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Discussion Starter #1
I know there are a few of you out there that take your dogs to places as therapy dogs.

Abbey is super friendly and will let anyone pet her. She is still quite hyper, so this is definitely something that would need to be done when she calms down and is a little more tired. I'll also need to work with her on her jumping and licking, but she is doing a lot better with both of those as of late.

Anyways, I know that there are a couple of different ways to get her certified and I know of a couple organizations around here that I can contact to find somewhere to visit. My grandpa is in assisted living and I would love to be able to take her there to meet all of the people there.

So for those of you who have done it, how did you go about getting your dog(s) certified? How old was s/he when you did it? How often to you go? Which facilities do you visit?

TIA! I'm not 100% sure when or if we'll end up doing it, but I think it's great for everyone involved. :)
 

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I certified Wesley after his obed and conf show careers were over. So he was probably 7 years old or so...

The test itself was a snap, especially for a dog/handler that had already earned a CD. I'd think a CGC would put anyone within striking distance.

We do a program called READ (Reading Education Assistance Dogs), where Wes and I go to our local library and kids read to us for 15-minute sessions for a full hour. He likes it. The kids like it. I like it. Works well all 'round.
 

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Dogs can take the TDI (Therapy Dog International) classes before 1 year of age, but they cannot test until one year or older...www.tdi-dog.org will give you information on what to expect from the testing.

My dogs are CGC and TDI certified...I used to teach the classes, so typically I work with my own dogs and then put them through the test...but as said above, if you can pass a CGC, the TDI isnt much more added onto that...

Once you pass the TDI and register, they will send you all your stuff and a booklet with what places accept the dogs in your area...

We also do Tail Waggin Tutors (a part of TDI) and go the library so the kids can read to the dogs.... Jo and I also visit at the VA, St. Mary's Hospital, a hospice house, and several nursing homes.

There is also Delta Society that tests for therapy dogs...You cant be a member of both TDI and Delta Society, so my dogs are just TDI'd...I'd see if you can find a local chapter of either group and maybe go with them on a visit to see if you like it...
 

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Spud did the TDI certification when he was about 1.5 years old....maybe a little younger.

We mostly go to places with kids. I a little squeemish about hospitals and things like that.

We go to the library's Read to Rover program once a month.

We go to the elementary schools and talk to the classes. We have a little program we put on. I take dog supplies (food bowl, leash, meds, toys, brush, etc.) and talk about how to take care of your dog and how to be a good pet owner.

We go to things like Special Olympics.

Next month we are going to a college during exam week.

Like I said, mostly children or young people. Or anything not hospital-related.

We are members of TDI and also members of the local TDI chapter. The chapter president is always emailing us opportunities for visits when organizations request them. We can go or not go.

I also go some places on my own....not through the local chapter.

We love it!
 

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Quinn's mom is a registered staff member of a local children's hospital. She goes to work with her owner on a regular basis.
 

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I may do this with koda when she's older and goes through obedience.. she's a lot more calmer at 2 than tucker was.. plus her medical history may be of comfort to kids or adults.. not sure yet...
 

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Darwin and Bono both passed the TDI test, but I never actually sent the paperwork in... you have to send in proof of vaccines and pay a yearly fee. I used to bring Darwin to a preschool quite often. The kids would read to him, "teach" him tricks and then we'd go for a walk together...the kids loved taking turns walking him (on a second leash) :) Bono and I go to Ingham Medical Center and visit the senior resdiential area. The patients have different degrees of mental issues and it's incredible to see how they react to the dogs (some haven't spoken to people in months!).

Let me know if you need help finding places to test or visit!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Darwin and Bono both passed the TDI test, but I never actually sent the paperwork in... you have to send in proof of vaccines and pay a yearly fee. I used to bring Darwin to a preschool quite often. The kids would read to him, "teach" him tricks and then we'd go for a walk together...the kids loved taking turns walking him (on a second leash) :) Bono and I go to Ingham Medical Center and visit the senior resdiential area. The patients have different degrees of mental issues and it's incredible to see how they react to the dogs (some haven't spoken to people in months!).

Let me know if you need help finding places to test or visit!
Sounds great! :) I would love it if you sent me some recommendations. I would still like to do the CGC with Abbey and the TDI.. I just haven't gotten around to actually doing them. I think I would need to practice first! ;)
 

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I find the best way to go about it is to get to a really good obedience class, and ask if they have a program. I don't know where in MI you are but there is a VERY VERY good class where we go in Warren. I've never taken it, but we see it when we're there.

www.sportsmens.net or something

My two olders are registered, and Virginia passed her CGC (which is a pre-requisite for the TD-I) and will probably test in a few months.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I find the best way to go about it is to get to a really good obedience class, and ask if they have a program. I don't know where in MI you are but there is a VERY VERY good class where we go in Warren. I've never taken it, but we see it when we're there.

www.sportsmens.net or something

My two olders are registered, and Virginia passed her CGC (which is a pre-requisite for the TD-I) and will probably test in a few months.
I've heard good things about that place.. if I lived at home still, that would be a perfect location, but I'm up near Lansing now.
 

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Sportsmen's is a good club. OTC in lansing usually offers a TDI a couple of times a year. The test for TDI is basically a CGC+ and if you don't have your CGC when you take it, you can spend a few extra bucks and get both right then.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sportsmen's is a good club. OTC in lansing usually offers a TDI a couple of times a year. The test for TDI is basically a CGC+ and if you don't have your CGC when you take it, you can spend a few extra bucks and get both right then.
Funny, I was just on their website! :D They have an "intermediate" obedience class that is geared towards the CGC. I just don't know if I want to spend the extra $$ of the classes if she can do everything already! I'd rather take another agility course :)
 

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Panda has been a therapy dog with TDInc for over a year. We took the test and went on to take more intensive training with a local chapter that required a eight week additional training program including testing at every level. It was intensive. I am glad that I went through that because I feel like we are better equipped as a team to handle all the different situations we have encountered. We volunteer at a hospital and also with the hospice. I love the hospice. We see one lady every week and Panda loves it. The hospital is stressful. It is chaotic. They are beginning construction there so we are taking a break. Too many obstacles with all of the closed floors and construction workers all around. I will stay with the hospice for as long as we volunteer. It is a wonderful experience.

During the training licking by the dog, not people :), was reson for not passing. It spreads germs. But no lick can be taught. I don't know anyone who wouldn't want a visit with Miss Abbey!
 

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This is something I would love to get into, as well. I was going to with Shadow, because she was a natural for it. I would have to wait at least another year for the boys to mature a bit more before trying it with them.

I used to take Shadow to visit my Dad at the nursing home, and so many of the other people there wanted to see her that we spent half our visits seeing everyone else. :) She was very gentle with the people in wheelchairs, it was sweet to watch her. She loved to pick things up if they dropped something, too, which was always a big hit.
 

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Panda has been a therapy dog with TDInc for over a year. We took the test and went on to take more intensive training with a local chapter that required a eight week additional training program including testing at every level. It was intensive. I am glad that I went through that because I feel like we are better equipped as a team to handle all the different situations we have encountered. We volunteer at a hospital and also with the hospice. I love the hospice. We see one lady every week and Panda loves it. The hospital is stressful. It is chaotic. They are beginning construction there so we are taking a break. Too many obstacles with all of the closed floors and construction workers all around. I will stay with the hospice for as long as we volunteer. It is a wonderful experience.

During the training licking by the dog, not people :), was reson for not passing. It spreads germs. But no lick can be taught. I don't know anyone who wouldn't want a visit with Miss Abbey!

Yes, I am concerned about the licking thing.. Don't know how I'm going to get her to completely stop!
 

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Molly got her CGC & TDI when she was about 3. She had finished her obedience. We took a short class for the CGC & they also incorporated the TDI with it. It was an AKC club. Molly passed both but I had to take her on three supervised visits with the instructor to get her TDI certificate. I work daylight & that was the only time they scheduled the visits. So she only got her CGC certificate.
It is fun. :)
 

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Moose is certified thru Delta Society. I think it depends on where you are and where you are going to visit. With Delta (you can google the site for more info) you are now required to have your CGC and must retest every 2 years. The test is basically the same as the CGC but they are looking for different things. They have 2 categories - I think it is complex and I forgot what the other one is called which is what Moose is - you would think I could remember. Basically, complex rating says your dog can go anywhere - this is key if you want to work with children. Because Moose is a kisser he would not be allowed with children if Delta were who was sponsoring the dog visits.

UCLA Medical Center, Children's Hospital and Shriners here in Los Angeles have their own criteria and you don't even need TDI or Delta certs. You just kind of have to look around and ask others. The best thing is to get into training classes to expose your dog to lots of people and other dogs.

Good luck!
 

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I would love to do something like that. :) I think both of my girls would love it, although Schatzi is a bit more calm, so I may work with her first. That's definitely on my to-do list.
 
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