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Discussion Starter #1
So I got my nerve up and I called up a local assisted living center (about 2 miles from my house). I was so nervous, lol I know that sounds silly but since it's my first time doing therapy dog work I just want to make sure i do everything right. This is how our conversation went,

"Hello ****** assisted living center, how may I help you."

"HI my name is Erin Fleming, and I was wondering if you would like a visit from a Therapy Dog some time ether this week or next week?"

"Hold on a second..........(I can hear her in the background saying "do we want a therapy dog visit? yes? ok.) When would you like to come over?"

"I can come anytime this week or next"

"when would be good for you?"

"tomorrow would be fine I guess"

"OK we'll see you tomorrow at around 3:00pm?"

"sure! she's a small to medium breed so she'll be a good fit for the seniors"
*smacks self, such a stupid comment*

"many of the seniors here love dogs so it'll be fine"

"ok, bye"

"bye"

I hang up the phone and think "Gah! I forgot to mention what organization I was a member of" Oh well I guess I'll tell them tomorrow.

I groomed Kechara up good, I'm leaving her therapy dogs collar and bandanna on her tonight so she gets used to the feel, I don't want her scratching at her neck the whole time tomorrow.
 

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Good luck :)

Web and I have been visiting senior centers for a few months...it's incredible to see the dogs once they really "get it" and understand their role.
 

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Awesome. I'm still working on training Zero to hopefully be a therapy dog. We're having mixed results. All the trainers fault I know.

Don't want to hijack your thread, but how did you go about training your dog on how to greet other dogs and how to greet people? Those are the two areas we really, really struggle with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
hulkamaniac~

Well of course all training starts from the beginning so that's where I'll start..

When Kechara was a puppy she was a bit weary of strangers, if someone even looked at her the wrong way she would growl at them and back away. I got her over this by holding her muzzle and collar and inviting lots of different people to pet her, kind of force her to accept love and affections from stangers lol. and I also did puppy socialization classes with her (much to her own horror, she hated the "pass the puppy") It worked as good as I could have hoped for.

Kechara is now very aloof, and if she doesn't know someone she doesn't care about them, which I think makes for a good senior citizen therapy dog because she doesn't try (and never has) to jump on people and crawl in their laps, she is very calm and reserved with strangers.

Now as far as actual training goes. I have been training Kechara in obedience since the age of 1 year and she has her AKC CD title and she is trained up to the "Open" level. I didn't have to take any special classes for therapy work, her AKC obedience work was more than required to pass the therapy dog test.

I hope I answered your question
 

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All the best! I'm sure it'll be great. Senior citizens are Honey's favourite patients to visit, haha... because they just coo over her and pet her the whole time. :D
 

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hulkamaniac~

Well of course all training starts from the beginning so that's where I'll start..

When Kechara was a puppy she was a bit weary of strangers, if someone even looked at her the wrong way she would growl at them and back away. I got her over this by holding her muzzle and collar and inviting lots of different people to pet her, kind of force her to accept love and affections from stangers lol. and I also did puppy socialization classes with her (much to her own horror, she hated the "pass the puppy") It worked as good as I could have hoped for.

Kechara is now very aloof, and if she doesn't know someone she doesn't care about them, which I think makes for a good senior citizen therapy dog because she doesn't try (and never has) to jump on people and crawl in their laps, she is very calm and reserved with strangers.

Now as far as actual training goes. I have been training Kechara in obedience since the age of 1 year and she has her AKC CD title and she is trained up to the "Open" level. I didn't have to take any special classes for therapy work, her AKC obedience work was more than required to pass the therapy dog test.

I hope I answered your question
You did. It sounds like her temperament leaves her very inclined to therapy work.
 

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That's an awesome thing to do =]
I would always take Tank into my Nana's nursing home. Alot of the people really liked him. He's fairly big and scary looking to some people, so I was kind of surprised at how much they enjoyed him!
 

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Don't want to hijack your thread, but how did you go about training your dog on how to greet other dogs and how to greet people? Those are the two areas we really, really struggle with.
How does Zero react to strange dogs and people?
 

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I've taken Bailey to a few retirement homes, my mom works in physical therapy. We got to sit in on a few group therapy exercises and they all really enjoyed having Bailey around. She's great with people, not so great with other dogs yet :rolleyes: I think a lot of dogs can really sense when they need to be extra gentle.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll both do great!
 

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Have fun!! Scooby just LOVES his visits to the nursing homes. I swear I could just let him loose when we are in the parking lot and he would get himself in and start visiting himself!!
 

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Which organization did you get your Therapy Dog certification from? It's way too early for Dilly-Dally (she's very gentle, but still acts too much like a pup, particularly around children), but it's something I'd like to try eventually.

A friend of mine was telling me about how at her hospital, one of the therapy dogs in the children's wing was a Bernese Mountain Dog that pulled the kids around in a cart. I can't help but think of how unbelievably awesome that must have been - for both the dog and the kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Well we just came back from our visit and Kechara was a hit with most of the people there.

The one thing I felt was oddwas when I was walking up to the door to go inside the building one of the nurses greeted us and the first thing she said to us was "Dose she bite?"

"OF COURSE NOT!" (was what I was thinking in my head) I can't beleive she thought I would bring a HA dog to do therapy work. Her comment must have just been a conditioned reaction, and she probably didn't think much about what she had said.

Well any way we have requests to go back. One of the old ladies even recognized Kechara as an aussie.

Which organization did you get your Therapy Dog certification from? It's way too early for Dilly-Dally (she's very gentle, but still acts too much like a pup, particularly around children), but it's something I'd like to try eventually.

A friend of mine was telling me about how at her hospital, one of the therapy dogs in the children's wing was a Bernese Mountain Dog that pulled the kids around in a cart. I can't help but think of how unbelievably awesome that must have been - for both the dog and the kids.
Therapy Dogs International Inc.

TDI doesn't allow dogs to do any manual labor such as pulling things
 

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That's great! :) I'm assuming you both enjoyed the visit? How long were you there for?

When my dog and I go on our visits, we go with a group, not by our selves, but people ask all the time if the dogs bite and the first time i heard someone ask that I thought the same thing you did, why on earth would i bring a dog that bites to visit people at the hospital :rolleyes:
 

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Glad to hear it went so well Erin. I understand your nerves but lets face it, dogs know what to do. :) I am sure the people really loved her. The question "does she bite?" cracks me up. I hear that all the time. It makes me laugh when we are going somewhere with hundreds or even thousands of people and someone says that. I am always tempted to say, "yeah, I love it when my dog goes nuts on someone" The good in me won't allow it though. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's great! :) I'm assuming you both enjoyed the visit? How long were you there for?

When my dog and I go on our visits, we go with a group, not by our selves, but people ask all the time if the dogs bite and the first time i heard someone ask that I thought the same thing you did, why on earth would i bring a dog that bites to visit people at the hospital :rolleyes:


We were there for a half an hour. I don't know any other TDI people around the area that I could go with.
 

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We were there for a half an hour. I don't know any other TDI people around the area that I could go with.
oh the only reason we go with a group is because my dog and i individually aren't certified, but the group is certified and insured. My dog had to be tested to be accepted into the organization, but we wouldn't be allowed to go by ourselves unless i additionally got him certified with TDI or something similar.
 

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We were there for a half an hour. I don't know any other TDI people around the area that I could go with.
You know me. :D
One of these days we should go together. You would laugh at how ill mannered my boy can be. he he
I best get him back into practice since he has a few possible dates coming up. We have not been doing anything lately.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
well any day you wana go somewhere Inga just let me know, I'm free most days during the summer
 

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Good luck.

I took my CH into the nursing homes and he and the people just LOVED it. The old people loved him to death, even tho he didn't look like a collie (he was a tri smooth). He did his tricks and listened to their rememberings of better days. LOL
 
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