Because there are relatively few treatment dogs, every time they hear dog owners talk about treatment dogs, they feel that treatment dogs are very powerful dogs. In fact, the treatment dog is not as hard as a guide dog, but a lot worse, but it is also a very respected service dog.
What is a treatment dog?
Treatment dogs are different from service dogs and emotional support animals. Before being adopted by people in need, service dogs must receive strict education from an early age and learn to execute complex instructions. Emotional support dogs do not require special training, but patients must obtain medical certification. The treatment dogs are completely different from the two. The treatment dogs are usually with the owner who trained them, and the owner is in a group. After training and certification, the owner and the dog should go to nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other institutions together for short-term treatment.
Young, well-socialized, and healthy-friendly dogs are the best candidates to become treatment dogs. After successfully completing the behavior course, the owner can apply for registration with the treatment dog organization, complete the required number of visits, and then obtain the official treatment dog title.
According to the American Kennel Club:
Therapeutic dog candidates should be naturally calm and friendly to strangers. They also need to receive good basic obedience training and be able to easily adapt to noise, place, smell, and facilities. The treatment dog organization also requires treatment dogs to keep healthy, undergo regular health checks, and carefully groom, clean and brush their teeth before treatment. Dogs of any breed can be treated as pets. But the dog must like being with people very much, and will feel happy because of it. It also needs to be able to stay relaxed and not be frightened by the appearance of strangers.
Some dogs like to jump up and welcome their owners, but because the treatment dog sometimes needs to accompany the fragile elderly, it can’t be a dog that can pounce on people. This requirement of nature, on the one hand, is for people in need to get better help, on the other hand, it is also for the love of dogs. If dogs are not instinctively willing to accompany others, then this process will also be difficult for them.
Dog certification after treatment
Passing AKC’s standard treatment dog certification requires 50 treatments, as long as each visit is carefully recorded, including the signature of the employee from each visiting agency. Your certification body can provide a variety of courses to help dogs develop treatment skills, and regular treatment visits will help dogs apply these skills. Usually, patients just need a pet to sit peacefully with them and provide support.
With the title of AKC treatment dog, the dog may be more popular and may be invited to join a local treatment dog team. If the owner wants a higher-level title, he can continue to challenge: advanced (100 treatments), excellent (200 treatments) or outstanding (400 treatments). However, these are completely optional and will not affect the pet’s chances of practicing treatment.
Where will the treatment dog work?
Medical facilities are popular places for treatment dogs. Nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and clinics are places where treatment dogs go back. Educational programs often invite therapy dogs. Before a school shooting in the United States, dozens of therapy dogs were stationed in schools in the following year to provide psychological treatment to students.
Some airports now also treat dogs to help some pedestrians on the road relax. From this point of view, in fact, treatment dogs have greater requirements for the natural character of dogs, and they need to really like to get along with people. They don’t need to give everything to the master like a guide dog, but just get along with others when they are happy.