Wednesday, August 28, 2013

F-Ing Mediacom and Considering Therapy Work

Hey, y'all! Today was suppose to be a review day, but since our POS Internet isn't working I can't do as planned since I'm stuck with the iPhone's 3G.

Mom's been seriously considering getting me tested to be a therapy dog. I'll turn it over to her now. 

Thanks, Boo. I am really, really interested in Nola becoming a therapy dog. Now that she's almost 3, she's finally fully mature and has calmed down (very slightly :p) a bit. She's turned into an incredible little girl, not that I'm biased or anything. 
I know a few of you have or had therapy dogs, and I need your advice and opinions. I don't know much about the ins and outs of therapy work, so any good sites or info would be great. Just what kinds of therapy work are there? I think Nola would do best in a nursing home setting, but I want to explore all my options. If y'all think she'd excel in a certain situation (roughly of course since you don't know her in real life), do share! Also, which organization is best?

In my total novice opinion, here's what I think Nola has going for her:

* She's well trained and listens pretty perfectly

* She has her Canine Good Citizen

* She has a solid temperament 

* She's friendly without being in your face and obnoxious 

* She's a good size (11lbs) to sit on people's laps

* She's used to and comfortable with rough handling 

* She enjoys having a job

* She thrives when she can work as a team with me

* She's very in-tune with moods and emotions, and when someone's feeling down she's calm, gentle and a great comfort

* She's a "people dog" as opposed to a "dog dog". Meaning she prefers people to other dogs. 

* She's not shy

* She works well with distractions

* She's healthy, UTD with her rabies, had her initial core vaccines, is heartworm and parasite free. 

What I think works against her:

* She is very, very handler focused. Very handler focused. 

* She doesn't really like other dogs. She's not aggressive, but she doesn't want anything to do with them and is scared of golden retriever sized dogs due to being charged several times. 

Lets hear your thoughts! Be honest. ;)

Dachshund Nola and Dachshund Mommy


  1. Since Nola Already has her CGC... just go to a local Nursing Home and Ask about their policy... You don't necessarily NEED to have the Actual Therapy Dog training... Except for Hospital visits. At least that is the way it is in OUR state. Frankie used to do a LOT of Nursing Home Visits... It was a good experience.
    All we had to do was fill out a Form and provide them with up to date Shot Record. THEN the Staff would assign us a day and time to arrive.. The First time they walked around WITH us just to observe Frankie and how he and the residents interacted with one another.

  2. I think considering how well she has done with her training and the list of attributes there, that she would make a good therapy dog. I think the most important thing is the fact that she is a people dog.
    Lynne x

  3. OUr local nursing home doesn't require anything except the shot records being up to date. The older folks just love little dogs or any pets visiting cos it brings back good memories for them. I think Nola would do just great.
    stella rose

  4. I think that Nola would be a great therapy dog! My therapy dog goes to a nursing home. We went with a local therapy dog program at the university so we are limited to only locations in our area that the university's insurance will cover. We have to have our vet sign a form that states that our dog has a good temperament that would be great for therapy dog work and that they are up to date on shots. We were not required to have any formal training - just that our dog would listen to us and had obedience training. First visit was supervised to make sure that we were a good fit and to give us a tour and learn the rules.

    There are programs like TDI (pretty sure they require that the dogs have a CGC) that aren't restricted to the state or location.

    I'm not sure that Nola would be allowed to sit on people's laps - our organization doesn't allow it. Because my dog is small (just a little bit bigger than Nola), I will hold her up so that the residents can pet her. One thing that I learned through our initial visit is to listen to your dog and make sure to put your dog's needs first. If your dog doesn't like visiting a nursing home then try another place to visit - like a hospital. And if for some reason they don't feel comfortable one day with a long visit, just cut it short.

    Sorry this is so long :) let me know if you have any questions. It's amazing how much happier the residents are with a therapy dog visit!

  5. Well, SHE says we're good therapy for HER, but we don't have those good qualities you mention. So we can't help. But we think being a real therapy dog is a wonderful job.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  6. Ammo received his therapy dog certification with TDI (Therapy Dogs International) last year. We took the test in conjunction with the CGC. The TDI test is much more involved though, with the hardest task being to leave a pile of cookies on the floor on command (and not eat them). We took classes at our local dog training center beforehand - which I highly recommend if you plan to take the test. You can see ammo's test here:

    Before testing Ammo was going to nursing homes with me - mostly to visit my own grandmother. But if you plan to make routine visits I would definitely get certified because the major benefit is that you are covered under their insurance should something happen when you are performing a scheduled visit. There are rules though to visiting under TDI, like no giving your dog treats allowed during visits, and you have to have special id on your dog, and their are yearly fees involved too.

    I would suggest looking for some therapy dog training classes and start there - see how Nola does, and then decide if you want to take the test or not. Either way the classes are great at introducing your dogs to new things (wheelchairs, kids, loud noises, etc). I would take the class with any dog even if I didn't plan to take the test!

    Good Luck!
    Kyley and Ammo the Dachshund

    P.S. your blog won't let me post a comment with just a name/email again - so hopefully this will work!!

  7. I don't have experience with the therapy dog world, although I do know that a therapy dog needs to be pretty "bomb-proof" (i.e., not afraid of the million odd things that she might see or that might happen). For that reason, Shyla will probably never be able to do therapy work but Nola might be able to! She certainly sounds perfect for it!

  8. I don't have experience with the therapy dog world, although I do know that a therapy dog needs to be pretty "bomb-proof" (i.e., not afraid of the million odd things that she might see or that might happen). For that reason, Shyla will probably never be able to do therapy work but Nola might be able to! She certainly sounds perfect for it!

  9. Howdy Nola, we don't know any Therapy Dogs butt you sure sound like it would be grreat for you. The suggestions about the retirement homes sound really good. Good luck sweetie pie. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  10. I think Nola would do wonderfully as a therapy dog. I had Beamer evaluated last year to become a therapy dog and he passed, but he was only 1 at the time, so I decided to hold out until he's older and more socialized.

    They're very thorough with their evaluation. If you're still interested by the time I get home from my road trip, I can email you the process we went through.

    Good luck!!


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