Over the Rainbow Dogs offers FREE therapy dog training designed to prepare you and your dog for the Therapy Dogs International Test. The FREE class is offered once a year. Several therapy dog classes are offered annually at various locations. Classes are six weeks long. At the end of the class you and your dog have the opportunity to take the Therapy Dogs International test. The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen test is a part of the therapy dog test.
Dogs must be at least one year old to take the class. Deaf dogs, dogs that have bitten a human being, and dogs registered with another therapy dog organization cannot be tested for therapy dog work with Therapy Dogs International.
All dog must be tested on a buckle collar or harness and be on leash at all times. Treats may not be used during testing. Your dog does not need to take a class to be tested for therapy dog work.
During the therapy dog class your dog will have the opportunity to learn to be comfortable around people using medical equipment including wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches. Your dog will also learn to leave food and other objects alone on command.
The Therapy Dogs International test incorporates the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen test along with additional elements including testing your dog’s ability to leave food on the floor alone on command, your dog’ willingness to say hello and be petted, your dog’s reaction to people using medical equipment and to people with infirmities, and your dog’s reaction to children on the premises. Your dog will not be in direct contact with the children. The evaluator will observe your dog’s reaction to children from a safe distance. For more information about the therapy dog test visit the Therapy Dogs International Web site.
Therapy dogs are actively working dogs. Passing the therapy dog test does not earn a title. Therapy Dogs International currently offers four titles for actively working therapy dogs. Visits must be documented in order to earn titles. The first title, TDIA (Therapy Dogs International Active) is earned after completion of 50 documented visits. Other titles that can be earned are TDIAOV, TDIRVA, and TDIEVA. Therapy Dogs International also has programs for dogs reading to children.
Please contact Over the Rainbow Dogs for more information about therapy dog testing and training.
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