What are the requirements to become a hander/dog team?
In order for a dog to be eligible for a therapy dog test they must be a year old. Once a dog meets the age requirement the dog and handler have basic obedience skills, manners, and be able to pass the certification test. The testing process is an evaluation of the team (Handler/Dog) not just the dog. The team must display a connection and enjoy canine response work.
Is this only for a certain type of dog i.e size or breed?
No, all dogs of all sizes and breeds are eligible for the program. All dogs are held to the same standard and must be able to pass the testing process.
Where do the dogs live?
In most cases the dogs are our personal dogs, so they live with us. The dog can have a handler that is not the owner if there is a connection. Even if the dog is currently a response dog the new handler will have to re-test with the dog.
I don't have a dog, but can I still help?
Absolutely! We have a number of positions in our organization that do not require you to have a dog, there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. If you don't have time to help, monetary donations are greatly appreciated. We also have sponsor a dog program, you can select a dog and sponsor part of their training or their uniform.
How is this different from just a therapy dog?
While these dogs are registered therapy dogs, the teams have more advanced training. For example, K9 CPR & First Aid, Psychological First Aid, active listening, and canine body language training.
My Dog loves people, would they be a good response dog?
In addition to loving people the dog has to display strong basic manners and be comfortable in a variety of situations. Some of the situations that we may be placed can be very emotional and stressful , these dogs need to be able to handle the environment.
I belong to an organization with some teams, are you able to partner with us?
Depending on the size and need of the organization we can partner or we can help you train and certify your existing handlers.