Category Archives: Requirements

7 Most Important Characteristics of a Therapy Dog

a therapy dog image

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A therapy dog is a trained and constantly tested animal to meet the requirements of its profession. The dog should provide comfort for hospitalized people, children with learning disabilities, and generally all patients in any health institutions. It is known that petting dogs is a good therapy to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, stimulate the production of good hormones, and more.

It is not easy for a dog to become a therapy animal; there are behavioral tests and regular health checks. The following passages describe 7 great most important characteristics that a good therapy dog should possess.

1. Friendly

The main purpose is to provide comfort for patients, so the dog should be very friendly toward anyone in hospitals including doctors. Many times, some of therapy dogs visit the same hospitals in the same time. It is also important that the animals create normal or positive interaction with each other. During the visit in health institution or school, they are not allowed to make noises unless the handlers order them to do so.

2. Patient

Many people with different personalities will interact with the dogs in the different manners. Sometimes, patients will also want to pet the dogs; in this case, a therapy dog is instructed to remain calm although the patients do not treat it in the usual ways that the handler does. If the animal is calm, patients will be able to conveniently hold or pet the dog.

5 Essential Therapy Dog Requirements

A therapy dog has special duties; the animal is trained specially by certain organizations or training teams so that it is able to serve the society in the intended manner. Commonly, such dog visits nursing homes, hospitals, schools for children with learning disabilities, and other health-related institutions. Some people believe that the positive interactions created between human and animal may improve or quicken the healing process.

a therapy dog with children

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Nonetheless, not all dogs are qualified for the jobs; there are some specific requirements to meet to apply for the profession. Some of the most essential therapy dog requirements commonly used by any training organization are listed below.

1. Age

Basically, there are two important aspects concerning age. First, the dog has to be at least 1 year old to be allowed to apply for the training. Second, the dog has lived for at least 1 year with the owner. It is also necessary that the animal does not indicate any aggressive behavior under many different situations.

2. Breed

In many cases, any dog breed can be trained to become a therapy dog including mixed breeds and pure breeds. It is believed that each breed has special properties, attitudes, and behaviors that are useful for human, for example for healing or health purposes. Some of the best breeds for therapy dog are Saint Bernard, Pomeranian, Greyhounds, Bullmastiff, Airedale Terrier, Labrador Retrievers, and more. Please put in mind that the mentioned breeds are merely examples; there are many more breeds that can also be such great candidates for therapy dogs.