therapy/service dogs?

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jimbo&rooster
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therapy/service dogs?

Post by jimbo&rooster » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:04 pm

My wife just finished her masters and is getting ready for her licensing exam in social work. All throughout her work in the social work field whether in school, internship, or working, she has wanted to get involved with having a theropy dog. Well, once she gets her license I'm inclined to help her find and train a dog for certification.

Now. I know that most therapy dogs are labs and Golden's, which makes sense to me.

Does anyone here have experience with any short haired dogs being used for service/therapy work (wifes not real keen on having another lab in the house shedding tumbleweeds if she can avoid it)? I understand that most any dog can do about any job to some degree, but I'm not looking to deal with my wife getting attached to a washout.

Now along those same lines, does anyone know of any kennels breeding specifically for service type dogs?

I know this is off the grid here, but I also know there are a lot of folks here with all sorts of different dog experience.

Thanks
Jim

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Cajun Casey » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:18 pm

Therapy dogs and service dogs are two different things. While I don't know of any specifically bred for it because they were largely rescues, the majority of slick coated therapy dogs I am personally acquainted with are, get ready for it.....pit bulls. The Delta Society would be one source of information and Therapy Dogs International would be another.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by jlp8cornell » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:19 pm

I have visited nursing homes through a group at the vet school here with the dogs. There are dogs of all breeds being used for therapy work.

Does she want a therapy dog or a service dog?

TDI is the group that certifies a lot of therapy dogs. http://www.tdi-dog.org/
AKC even has a therapy dog title now. http://www.akc.org/dogowner/training/therapy/index.cfm

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by DogNewbie » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:16 pm

If she wants to get into training service dogs, the hunting breeds are great for diabetic alert dogs, or so I've read.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by jimbo&rooster » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:25 pm

Yes I understand that a therapy dog and service dog are very different. However my assumption right or wrong was that a dog that would work as a service dog would have the right temperament and cheracter to be a workable therapy dog.

She had mentioned wanting another GSP to use but I figured they would be too high energy to spend the day in my wife's office all day.

She works in a school where a lot of her clients are autistic and a high energy dog would be bad news with some of them.

I'm not in s huge hurry but I want to know what I'm getting into before I start. My understanding is that it is an expensive and involved process to get one of these dogs certified, so I'm starting to feel things out now. I figured I'd start here.

Jim

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Cajun Casey » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:44 pm

jimbo&rooster wrote:Yes I understand that a therapy dog and service dog are very different. However my assumption right or wrong was that a dog that would work as a service dog would have the right temperament and cheracter to be a workable therapy dog.

She had mentioned wanting another GSP to use but I figured they would be too high energy to spend the day in my wife's office all day.

She works in a school where a lot of her clients are autistic and a high energy dog would be bad news with some of them.

I'm not in s huge hurry but I want to know what I'm getting into before I start. My understanding is that it is an expensive and involved process to get one of these dogs certified, so I'm starting to feel things out now. I figured I'd start here.

Jim
Actually, you don't want the indiscriminate social interaction of a therapy dog in a service dog. Many washout SDs make excellent TDs, however.

If you want a sporting breed to consider, I'd suggest a vizsla. You could probably look at just about any area of competition or evaluation and find a suitable breeder.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Winchey » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:15 pm

I don't see a reason why most any dog couldn't be a therapy dog, so long as the temperment is good. I did the canine good citizen with a couple dogs, my setter would make easy work of it. I don't really know anything about what an ideal service dog candidate is though.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Moulders Farm » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:42 pm

Out of my last litter a lady come & bought a female llewellin setter to train as a therpy dog in childern mercy hospital . the last time I talked with her they were in training that the hospital would not let her use her or look at her tell after she was 1 to 2 years old then full trained . She was well pleased with how the llewellin was doing where ever she took her & she was so pretty & com every one loved her

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by MOOSE » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:43 pm

We have been heavily involved in therapy dog work in the past. Our American Pit Bull Terriers tend to be ready for the work more quickly than our GSP's. That being said I think any dog brought up in the atmosphere and trained from the beginning to do it would be just fine. GSP or otherwise. I know many many APBT's that are service and therapy dogs. They accompany their owners on flights and such as well at true service dogs.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Stoneface » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:19 pm

Therapy dogs are great and really serve a purpose. My first Malinois and I used to go to nursing homes and put on shows and such for the residents. If you live in a rural area you can get ahold of a nursing home and tell them that you have a dog that you want to bring in to meet the residents and they'll most likely be more than open to it. I've never been rejected. It's really something to see some of the people just light up. I mean, it's like their world has purpose again.

There are breeding programs that breed specifically for assistance dogs and the puppies that are not retained for training/breeding are sold. You can get ahold of them and tell them what you want and they will set you up. The only problem is that most are going to be Labs, Goldens, etc. The other problem is that if you buy a pup then you'll not know what you're going to end up with. The lady I was working with in Texas to get Maysha certified said she always advises people without dogs to go to the pound or a rescue and pick out a grown dog so you'll know what you're getting. You'll be able to tell how much the dog sheds, what his disposition is, his energy level, if he loves people, if he's bondable, how big he'll be, if he has any aggressive tendencies. That would be my advice.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Stoneface » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:22 pm

MOOSE wrote:We have been heavily involved in therapy dog work in the past. Our American Pit Bull Terriers tend to be ready for the work more quickly than our GSP's. That being said I think any dog brought up in the atmosphere and trained from the beginning to do it would be just fine. GSP or otherwise. I know many many APBT's that are service and therapy dogs. They accompany their owners on flights and such as well at true service dogs.
I love this post. It's an absolute shame what they've done in Cleveland, Miami and let's not even get fricken started on Denver! Pit Bulls are amazing animals and the most underestimated breed with the most undeserved rap of all. The folks who pin those stereotypes on Pitt Bulls are nothing but blatantly ignorant.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by brad27 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:53 pm

The folks who pin those stereotypes on Pitt Bulls are nothing but blatantly ignorant.
Or they live in an area where the stereotype fits................

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Cajun Casey » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:44 pm

brad27 wrote:
The folks who pin those stereotypes on Pitt Bulls are nothing but blatantly ignorant.
Or they live in an area where the stereotype fits................
Exactly. Had one of the stereotypical ones into clinic today with the classic owner in denial. Fortunately, we were able to get the dog that set him off out of sight quickly. Good and bad, like any breed, but, by far, the worst owners.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Winchey » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:50 pm

I would say the majority of aggresive dog owners are in denial. I would also say the majority of dog owners are clueless about dogs in general.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Stoneface » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:16 pm

Boy, this is really a topic I wouldn't hesitate to get into it over, but this thread is starting to detour and it's not too classy to hijack threads.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Cajun Casey » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:34 pm

Stoneface wrote:Boy, this is really a topic I wouldn't hesitate to get into it over, but this thread is starting to detour and it's not too classy to hijack threads.
The topic was slick coated breeds that make good therapy dogs. Two people, including myself, have suggested or endorsed pit bulls. I believe that the stigma and the breed/type specific issues merit discussion. How may pits have you owned?

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by jimbo&rooster » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:42 pm

Actually we had discussed an APBT but with the obviouse stigma that goes along with it, and the lack of respectable/reliable breeders locally, as well as the issues with my wife having her dog with her, in her office in a school might cause issue.

I have owned 2 very Nice pits over the years and at some point will own another, but at the moment I dont think it is the best choice.

Jim

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by S&J gsp » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:52 pm

The first breed that comes to mind is a Boxer, Bull Mastiff, American Bulldog, on the smaller side a Beagle, Carin Tarrier, Boston Terrier for Therapy Dogs. All are very trainable this is not to discredit pit bulls but that was already said. For a service dog depending on the service the best all around service dog would be a lab followed by the German Shepherd. There is also a Standard Poodle.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Cajun Casey » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:28 pm

S&J gsp wrote:The first breed that comes to mind is a Boxer, Bull Mastiff, American Bulldog, on the smaller side a Beagle, Carin Tarrier, Boston Terrier for Therapy Dogs. All are very trainable this is not to discredit pit bulls but that was already said. For a service dog depending on the service the best all around service dog would be a lab followed by the German Shepherd. There is also a Standard Poodle.
Boxers are, as a breed, subject to cancer, so that would be a consideration. Of the others you mentioned, a Boston would be my pick because they are excellent people dogs and seem to be able to self regulate their activity level well depending on the circumstances. And, they are comical to a fault.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Brazosvalleyvizslas » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:59 pm

All of my female Vizslas would make excellent therapy dogs but yet they love to hunt and compete in anything thrown at them.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Winglish » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:28 pm

Jim, the puppy in my avatar was purchased for service and is trained and registered as a working service dog. She is a wirehaired pointing griffon. She sheds probably a million times less than my Lab. The breed as a whole is typically friendly, intelligent, biddable, and mellow. That might be a direction you could look (definitely not a short haired breed, but practically non-shedding).

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by legallyblonde » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:55 am

My older GSP and also my Australian Cattle Dog are both certified therapy dogs. My border collie is such a soft affectionate mush pile I think he would be a good therapy dog as well. I think just about any breed or mix could be a therapy dog; it's about the individual dog's personality and less about breed/type in my opinion.

And Stoneface--you can take Cleveland off the list for BSL---they overturned theirs about a year and a half ago :D The state level BSL in Ohio (the only state to have it at that level) followed a few months later. Once the state level BSL was overturned, many cities throughout the state have since lifted BSL as well. In Denver--there is an ongoing class action lawsuit by owners of service dog 'pit bulls' because a ruling by the DOJ states that BSL cannot be applied to service dogs under the ADA. I think if anything can overturn that longstanding ban, this would be it!

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by DogNewbie » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:02 am

I've never owned a Pitt, nor have I ever met an aggressive one (I've met about 15 - 20.) My uncle, however, was attacked by one a couple years back and I read an article about a mail man (ex military, built like a brick sh!t house kinda guy) that was almost killed by two on his route. So, the way I see it, all breeds have aggressive dogs, you just need to be more cautious of the aggressive dogs that come from breeds bred to attack and do harm.

As for Bostons, I've only met three, and two hated to be pet and the third loved it. All three were nice dogs and loved to lick hands for some reason haha. Not a very big sample size, so I'm sure most Bostons like getting loved up.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by jimbo&rooster » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:09 am

I have some recomendations for a couple different wire hair breeds as well as a Spinone and im pretty sure one of those will be the route we go.

Those fo you who have therapy dogs do you still hunt them? I feel like they will need exercise and what better way than hunting?


As far as the boston goes, my wife has mini dachs and I have basically told her once this last one dies there wont be any dogs under 40lbs. I am not a fan of small dogs Ive seen too many of them that werent good with strange kids (very important part of the job), and just didn't see to be wired right.

Jim

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by DogNewbie » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:11 am

I don't know, but I'd guess therapy dogs could be hunted. Service dogs, on the other hand, no.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by pudgygopher » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:28 am

I had a GSP that was certified as a therapy dog. She also was a bird getting demon. I hunted on Grouse, Pheasants, and early season ducks. However she really shined on pheasants.

I worked with persons with cognitive diabiliites and she would come with me to work. I worked in both a hospital setting and group homes. At that time she was my only dog so I spent a lot of time with her. She was also a house dog so learend good house manors. The most improtant of which was not to jump up on people and to wait for petting until asked. She loved her job as she was spoiled by all that came in to contact with her. She helped a number of people that had significant behavioral issues to learn how to calm down and self sooth their anxiety.

I could go on and on about both her hunting poweress and the good she did with those she worked with but it would be too much to write on a forum.

My GSP was out old Central Minnesota bloodlines. I believe there are a number of NAVDHA breeders that are breeding for the same temperment that these lines were.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Winchey » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:31 am

Small Munsterlander may work as well. Not a short coat but, mine hardly sheds at all.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by cohanzick creek » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:31 pm

Ive had three GWP's thats been therapy dogs. They use to like going to Nursing homes
cc

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Winchey » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:35 pm

I thought you were a pointer guy? A lot of the pointers I have seen have been complete sooks. Get what you want as a bird dog, I am sure there are lots in whatever you like that would make a good therapy dog.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Frogman » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:53 pm

I rescued a 2 yr. old Irish Setter. When I got him for my service dog he had had NO training & was caged 23 hrs. a day. I'm a disabled veteran and this guy would run like a felon turned lose! But with the right training...AND PATIENCE, he (after less than 6 mos.) is, with his vest on a calm, obedient and beautiful animal. I can't go ANYWHERE without getting stopped and asked if they can pet him and I am also told how exceptionally beautiful he is. The military (who helps me trian him 3-4 Xs a week) called the Veternarian 3 states away to get some history and was told some "rich yuppies" bought him as a "hood orniment" but they didn't have the patience to potty train him and since they both worked he would do what puppies do so after spending $1800 on him they just dumped him. God brought him to me and when I got him the other veterans teased me and said "Boy, you sure have an air-headed breed!" He has since passed most of his classmates in obedience! It's not the animal, it's the owner. The "Irish" rescue said they've NEVER seen an Irish be a service dog. I'm sure! It took a LOT of patience (and still does!), but he is extremely smart. He has been on the local news and paper several times. When they do a story on our vet program they always want my Irish Setter in the shot! HOO-yah!

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Cajun Casey » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:29 pm

Frogman wrote:I rescued a 2 yr. old Irish Setter. When I got him for my service dog he had had NO training & was caged 23 hrs. a day. I'm a disabled veteran and this guy would run like a felon turned lose! But with the right training...AND PATIENCE, he (after less than 6 mos.) is, with his vest on a calm, obedient and beautiful animal. I can't go ANYWHERE without getting stopped and asked if they can pet him and I am also told how exceptionally beautiful he is. The military (who helps me trian him 3-4 Xs a week) called the Veternarian 3 states away to get some history and was told some "rich yuppies" bought him as a "hood orniment" but they didn't have the patience to potty train him and since they both worked he would do what puppies do so after spending $1800 on him they just dumped him. God brought him to me and when I got him the other veterans teased me and said "Boy, you sure have an air-headed breed!" He has since passed most of his classmates in obedience! It's not the animal, it's the owner. The "Irish" rescue said they've NEVER seen an Irish be a service dog. I'm sure! It took a LOT of patience (and still does!), but he is extremely smart. He has been on the local news and paper several times. When they do a story on our vet program they always want my Irish Setter in the shot! HOO-yah!
Do you have a link to the articles? I would love to share them with our AKC breed club members.

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by crackerd » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:52 am

jimbo&rooster wrote:I have some recomendations for a couple different wire hair breeds as well as a Spinone and im pretty sure one of those will be the route we go.
The myth about spins is that they have never bitten a human being in the history of the breed. They do have great laid back temperament (both away from and unfortunately too often on the playing field). Of course, the drool they put out might be toxic to them old geezers and geezerettes in nursing homes. But you could always preclude that happening by having them in the "service delivery" position

Image

with something corking the saliva glands.

Most any gundog breed can be a stellar therapy dog - one of each of these

Image

Image

had their own hospital badge photo ID and went room to room working their magic as serotonin machines - though it didn't include bringing patients a new down pillow...

MG

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by RoostersMom » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:44 am

My Vizsla breeder has several dogs that have gone to homes that use them for hunting and therapy. Beagles would be great (size and disposition) and you can hunt rabbits after quail season!

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Steve007 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:51 pm

crackerd wrote:[old geezers and geezerettes
:lol: :lol: :lol:


Image

What type of fuzzy spaniel (I presume), crackerd?

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Re: therapy/service dogs?

Post by Fireside » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:44 pm

I'm working with my Brittany now to have him certified as a Therapy Dog thru TDI. There are dogs in the class of almost every description from Papillion to Great Dane X Golden Retriever. I don;t really see much difference in their general suitability as therapy dogs. The little guys are great for hospital and/or nursing home visits.. the big guys are great for more mobile patients. I would like to work with a "reading to rover" type program.

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