Therapy Dog Prep Class
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All dogs, purebred and mixed breeds are welcome!
Therapy Dog Test
~ THERAPY DOG PREP
Location: In Yorba Linda.
Next date: (Will coincide with our next scheduled TDI Test date.)
Cost: $25. Sign up early! Class size is limited to 8 handler / dog teams!
Instructor: Caroline Haldeman. This
class is designed to prepare human/dog teams for the TDI test. (Once certified, k9 teams can enjoy visiting hospitals,
senior living facilities, and other facilities where handicapped,
ill, or disadvantaged people reside for the purpose of providing dog
assisted therapy.) The class will focus on the correct handling of the
dog in therapy situations and the obedience skills required to pass
the Therapy Dog International (TDI) test. Prerequisite: Handlers must
be at least 14 years old. Owner must provide proof of current
vaccinations. You must sign up for this
class on our and the class must be paid for in advance to
reserve a spot. All dogs attending must be able to
at least pass our Basic Obedience test. Please note: It is highly recommended that you attend at least 4 or more of our Intermediate Obedience classes to help prepare you and your dog for therapy work. Following the last class, a TDI
therapy dog test will be scheduled and administered for those teams that would like
to test the following week. A separate nominal fee will be charged by the TDI evaluator
if a team elects to be tested. Dogs must be at least 1 year old to test.
Bring the dog to the first class! You may also pay for this
class on-line. Sign up now to reserve your spot and be notified of
the next class date. Contact Caroline at 714-296-9714 or via e-mail at
for more class details.
The purpose of the Therapy Dog is to bring happiness and cheer to people who
need something to hold and love. Pet visits often trigger memories of animals
they used to own. They increase emotional well being, promote healing, and
improve the quality of life for the people being visited and the staff that
cares for these people. Dogs have been effective in reaching people and children
who have become socially withdrawn or feel alone in their current struggles. The
regular visits also give patients and residents something to look forward to.
To receive a Therapy Dog Certification for your dog, please review the following
test items that you as a handler and your dog will be responsible for before
Cost: $10. / $20. if you also need the CGC (AKC Canine Good Citizen)
certification on your dog. (If your dog hasnít been CGC certified, it is
mandatory to test for this as well.)
Dog must be at least one year old at the time of test/certification
Flat collars only (buckle or clip snaps in nylon or leather.)
NO remote collars, choke chains, fur savors, prong / pinch collars, haltis, or
harnesses can be used during the test
Proof of current vaccinations, rabies certificate, and a city dog license
Dog comb or brush
20' - 30' long line, 5' - 6' leash, and a 2' traffic lead
Helpful hint: Walk or exercise your dog before the test (at least 1/2 an
hour before the test.)
Items on the test include:
Test Item 1: Initial Meeting - The dog is seated at the handler's left
side. The evaluator approaches the dog and handler and stands facing the team
from a distance of about 4 feet. The evaluator approaches and enthusiastically
greets and touches (handshake, pat on the arm, etc) the handler. The evaluator
asks the dog's name, loudly repeats the dog's name, and then circles the dog and
handler. The evaluator inspects the dog, petting the dog and touches ears,
mouth, paws and tail. The evaluator may hug the dog.
Note: This portion of the test is the ideal time for the evaluator to
examine the dog for cleanliness, grooming, health, parasites and proper weight.
The evaluator should nicely and diplomatically point out potential health
problems, excessive weight, and other issues and make helpful suggestions.
Test Item 2: Cane/Awkward Stranger - The dog is seated at the handler's
side, the evaluator approaches with the cane moving erratically with hunched
posture, while speaking in an odd voice. The evaluator pats the dog on the head
and body and bumps the dog gently with the cane.
Test Item 3: Socialization - Groups of people (2-5) stand in a gathering.
If possible dogs (1-2) are present with the group of people. Medical equipment
(wheelchair, walker, cane and crutches) is present during this test. The dog and
handler walk together with a loose lead threading through the group of people.
The dog may be on either side of the handler. The group of people mill around
and quietly talk to one another. Creating their own heeling pattern, the dog and
handler make right, about and left turns while meandering through the gathering
of people. The dog and handler wander casually through the crowd three times.
Test Item 4: Food Refusal - The dog is seated next to the handler facing
the evaluator. The evaluator drops a piece of food on the floor. If possible
dogs (1-2) are present with the group of people. The evaluator instructs the
handler to walk past the food with the dog at the handler's side. The handler
and dog then turn and while walking back, pick up the piece of food.
Test Item 5: Walker - While the dog is seated at the handler's side, the
evaluator approaches noisily with the walker. The evaluator pats the dog on the
head and body and bumps the dog gently with the walker.
Test Item 6: Training - The handler positions the dog to the left and
faces the evaluator. This test is performed with the use of a 20' long line. The
handler replaces the leash with the long line and drops the long line to the
Sit: The evaluator asks the handler to sit their dog. The handler may
give more than one command and coax the dog into position. The handler must not
force the dog down into a sit with their hand.
Down: The evaluator asks the handler (lie) down their dog. The handler
gives the dog the command to down. The handler may use more than one command.
The handler must not force the dog into position with their hand.
Stay: The evaluator asks the handler to tell the dog to stay (from either
a sit or a down - handler preference). The handler gives the dog the command to
stay, walks to the end of the long line and waits for the signal to return. The
handler returns to the dog. The dog should remain in place while the handler
returns to the dog at a normal pace. The handler may tell the dog to stay more
than once and if necessary, back away from the dog telling the dog to stay
repeatedly. The handler may take a fair period of time, give the dog more than
one command to stay and reposition the dog a few times, if they break the stay.
Come: The evaluator asks the handler to tell the dog to stay (from either
a sit or a down - handler preference), walk out to the long line and after a
signal from the evaluator, call their dog. The handler gives the dog the command
to stay, walks to the long line, turns and after the signal, calls the dog to
come. The handler may use more than one command.
Test Item 7: Canine to Canine Interaction - Two handlers and their dogs
approach each other from a distance of about 15 feet, stop speak to each other,
turn and line up facing the same direction and walk forward for about 10 feet.
Test Item 8: Crutches - While the dog is seated at the handler's side,
the evaluator approaches with the crutches, as if disabled. The evaluator pats
the dog roughly on the head and body and bumps the dog gently with a crutch.
Test Item 9: Human to Canine Interaction: Stability - A group of people
(2-5) stand in a gathering. If possible dogs (1-2) are present with the group of
people. Medical equipment is not present during this portion of the test. The
handler and dog team is exposed to the following DIVersions: The dog and handler
walk together with a loose lead threading through the group of people. The dog
may be on either side of the handler. A metal bowl is dropped behind the dog and
handler. People are loudly laughing, talking and slapping each other on the
back. One of the evaluators runs. An evaluator shouts loudly at another
evaluator simulating an argument. An umbrella is opened and closed.
Test Item 10: Working with other Therapy Dogs - An evaluator/test dog
team approaches the handler and dog. The handler and dog are positioned with the
dog seated at the handler's side. The evaluator/test dog positions themselves
the same way, but facing the handler and dog situated about 5 feet apart. The
two teams hold this position for 10 seconds. The handler/dog team holds their
position and the evaluator/test dog team swing around so they line up along side
the team being tested (as if doing long sits). The teams hold this position for
Test Item 11: Wheelchair - The handler and dog approaches the wheelchair
from a distance of about 5 feet. The handler leads the dog up to the wheelchair
and encourages the dog to interact with the evaluator. The evaluator gently pets
the dog and bumps the dog with the wheelchair.