following process is specific to Animal Assisted Therapy programs
that work in conjunction with Paws4Therapy, Inc. and
Dogbuilders. We are one of the few programs that train our
dogs to visit patient rooms, Critical Care Units, and Peds ER.
Other programs are less rigid with their infection control policies
and training requirements, and are only allowed to visit in common
our advanced level of AAT work, we require that all dog/handler
teams a possess a
high level of obedience and manners.
After successfully passing the application and phone screening
process, you will be scheduled to participate in a temperament test.
Temperament tests are scheduled by the hospital's AAT group and
occur 1-2 times a year.
temperament test, you may be nervous and you will send this nervous
energy down the leash.
We allow time for you to settle down, but we still expect that you
maintain control of your dog. Our temperament test begins in
the parking lot. It is acceptable to give your dog
corrections and redirections to help maintain control.
enforce the 2-foot rule. Dogs should not get any
closer than 2 feet from each other. If your dog shows any sort
of aggression you will be excused immediately. Once you commit
to a time slot, no refunds are given. Another qualified
candidate could have taken your spot.
Your dog should be able to walk by your side in heel
position with a loose leash around distractions like
other dogs, equipment, food, and noises.
If your dog pulls you in the
room or sniffs other dogs, you will NOT pass the temperament test!
must perform the following commands: sit,
down, stay, sit stay, down stay, heel by your side.
If you repeat your commands
with no compliance or if you make overly harsh leash corrections,
you will NOT pass the temperament test!
should be calm
and relaxed around other dogs
Your dog should not show any anxiety
Barking or whining needs to be minimal and controllable.
You will be excused if your
dog will not settle down. We do this to be fair to the other
dog handler teams testing.
jumping, sniffing, or pawing.
You will not pass if your
dog bites or jumps on the tester.
Dog to dog
interaction is not allowed which means no sniffing or staring.
A dog will be excused if he
exhibits excessive prey or play drive.
If your dog growls at any
time during the test, you will be excused. If your dog shows
excessive signs of stress or will not stop verbalizing, you will be
Your dog's ears should be clean, nails trimmed, teeth brushed, coat should
be clean and groomed. You and your dog are being tested, so
you should be presentable as well.
accept touch and petting.
A dog that hides behind the
owner or does not seem to enjoy strangers will not pass the test.
NOT allowed - head halters (they look like muzzles), prong
collars, clickers, treats, retractable leashes, harnesses
understand that not all dogs and owners are ready for this type of
therapy work. Please do not apply if your dog:
- has not been properly trained or socialized
- shows any type of aggression
- retreats from strangers
- will not obey your commands around other dogs
your dog has a nice temperament, but not a high level of obedience,
work with professional dog trainer.
A professional trainer can
handling skills and your dog's obedience. Your trainer should
be insured and have experience with all types of dogs and training
Not all dog trainers will be able to train you to the level of obedience required in
a hospital program. Screen your trainer carefully. If
your dog has been trained with treats only and you have not faded
the treat reward effectively, your chance of passing our test is
have dogs available for purchase that are trained specifically for therapy dog
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