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  #11  
Old 11-07-2006, 05:32 PM
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Testing can be very subjective and vary between organizations. I don't know who you tested with, but you always have the option of getting tested by a different group, like Therapy Dogs International (TDI). It sounded to me that your dog did very well, albeit a little immature. I have never heard of not allowing your dog to approach a patient. That's exactly what we want them to do, on command. My collies are always encouraged to walk up to a patient. Maybe your tester wasn't quite sure of his stability if he was to do that.

Check out my site below for links to the national organizations and you might find a testor in your area. TDI doesn't test in a facility. One important thing for you to do is to realistically evaluate your dog's strengths and weaknesses to determine the best setting for visits.

Anyway, I think you should be VERY proud of your dog. Whenever there is a test involved, it's always subject to an evaluator's interpretation. Keep at it, keep socializing your dog, and continue to always train. The more you train and bond, the better a therapy dog your boy will be.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2006, 05:38 PM
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I agree with Tucker, it's their loss.

I also agree about seeing if you could got to a different program or ask about a different situation. When we do therapy work, the calm dogs got to nursing homes, mental hospitals, and regular hospitals, and the more energetic dogs go to the childrens camps that we do. For the children's camps (they have a different one every month, each dealing with something different, everything from cancer, to loss of a parent, to spina bifida) we take the agility equipment, frisbees, etc. which the kids absolutely LOVE!
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2006, 05:50 PM
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I think a congratulations is in order. You did a great job with your dog.

I do believe these sort of tests are subjective. Perhaps another tester will like your breed of dog.

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  #14  
Old 11-07-2006, 05:52 PM
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Well he got his CGC - that's a great accomplishment. Good job!
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2006, 07:01 PM
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Kidsanddogs - Actually this was through TDI.

I guess her problem with Dakota approaching was the fact that I didn't tell him to. He just did when the people called him over. I thought that was a good thing, though. He didn't strain or anything to get to them, he just broke his position at my side and went to whoever was calling him.

I have a hard time believing that our evaluator would be prejudiced against the breed. She founded the program for the hospital here and is very knowledgable about procedure. . . Perhaps she didn't want him just because he's young and active. He's not out of control by any means, but he isn't a lazy, senior dog either (most of the dogs in the program are over 8) She'd like to re-test him and so would I, but if they want to make him into a sedentary, unresponsive dog that will sit still just so patients can feel soft fur and have no other interaction with the dog . . . it's not for him. He wants eye contact, he wants to rest his head in their laps, he wants to give a single kiss, etc.
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  #16  
Old 11-07-2006, 07:09 PM
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RD what you said that Dokato wants to do is IMO what a Therapy Dog is!
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  #17  
Old 11-07-2006, 08:15 PM
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Ohhhh that's lovely! I think therapy dogs are a wonderful, wonderful idea. We would love the babies to be involved in something like that - we both work in medicine, and Max works in Neurosurgery, where there are many stroke patients and similar who have dogs but can never see them anymore because they are institutionalised.

Max arranged to have one of his patients (brain cancer, not stroke) have their dog brought in to visit. The patient was healthier and more alert for DAYS after his dog's visit than he had been for weeks before that. There is no doubt that it is beneficial, it works, it should be used wherever possible. And cats, too - make wonderful therapy animals, especially for children and the elderly.

I am so thrilled that you are getting Dakota involved in this, even if `technically' there wasn't a pass. Jeesh! The peeps on this site are just so darn lovely!
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  #18  
Old 11-07-2006, 08:29 PM
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Congrats on the CGC anyway...and you will get the TDI before too long! But in the meantime, the two of you should bask in the happiness you are bringing to people.
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  #19  
Old 11-07-2006, 08:59 PM
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RD! You should be proud. He did very well. On that one thing, you can teach him to only go forward with your "OK" even if someone calls him. That way you'll have complete control. You can practice in case that same person tests next time or another one who has a thing about that. All in all, he sounds like he'll make a fine therapy dog. And what a good experience! You guys are doing a really neat thing!
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  #20  
Old 11-07-2006, 10:13 PM
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I NEVER had to keep any of my TDI dogs at a heel !! Yes, they were when I walked into a room where I always asked if they'd like to visit with my dog . Once the hand went out or they'd nod ... they'd have free leash to visit . Of course no dog was allowed to climg on them .... except many wanted Bubba on their beds. Another good place to visit is a Youth Correction Home . Had many successful visits in the past . Sure sofened a lot of hard hearts ! Many had only owned chained out " mean " dogs. These were group visits and I'd always bring brushed and combs. You could really see a change of attitude after group grooming !! I think these were my personnally saddest visits . So many lost souls because of bad parenting .
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