Posted on Feb 12, 2022
SPC Erich Guenther
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I am curious among the RP Community if anyone has volunteered their puppy for Therapy Dog training? How long does that take? Costs? What is the expected give back for Therapy missions for owner and dog? Have a 6 month male Golden Retriever that is both highly intelligent and very empathetic (natural instinct for picking up on moods via human facial, body language and tone of voice). So I think I have the right dog. Just curious on the commitment.
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MSgt Electrical Power Production
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SPC Erich Guenther
SPC Erich Guenther
8 mo
Nah he is a keeper, I could not donate him at this point. Therapy dogs are retained by owner but owner and dog both are trained to take them into Vet homes and hospitals to provide comfort. He has almost the intelligence of a small kid. I housebroke him in 2 weeks flat without having to yell at him or do anything draconian. He has figured out already how to unlock the front door using his mouth on the dead bolt, he can open the storm door but thankfully has not figure out the more complex lever on the heavy front door. His ability to read human body language and facial expressions is just amazing. The second time I told him to go get his ball.........he knew exactly what I meant and went searching for his ball and found it and retrieved it.......so like I said very amazing intelligence. Would be perfect for a therapy dog I think.
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Lt Col Charlie Brown
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I don't have one; I have had the opportunity to work with others.
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-train-a-therapy-dog/
From the article: Therapy dogs must have attained adulthood, with many organizations not allowing puppies under a year old. Additionally, many organizations require dogs to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen(CGC) test for obedience, although others require a therapy-specific test in place of the CGC. Keehn, who both trains and evaluates dogs for CGC as well as therapy certification, affirms that these elements are extremely important for when any therapy dog is in public. A dog who can’t “leave it” on cue or interact with children in a friendly manner will not succeed.

Other than that, age and breed don’t really matter. Keehn has tested dogs as little as a four-pound Yorkshire Terrier and as old as 13-year-old Beagle – both of whom passed their CGC with flying colors. To avoid conflicts of interest, Keehn will only test teams for whom she’s played no role in training. Aside from basic obedience, the dog must possess a naturally social temperament, not be too young or bouncy, and must want the job.
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SPC Erich Guenther
SPC Erich Guenther
8 mo
Thanks my dog is pure bred and AKC Registered, has all vaccinations and very amazing temperment, I am sure he will get in, though I agree. For Goldens they recommend they get spayed/neutered no earlier than 11 months, hence I suspect the 1 year age limitation. He will be a year this summer so I will look into this more. He is also pretty tiny still only 60 of his expected 90 lbs or more. A fully grown Male Golden looks like a T-REX standing next to him still even at 6-7 months old. So we'll see.
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SPC Erich Guenther
SPC Erich Guenther
8 mo
Also, thanks for the info.
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SSgt Christophe Murphy
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If you are looking for points of contact I would reach out to your local humane society or local hospital for some points of contact. They should be able to assist with pointing you in the direction with getting the info you want. Ultimately the time and cost depends on the agency or org that is doing it. That info depends and varies on the people doing it.
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SPC Erich Guenther
SPC Erich Guenther
8 mo
Thank you
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