© Tammie Rogers 2018

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Professionally Trained Therapy Dog
For teachers, counselors or therapists who would like to utilize a highly trained dog in their practice, we  can provide  the same high standard training that our fully functioning Service Dogs gain.  The only reason they cannot be called a Service Dog is because they are not partnered with a disabled individual.   The only discernable difference is that your professionally trained Therapy Dog will not be able to travel in public places which have a no-pet policy. The  training for the dog and the dog’s ultimate handler (the teacher or therapist) is  similar to the Service Dog standard, however the task list is focused on “social”  interaction skills and behaviors which help to foster physical, speech or  occupational therapy as well as psychiatric intervention.   Traditionally, Therapy Dogs were well-mannered pets that had been trained by their owners who visited nursing homes, hospitals or rehabilitation centers.  The dogs offered patients an opportunity to interact with a companion dog - one that might remind them of their own dog that they long to see.  Recently, the use of highly trained dogs in more advanced practices of therapy have become increasingly popular.   A quick search for the term “Pet Assisted Therapy” will provide a plethora of information on the various ways that dogs are participating in a variety of therapeutic settings.   For example, a trained Therapy Dog and his handler might work side-by-side with a speech therapist.   The patient, often a child, is asked to give the dog commands to perform entertaining tasks.  While a child may not be able to enunciate the words for the dog to perform, the handler stands behind the child and gives a non-verbal cue.  The child is rewarded for striving to pronounce the command when the dog performs a “High Five” or fetches an object and presents it. School counselors often interact with students during stressful times.  Having a well-trained Therapy Dog to help soothe the child and bring a calming energy to the room can be incredibly beneficial. Many autistic children are able to maintain more centered behavior in the presence of a well-mannered dog.  While the child may not be able to handle his own Service Dog in a school setting, having a class room dog that may accompany a child during time of heightened stress (during examinations or highly active social periods) may make the difference between a great day and a complete melt-down. Please contact us about your needs and we will work up an option for your dog’s training.  
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