Practice Tips for Therapy Dog Evaluation - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Arrow Practice Tips for Therapy Dog Evaluation

Goose officially has his CGC so it's time for us to start preparing for his upcoming therapy dog evaluation. The problem is, the visit portion of the evaluation involves being comfortable around medical equipment and I'm at a loss for how I should go about desensitizing Goose to wheelchairs and such. My current plan is just to take him to Lowe's/Tractor Supply and practice doing commands near and around loud noises and other people. It really takes a lot to spook him and Goose is relatively sound when there are loud noises but I would hate for him to mess up on something that we could have practiced!

Does anyone have suggestions for what they did to prepare for their dogs therapy dog evaluation? We will be testing through Love on a Leash if that helps anyone give recommendations. I attached a PDF of the evaluation to this post as well.

Also, I see on the test sheet that "no prong, pinch or electronic collars, of any kind, may be used", so does that mean that the choke style chains are okay? That is what Goose took his CGC with and it's what he's used to. I'm working on weaning him to just a standard collar but he isn't ready for it quite yet!

Thanks in advance for the help and tips!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf LOAL Control and Therapy Evaluations.pdf (436.8 KB, 9 views)

Goose Broderick THDN CGCA CGCU TKP (Golden Retriever)
Born 5/1/17

@GooseOfGold- Instagram

Maverick Broderick TKP (Rescue Pup)
Born 12/2/12
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 12:43 PM
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I work with testing dogs for TDI with my obedience club. If he won't work on a flat collar, he's not really ready for testing. He needs to be under control with gentle reminders and it sounds like he needs more work for that. No need to rush testing, he's still a baby and will only get better the more work and time you invest with him.

Your training plan for getting out to work in public is absolutely correct. You might check into locating a medical supply shop or just go to a hospital or urgent care and check out where the wheel chairs are kept, probably some near the door that you could bring him inside and let him check them out. Making sure he is ok with things that move like rolling trash cans or baby strollers or even a child's wagon or a wheelbarrow can help. If he'll heel along with you pulling or pushing one it's probable that not much will phase him.

But honestly, he's still a puppy, I would truly not rush this process, you will feel proud of turning in a solid performance on testing day much more if you aren't getting through on an evaluator being lax with standards.

SHR Richwood Work Hard Play Harder CD JH WC
Mack the collie boy
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 01:12 PM
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Many therapy groups require the dogs to be at least 2 before they will test. Might be best to find a group in your area as most groups have training sessions to help get you ready or trainers to help you.
Remember to take note of the length of your pups nails, they need to be very short. Older people have very thin skin and many are hooked up to wires & tubes. I used to use Cheerios for treats as some people tend to eat the snacks along with the dogs. Make sure you have a rock solid "leave it" as eating stuff off the floor can prove to be deadly. Find a good group and let them help you with tips and training. Congrats on the CGC!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input everyone! The group I am testing only requires that they be 1 year of age so he is eligible!

I'd also like to clarify a little about the choke chain. He can and will perform for me on a flat collar, I'm just much more comfortable with the training collar. It's just nice to have it there if I do need it! I plan to work on completely transitioning him off of it over the next two months so no worries there.

He is a very low energy dog and reacts well even when around aggressive dogs. In the CGC class he was always paired with the reactive dogs and was truly a rockstar. Nothing could phase him. Whenever we take him in public he sits every-time we stop walking and heels very well. I have no doubt he's ready, I'm just worried about the sights and sounds that you only get inside a hospital since it's hard to replicate that.

His nails are also trimmed really short! I've had issues with my older dog so I made it a point to not let his nails get very long.

All in all I'm just a paranoid dog mom. But seriously thanks for the advice and I'll have to look around to find a medical supply shop!

Goose Broderick THDN CGCA CGCU TKP (Golden Retriever)
Born 5/1/17

@GooseOfGold- Instagram

Maverick Broderick TKP (Rescue Pup)
Born 12/2/12
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