where and which hosp/facility she does therapy?
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:12 AM
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therapy dogs are not paid. Pure volunteer work. Zarita is a certified therapy dog. Not working right now. I am through a Chicago local goup, and the national group is Therapy Dogs Inc. I am looking into Delta, as they have all the libraries and hospitals 'wrapped up' so to speak. I have had the dog's certificates and gone through there volunteer course, but no one calls me!! Can't one group work with another? Evidently not. Too bad, their loss!
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesuschick View Post
As soon as we can get Hope certified we plan for her to become a therapy dog.

She was evaluated and received a perfect recommendation.

First will come Canine Good Citizen certification. Hope will likely get hers in our home since she cannot eat treats others give their dogs at training facilities. Here are links to what is required:
AKC's Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program

Canine Good Citizen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Next, she will be registered with Delta Society. Here is their link:
Improving human health through Therapy, Service & Companion animals - Pet Partners

The group explained to me that even though you always see big dogs sitting by a bed side or a wheelchair that small dogs are also important. Some people need to HOLD a dog, not just pet a dog.

In terms of temperament, Hope is not a barker, has never met a stranger, is fine being held by anyone, is not overly excitable or jumpy and is not a bit skittish nor scared. She will kiss anyone of any size, gender or age.
Thanks for all the info!! So the dog would need a CGC first and foremost? According to the Wiki list, you need 100% to pass. Are they generally lenient? Like for instance, if your dog kind of blows it when asked to stay, is it an automatic fail or do they let you try again?

we would definitely have several things to work on...

Once the dog has the CGC, do you need to take another test to register with Delta Society?

The thing with my girl is that she is a bit shy. She's gotten loads better, but she still does the "crawl" towards new people. She's a bit nervous with meeting new dogs, too. Hopefully, this is something we can overcome.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susan davis View Post
therapy dogs are not paid. Pure volunteer work. Zarita is a certified therapy dog. Not working right now. I am through a Chicago local goup, and the national group is Therapy Dogs Inc. I am looking into Delta, as they have all the libraries and hospitals 'wrapped up' so to speak. I have had the dog's certificates and gone through there volunteer course, but no one calls me!! Can't one group work with another? Evidently not. Too bad, their loss!
That is a shame! Oh well, I'm sure Therapy Dogs Inc is still a great organization to be a part of. Delta is missing out!
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:35 AM
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Our therapy dogs here don't require the AKC GCC designation.

I live in Canada however.
Our therapy dogs are handled via a private entity on a volunteer basis.
One of my dogs has gone through the process, it's very easy for the dogs here, but the human counterparts have to pass a security clearance because you have access to people in vulnerable situations. If you have any sort of criminal history you will absolutely be denied.

It took us about 6 weeks to complete all that.
We are just waiting on an assignment
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:16 PM
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My chihuahua is my medical service dog and I think that chis would make great therapy dogs as well.
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