More About Therapy Dogs
Therapy dogs are personal pets which meet certain requirements of good manners and good health, and pass testing and evaluations:
Therapy dogs must –
- Be at least one year of age
- Be good around other dogs
- Listen to their handlers
- Allow strangers to touch them all over
- Not jump on people when interacting
- Walk on a leash without pulling
- Not mind strange noises and smells
- Be calm for petting
- Not be afraid of people walking unsteadily
- Be current on all vaccines required by the local laws
- Have a negative fecal test every 12 months
- Be clean and well groomed
Any dog of any breed or mix of breeds with these qualifications is a good candidate to be a therapy dog. The membership process involves the handler/dog team passing the handling portion of the test followed by 3 successful supervised visits in the field. At this point, the handler sends in the membership packet with appropriate fees to the office where upon TDInc. has sole authority in accepting the team for membership into the organization. Upon acceptance, the newly registered team receives a membership card, a certificate and a heart shaped tag for the dog's collar, to be worn when representing TDInc. The team may only begin visiting after receiving this packet.
Therapy dogs are not considered assistance dogs and do not have the legal access rights that assistance dogs have. A TDInc. member who misrepresents his/her registered therapy dog as an assistance dog violates the TDInc. Rules and Regulations and places his/her membership and the integrity of the organization at risk.
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