Becoming a certified therapy dog team requires a great deal of teamwork. Both ends of the lead must work in sync to make successful visits in healthcare facilities or educational environments.
Becoming a certified therapy dog team requires more than a sweet, friendly dog that loves people and a handler who drives his/her dog to a visiting site. The dog must be at ease greeting strangers and entering new places. And, the handler, in turn, must serve as a skilled guide, providing signals to the dog who relies on his teammate to lead the way.
Before beginning therapy dog work, the owner must access his/her dog’s temperament. All dogs are wonderful, but not all dogs make good therapy dogs. You know your dog better than anyone. A shy dog that withdraws when a stranger approaches, won’t be interested in interacting with people in a healthcare or educational setting. An overly exuberant dog may have too much energy to work in a controlled setting. There are many things we can enjoying doing with our dogs as a team. It’s important to select an activity that fits both members of the team.
If therapy dog work is a good fit for you and your dog, sign up for one of our therapy dog training classes where the two of you will learn the necessary skills and techniques to work in sync and become a certified therapy dog team. Our Bright Spot Therapy Dog training classes are kept small to give plenty of time and attention to each team as skills and techniques are demonstrated and practiced in a relaxed, supportive, interactive environment. The class pictured above just completed our June two-session training course. They are well-prepared to have their on-site evaluation at a nursing home that tests a dog’s obedience skills and the team’s ability to interact in sync with the residents. Our next class will begin in September. Check out details on our website and sign up asap to reserve your spot. If it’s the right fit for you, becoming a certified therapy dog team is a very special activity. One that will bring you and your dog a feeling of great joy as you witness the power of the human-canine bond helping people in need.