well scout had her test for the therapy dog certification tonite.she passed so i am happy for that. but i am not sure if i were the tester i would have passed her. this 85 lb. goof ball decided tonite that she was going to be an anatolian for once. the tester made us sit in the middle of the room with scout on a sit stay and she walked up to us and said hi how are you blah blah blah and scout did fine, sniffed her and whatnot but was totally friendly. well then we stood in the middle of the room and scout was on a sit stay and the tester came up to us with a cane. now all of a sudden her brain cells clicked and she gave the tester such a stare. it was like the okay now you have a weapon should i still trust you stare. no motion from scout that she was going to do anything. the stare was enough. so the tester just came up and started talking to us as she had done previously and scout went back to her normal self. she had gone thru 6 weeks of not caring about anything tht came her way, never paid a mind to any canes or walkers or wheelchairs. but that strange woman with a cane just made her stop and think. she did everything else great except for the meet the other dog exercise. she just has to say hi and make friends with every dog she meets. well now on to more socialization at the shopping malls. she usually seeks out attention from strangers. maybe the cane threw her off? of all times to finally realize what she is..geesh.
Congratulations Scout, it is scarey to them when someone approaches them with the wheel chair or cane. Maye has the most problem with the beds in the nursing homes being wheeled around and the food carts. they do get used to all the sounds though. the other thing was the elevators. she goes right in now, but at first it was scarey to her. you will get so much enjoyment out of pet therapy. of course, the patients remember the pet more than you, which is good, you know that it is working. they do look forward to seeing the animals. Maye has been a therapy dog for 3 years now. I remember the test she did well with everything except other dogs approaching her. She is a cocker but thinks shes a great dane. We are still trying to bring her around to accepting other dogs, she was approached at one nursing home by two blue tick healers and they scared her to death, she was only 10mos old then, but boy do they remember. We're getting there, but it does take time. I was like you, and didn't think she would pass for that reason, but they said they are aloud to react to other pets, loud noises and canes, wheelchairs etc. as long as they don't freak. Have fun and good luck.
I have a TDI choc lab and believe me there is NOTHING better than visiting a nursing home for me or COLA...She has been going since she was six months...She has her US & Canadian CD as well but therapy work is her forte!
I am interested in therapy work for Faith. Her trainer said she was perfect for that kind of thing and actually approached me about it. She is about 6 1/2 months old now and very eager to learn. Tell me more!
Congrats! Yes, all dogs will be goof balls until the day of the test, or the day of the show, or whatever you're going or training to go to. OR they'll be real dogs until your day of the test. Congratzies, Scout! ---Allie the Chihuahua http://www.dogster.com/?41063 Wanna be pup pals?
thanks everyone for the grats. i am excited because i had wanted to do this even before i got scout but i didn't have a dog who would have been suited for it. arwen : your trainer may know of a class in your area that offers the certification course. in our class we had the dogs get used to all the equipment such as canes, wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers. they got used to being pet hard on the head and body, they needed to learn the leave it command so they wouldn't scoff up pills off the floor and get sick. they got comfortable being in close quarters with other dogs. accepting friendly strangers advances. alot of the things they learned coincide with the canine good citizen test with the addition of the equipment. one thing i was told by several people were that once you get started you need to keep it up because the people in the homes really get used to you coming and they really look forward to it so get disappointed if you don't show. also i was told it can be very emotional on you because you get to form relationships with the elderly and when they are gone it is hard on you and your dog. good luck !!!