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Therapy Dog Training

  • Tuesday, February 06, 2024 9:31 AM
    Message # 13311301

    Hello! For those of you that have a Therapy Dog Program and a Pediatric Unit or Children's Hospital, do you require any additional training for the Therapy Dogs? For example, if you onboard a new volunteer with a certified therapy dog, do you require that the dog go through some kind of testing on the children's unit or do you just onboard them assuming that they are appropriate for your program because they are certified? If you have additional training, I would appreciate it if you could share that training with me. Thanks, Nancy

  • Tuesday, February 06, 2024 11:28 AM
    Reply # 13311389 on 13311301

    We don't have a pediatric unit and we are not a children's hospital. However, I have a pet therapy program. I meet the dogs when the handler comes for orientation with me, but I do not test them in addition to the requirements of the agency who certifies them.

  • Tuesday, February 06, 2024 3:56 PM
    Reply # 13311537 on 13311301
    Sara Camic (Administrator)

    After years of research, and attempting to develop an internal training program, we switched to ONLY accepting Pet Partners for therapy dogs. We were finding other therapy dog programs to be very hit-or-miss when it came to standards. We are confident in the PP model, so we no longer feel necessary to have another "sign off" on the team. 

  • Wednesday, February 07, 2024 8:57 AM
    Reply # 13311800 on 13311301
    Amanda Landes (Administrator)

    Therapy dog teams at my medical center must visit in adult areas for a few months before they are eligible to visit in pediatrics. They receive an introduction to the area(s) from Child Life and are shadowed on their first visit before beginning to visit independently.

  • Wednesday, February 07, 2024 9:28 AM
    Reply # 13311817 on 13311301
    Julie Holmes (Administrator)

    We use TDI therapy dogs only.  We do limit the number of dogs that visit our pediatric unit.  This helps the dog and volunteer get "used" to the environment.  We always have Child Life or an employee with the dog and the owner during visits.  This is NOT because of the dog, it's because we don't want the volunteer to go into a restricted room unknowingly.  

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