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Therapy Dogs Must be certified. Right?

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

  
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Macie

arwooooof
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 22, '12 9:03am PST 
Okay, so, Macie is very confused on this issue, so I will give everyone a background on the story.

I was at an event at a local mall, where several CGC evaluators were giving the test to benefit a local animal shelter. It was a really wonderful event, and it was nice to see a bunch of other well behaved rescue dogs.

Now, I was just there for the joy of seeing other people who love dogs so much. I have already passed my CGC. But, a woman came up to me and wanted to recruit me for therapy visits. She was the kennel manager of the shelter. She was asking everyone who had their CGC. But, none of them where certified therapy dogs.

Now, my question is, do you need to be certified to be a therapy dog, or is it just a beneficial thing, rather than a requirement?
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 22, '12 9:46am PST 
I don't think it is a Must, but it is defiantly a Should. Many of the certifying programs offer protection for their teams in the form or insurance in case anything goes wrong. (scratches from nails or the like)

I don't do Therapy work myself but have a family member who used to, and the criteria are similar to the cgc in the same way that the criteria are similar to public access work. As in Therapy tests are going to be more stringent on their requirements and for good reason. Many of the things a therapy dog will see in a hospital or a nursing home are going to be things that dogs as a rule Don't see. And many of those could be frightening to them.

And in my opinion visiting patients who are either already sick, or fragile the protection offered by programs is not negotiable for me.
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Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 22, '12 12:47pm PST 
It depends on the group and the place you are visiting. Most groups either have their own testing or they use one of the national AAT organizations' tests.
However it is not actually a law or anything so if they place they are visiting is fine with it I guess a group could do without a test. It would be risky though, and I would guess they are less likely to have insurance.
Some places just call it "testing" but some call it "certification" so that varies as well.
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Scooby

affectionate/ a- sweetie pie
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 22, '12 1:52pm PST 
Hi,
I have two registered therapy dogs. A Shih-Poo and a Rottweiler. They are registered wtih Therapy Dogs, Inc.(TD,Inc.), the Delta Society and also have their CGC. These groups provide liablity insurance (i.e. TD,Inc. $5,000,000). Go to the following web sites to get all the info including how you and the dogs are tested:
therapydogs.com
Deltasociety.org.
Therapy Dogs International (TDI) is another but I have no info on them.
I favor TD,Inc. as I am a Tester/Observer for them and are more"social" than Delta.
Delta is more command driven where as Therapy Dogs,Inc. is more temperament driven.

I have learned through 10 years experience in pet therapy that almost all facilities require some sort of liabilty coverage, particularly hospitals and schools.

It is very rewarding for the handler and the dogs love it as much as do the folks they visit!

Hopethisinfo helps.

Lew
Lexington, SC
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Nalla

if you can chew- it I will!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 22, '12 5:55pm PST 
Nalla visits a seniors home every sunday.
she is not a certified therapy dog but we are considering getting her certified.
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Nalla

if you can chew- it I will!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 22, '12 5:55pm PST 
Nalla visits a seniors home every sunday.
she is not a certified therapy dog but we are considering getting her certified.
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Macie

arwooooof
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 22, '12 7:22pm PST 
Oh, okay, thank you so much everyone. I was just so confused on the issue, because I always figured it was a must. Now, I know. I am still going to go with some form of certification, just to be safe. My local training organization goes through TDI. So, that will be done soon. Yay!
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Bretta - **Guardian- Angel Now**

10/2005 RIP- 12/2008
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 23, '12 6:26pm PST 
Last I checked, none of the therapy dogs "certified" their animals; they register teams.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 23, '12 6:47pm PST 
We belong to a therapy group and are certified. We have a small $20 yearly membership fee and must be recertified yearly. This fee covers insurance for both the dog and the handler when visiting as part of that organization.
There is no way, no how I would EVER visit anyplace without having a certified and insured dog. I personally know someone whose large dog accidently scratched an elderly patient on the arm while visiting a family member in a local home. He was not certified nor did they have any insurance to cover injury caused by the dog (or the handler).
Since the person had fragile skin (as elderly often do), the scratch became infected. Her family sued my friend and she ended up losing her HOUSE in order to pay the legal costs and damages awarded to this patients family.
I will never expose my dogs and/or my family to any situation where this can result when it is so simple to do a yearly test and pay a small yearly fee to cover this type of incident.
Furthermore, any place I have ever visited would not allow any team in that hasn't been tested and certified AND provided proof of insurance coverage. We must sign in at the beginning of every visit and our insurance information and other pertinent information is on file with the institute.
In our current society where lawsuits are happening daily visiting without insurance protection is just plain crazy.
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U

I miss you, U
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 23, '12 7:08pm PST 
it is so simple to do

Not so simple for those who don't have a tester in their area.
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