Remember, This Is a Team Effort - You Need to Enjoy This As Much As Your Dog You Things to Ask Yourself: Do I enjoy visiting health care facilities, schools and/or retirement homes? Do I enjoy meeting strangers and can I be truly interested in making conversation with them? Am I comfortable interacting with people who may be confused, physically or mentally challenged, and/or terminally ill? Your Dog Temperament Suitability: Does my dog enjoy meeting new people? Is my dog able to tolerate rough handling from strangers calmly, without becoming stressed? Is my dog friendly with other dogs? Would my dog rather be with me than with other dogs? Is my dog well socialized with people of all ages and races, from young children to the very elderly? Will my dog calmly accept strangers touching him anywhere on his body? Is my dog able to remain calm when loud noises or angry yelling / shouting / screaming occur nearby? Obedience Suitability It is STRONGLY recommended that your and your dog have successfully completed at least two group obedience classes (not including a puppy class). The socialization aspects of these classes are as important as the obedience behaviors themselves—your dog learns to control himself and pay attention to you despite all kinds of distractions nearby. Your dog must be able to pass all elements of the Pet Partners Skills Test (PPST) , a test of basic obediene skills and good manners. This means that your dog MUST: Sit politely when a friendly stranger shakes your hand Sit politely for petting by a friendly stranger Calmly tolerate being brushed, and having ears and front feet examined by a stranger Walk politely on a loose leash—stop when you stop—turn promptly when you turn, without pulling on the leash, sniffing the floor, etc. Heel at your side with attention on you despite distractions going by such as people in wheelchairs, walkers, people jogging by, and loud noises nearby Sit on Command Down on Command Stay in place with you at least 10 feet away Come promptly when called Sit politely at your side when a friendly stranger with a dog comes up to shake your hand Your dog MUST have impeccable manners. He cannot jump up on people or pull while on leash. He must be able to remain calm when new people approach. He cannot be aggressive with other dogs. Health Suitability Your dog must be current on all core vaccinations. Your veterinarian is the best judge of which vaccines are required for your dog Pet Partners does not accept blood titers as evidence of immune status for rabies. Your dog MUST have a current rabies vaccination. Your dog must have fecal tests done yearly to check for parasites Your dog should be comfortable with regular bathing / grooming, nail clipping / filing and teeth brushing
The PAWSitive Therapy Troupe is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to sharing registered therapy dogs with individuals in a wide variety of health care and educational settings--bringing comfort, support and encouragement through the unique healing power of the human-animal bond.