|Barked: Sat Mar 20, '10 10:52pm PST |
|Universally, this depends totally on the individual dog. There are no breeds that are inherently good at being therapy dogs. I flinch when people show up in class with a 8-week-old Golden Retriever, proudly proclaiming that he will be a therapy dog.
It also depends on the owner. Getting a therapy certification is a lot of hard work and preparation, which ultimately puts you in real-life situations that can become very stressful, dangerous and even deadly at any moment. It is very rewarding, but there is much more to it than walking into a hospital, making people smile, and going home with warm fuzzies.
As a generalization, Huskies are too aloof and independent to excel at therapy work. They tend to pick and choose who their friends are, when they want any attention at all, and when they do want attention, they don't usually enjoy excessive physical interaction. In most cases you want a therapy dog to overtly adore all people and be happy to be touched and prodded all day long. I'm sure there are Huskies who fall into that category, but I haven't met any yet.
There are many other qualities a dog needs to be successful in therapy work. They must not be overly fearful - startling is fine, but if your dog is going to have a meltdown if someone drops a bedpan they will never succeed as a therapy dog. They can't be overly affected by stress and sadness. If you do think Brandi would be a good candidate, look up therapy dog classes in your area. Many training facilities offer them and when you're ready, they can help you find a location to get tested and certified as a therapy team.
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