Therapy Dog traits
GRRMF’s Hearts of Gold therapy team consists of dogs who have a stable temperament and a friendly, easy-going personality. Handlers are responsible owners who can handle their dog in a safe, effective manner and judge the type of therapy work that fits their dog’s personality.
A good therapy dog prospect should adore people and want nothing more than to connect with them, possess a physical calm (no barking, pawing or leaping), be non-reactive to loud noises, and non-aggressive to other dogs and pets. Finding the type of therapy work that fits a dog’s personality traits is very important as they need to be comfortable and relaxed while performing the task to connect with those they are interacting with appropriately. Some canines are very comfortable with children while others love the elderly, some are social greeters who readily look for petting while others calmly enjoy listening to a story.
Before considering doing therapy work with your dog, you should ask yourself if your dog has the qualities required to perform as a therapy dog and wants to do it and not being forced to do it by the owner.
It is recommended a CGC certification be obtained before joining the team to establish the basic manners skills needed for successful therapy visits.
So what traits should a therapy pup have?
Generally speaking your dog should be friendly, affectionate and confident.
Basic manners such as sit, down, and stay are a must.
Your pup should walk well on loose leash and be comfortable with strangers petting him/her on the head, tail, feet, ears and throat.
Finally, you should consider the time it takes to get your dog ready to attend a pet therapy outing (bath, brushing, nails trimmed, getting doggie clean up bags together, paper towels and a small spray bottle of cleaning solution, etc).
So, if you believe you and your pup are a match for therapy work, let us know you are ready to join the team! Please use this Handler/dog link to raise your paws and we will contact you with next steps.
Thank you for your interest in joining our Hearts of Gold Therapy team!