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Does anyone on here have a Certified Therapy Dog (beagle or not) or know someone who does? I'm looking at getting a dog to get certified as a therapy dog (perhaps Frances on the adoption board), and was looking over the requirements. Do most people just train the things that are required for the dogs on their own and then take them to the test? Anything special I can do to make sure my dog passes? I'm very interested in this! If anyone could point me in the direction of someone who could help, that would be wonderful!
 

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My Chloe is a certified Therapy Dog (Therapy Assistance) by the Delta Society. So are Kim and the Beaglebrats' Beagles.

Personally I have yet to start working as our ID was only mailed to us about 1.5 weeks ago. I want to join the next training (last 2-3 meetings) to refresh some things, and then will schedule visits.

You can either train yourself or join a class (6 weeks) I think it's a wonderful thing.

There are also many other organizations that train for this purpose: Good Dog Foundation is one of them.
 

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A couple of local dog training groups in my area hold classes that prepare you for the therapy dog test. Check around. Working with a trainer that knows how the test is given, and can give you hints in preparing your dog would be very useful, in my opinion.
 

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My greyhound Andy is a certified therapy dog and he visits a memory care center for seniors.

Andy is registered thru Therapy Dogs International http://www.tdi-dog.org/ That site has some info about the requirements are of the dog and also locations for certification evaluation.

Some nursing homes or facilities do not require that a dog is certified, only that they are up to date on all medical paperwork and are well behaved and calm. I brought my other greyhound along with me too on visits and he loves it.

A beagle would be a great therapy dog because they are so friendly and a very recognized breed.
 

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I have a question about dog therapy - I know that Arty will be a great dog for dog therapy in the next couple of years (when he really starts to mellow out) but sometimes in the back of my mind I worry about germs.

That is - I am a total germaphobe .. when I work in the hospital I always change out of my scrubs before coming home because I didnt want icky germs etc in my car and then brought to my house. It does not help that I have general anxiety disorder and have to take anti-anxiety medication to keep my emotions in check (I dont have panic attacks or anything, but I just have that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach all day long)

However, as a nurse I have seen firsthand how awesome pet therapy is (especially amongst the pediatric and elder population) and I really know that Arty would be a great therapy dog. It would be so wrong and selfish of me to not get him certified and used because I know so many people could benefit. Its a crazy internal battle inside my mind everytime I think about pet therapy.

So.. my question is - those of you who have brought your pets in, how do you deal with the germs? Or maybe you are a normal, sane human being who doesnt over-worry about dumb things like I do (I truly wish I could worry less...). Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Or do you give your therapy pet a bath after each visit? or a wipe down? Eeks!
 

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I am not super worried about germs. I always clean Andy up a bit before he goes for a visit - brush his teeth, check his ears and sometimes use a pet wiping cloth to clean him up. he is taught to leave it so he won't pick up things that he shouldn't.

As for germs on myself....I wash my hands at the facility if I feel necessary. You can always get the rec director to hold your dog while you use the restroom. You can use the pet wipes to clean up your doggies feet when you leave.

If there is an outbreak of the flu or something like that at the home, they ask me not to come anyway.
 

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Yes, you are required to visit with a CLEAN dog, i.e., basically wash the dog before every visit. That's not realistic, as you are not supposed to bathe a dog more than once every month or two, so I talked to some people and they baby wipe the dog before the visits.
I am also planning on doing that.
I'm not worried about the germs, as I'm not planning on physically touch each and every patient. Also, in case of a patient that can spread something, they won't let you visit.
 
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