It is time to get a dog. With a lot of thought towards the prospect of volunteering, you are interested in therapy dog training, so you decide to get a pet that will also work well at nursing homes and hospitals. It is time to find the perfect pet. Here are some tips to picking a good therapy dog.
If you are interested in taking your dog to hospitals and nursing homes right away, you might want to get a mature dog instead of a puppy. Even if you are interested in having a therapy dog, a puppy might not be your best chance. They are fun but you can’t guarantee how the puppy will behave as he grows up. He might develop some characteristics that will not be good for going to a hospital or a nursing home.
Of course, mature dogs can come with their own set of challenges as well. Either way, you are going to want to look into the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program.
Do not get stuck on a certain breed when you are looking for a good therapy dog. Although some dogs are better suited for the job, breed does not guarantee that your dog will work well as a therapy dog. Qualities are much more important than breed. There are certainly a number of breeds, ranging in size from small to large, that have wonderful track records in disposition and learning.
If you do decide to get a mature dog, be sure to look at many different shelters and rescues. Ask the workers and volunteers. Be clear with them what qualities you are looking for. Often, they work closely with the animals in their care and should be able to find the perfect companion for you.
As for qualities, you need a dog that is friendly with both people and other pets. They need to be calm and levelheaded so they are able to handle the commotion of a hospital or nursing home. Therapy dogs need to enjoy being petted and held. That will be their primary job, to be cuddled and loved. You also want an intelligent dog who is able to follow basic commands.
Not the most important, but therapy dogs need to be easily cleaned. Every dog needs routine baths and toenails trims but some dogs are easier to keep clean. You might not want a dog that needs frequent haircuts or a dog that sheds every time you take him somewhere. Drooling is also going to be a problem.
It is a big responsibility to decide that, in addition to getting a pet, you want a therapy dog. However, you need to find the best dog possible for the job. Spend time looking until you find exactly what you are looking for so that visiting hospitals and nursing homes is a pleasant experience for both of you.
Once you get that perfect partner, and you are ready for your dog’s gear, we’ll be here to help. Petjoy specializes in the manufacturing of working dog equipment which includes therapy dogs.
Posted by Josh Griffith