OC Therapy Dog Training Classes:
We start a new Therapy dog class about every quarter. Dogs must have very good obedience to join this class. In this class we work on you becoming a team and learning how your dog speaks to you. This helps you to get ready for Therapy Certification, however this class does not guarantee you will pass certification. This is a fun class and we go to multiple location to get you as a team ready. There is limited spacing available; This is a 10-week class for $500.00.
This Therapy Dog class is conducted at various locations, so we can acclimate the dogs to elevators, large crowds, noises, other social settings. This is a very fun and rewarding class!
· 10-week course
· Includes AKC CGC Evaluation (American Kennel Club, Canine Good Citizen)
· Final lesson visiting a facility and evaluation.
· Includes Therapy Dog scarf and Id card after passing.
· Certification is valid for 1 year
· Minimum age by completion of course is 12 months
During this 10-week OC Therapy Dog class we teach, dog behavior, dogs body language, causes of fight or flight, the science and benefits of therapy dogs.
For more information about our therapy classes, please Contact Us
10-week class for $500.00 Dogs must have good obedience to join this class. In this class we work on the two of you becoming a team and learning how your dog speaks to you. This helps to get you ready for Independence Therapy Certification, however this class does not guarantee you will pass certification.
Please Email us if you are interested.
OC Therapy Dogs is a program of OC Service Dogs Inc. Registered OC Therapy Dog Teams are designed to bring physical & emotional benefits to humans thru the interaction of dog and handler. The requirements that are necessary to become a registered OC Therapy Dog team are designed to make sure that the volunteer teams are prepared, trained, educated and that the dogs have been properly screened for each child’s reading program, special events, schools, buddy walk, nursing homes, hospital visit, & etc.
Step 1: Fill out On-line Registration form. Step 2: Complete the Health Screening for your dog & Handler’s Questionnaire Step 3: Complete the OC Therapy Dog 10-week course Description of 10 Week course: -Improve Obedience skills -Learn your dog’s body language, ques, when they are stressing & how to handle when your dog does stress -Go to multiple diverse locations expose both dogs and handlers to various situations and to learn your dog’s strengths, weakness, body language, and work on weak areas. -Work on elevators, stairs, multiple flooring surfaces, noises, wheelchairs, walkers & other medical equipment Step 4: Complete and Pass the 2-day evaluation Once Team has passed they will receive an ID card with an expiration date of 1 year, requiring recertification annually and a vest and liability insuance coverage when they are functioning under the auspices of OC Therapy Dogs.
Dogs Eligible for Registration:
Minimum Age requirement is 1 year for dogs. Reason: Puppies sometimes play bite and scratch and can be fragile and can be fragile and get hurt Lived in owner’s home for at least 6 months Housebroke (no elimination accidents in the home and no marking) During the Team Evaluation, and visits the dog should: Want to visit is friendly and confident
Be currently vaccinated against rabies.
Have no history of aggression or seriously injuring either people or other dog.
Has good basic obedience skills, walking on loose leash (not pulling), responding reliably to common commands heel, come, sit, stay, and leave it
Enjoys interactions with stranger
Dogs that are sick or have an infection or having any treatment:
If your dog is sick, tacking antibiotics, antifungals, immunosuppressant, should not make visits until they are healthy and have been cleared by veterinarian. If your dog has just been vaccinated or have just had a flee, tick, heart worm treatment we will ask that you do not make visit for 5 days to make sure your dog has no adverse effects from treatment
Dogs with a Disability we will address on a case by case situation.
Future Handlers will need the following requirements:
The 10-week class will go over each of these criteria. Need to be able to read their dogs body language and recognize when their dog is over stimulated, stressed, and/or fatigued. Handlers need to have positive interactions with their dog thru encouraging, directing and praising Handlers will need to be able to redirect their dogs without forcefully jerking on the leash or offering the animal food or toys Help guide others in interactions with your dog Be mindful to keep themselves, others, and their dog safe Help educate the public on Therapy Dogs and the difference between Therapy and Service Dogs Minors who would like to volunteer: OC Therapy Dogs welcome minors however you will need to have a parent/guardian on all visits. All minors must have a permission to participate by parent/guardian. Volunteers with Disability: OC Therapy Dogs works with handlers who may have disability, including those with service dogs. We will work with person to meet their needs individually. We will need to discuss if accommodations are needed Dealing with Stress in Others, Yourself and your dog is very important During your visits you may see signs of stress in the client, staff, yourself, and/or dog. If your dog is not stress it will probably pick up on your stress and very likely pick up on the surrounding stress of others. If your dog does become stressed it is very important to recognize and then adjust your visits. Remember that just like us they may have good and bad days and the way that they tell us is through their body language. It is normal even the most skilled teams to experience stress it is how you handle it that is important. In addition, if you notice the person you are visiting is becoming stress due to the teams visit it is also your responsibility to adjust your visit time and maybe leave early.
If you see signs of in a client during a visit, here are some suggestions -Change the conversation -Increase the amount of space between yourself and the client or between your animal and client -stop conversation or slow conversation -change your position to make sure you are not intimidating them -offer to come back another Time-End Visit Ideas to help manage your stress:
Recognize Limits – Set reasonable goals and don’t over commit yourself
Plan – Organize, don’t have too many projects at the same time.
Optimistic – Be positive look at good qualities glass is half full
Forgive – Try to realize how the other people feel – try not to be over sensitive – realize that some people might like your dog and do not take it personally some caregivers, nurses etc.… may think the dog is dirty or unsanitary. It is important not to take this personally and be respectful and kind with responses
Exercise – Exercise is a stress reliever for you and your dog.
OC Therapy Dogs Handler’s Questionnaire Handler’s Name: _¬¬¬¬¬¬__ Dog’s Name: ___
Please complete the questionnaire and bring this with you along with a brush and proof of rabies vaccine
Please initial each line confirming that you meet each standard:
¬¬____My dog is a minimum of 1year of age
____My dog’s rabies vaccination is current and I have proof
____My dog has lived in my home for at least 6 months.
____My dog has NO history of any aggression towards people including growling, lunging or biting.
__ My dog has never injured another dog
__ My dog has not been train for bite and/or protection work
__ My dog is in good healthy with no open wounds or signs of illness or infection and is not pregnant, nursing, or in season
__ My dog is not taking antibiotics, antifungals, or immunosuppressive medications
____My dog has been groomed for this evaluation according to OC Therapy Dog guidelines
__ My dog is wearing the approved collar or harness, and leash that I plan to use for visiting
____I have completed the OC Therapy Dog course or I am a current or renewing team
If you have specific questions about your eligibility as a team, or if you or your dog has any disability or specific needs please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 714-618-4675
Dog Health Screening:
OC Therapy Dogs is a program that trains, evaluate and registers handling teams (volunteer and their pets) for visiting people and children in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and other institutions. To be eligible to participate in our program, all dogs must be examined by a licensed veterinarian and pass the health screening. It is important to consider that visiting dogs may both be exposed to infectious agents because they visit people in healthcare facilities and be a potential source of infectious agents for the people they visit. As the dog’s veterinarian, you are the best person to render the overall opinion of the dog’s health.
Dog’s Name: ___ Owners Name: ___
Breed: ___ Age: __
This dog is current on rabies vaccinations This dog is free of internal and external parasites at the time of examination This dog does not display any signs consistent with and infectious disease at the time of examination If this dog has a condition, it is under control using a prescribed medication. Please note: dogs currently taking antibiotics, antifungals or immunosuppressive medications are not able to participate. If this dog has a disability, it can still participate fully with accommodations. Please include suggested accommodations below:
DVM Name:__ Clinic Name:__ Clinic Website:__ Clinic Address:__
DMV Signature: _ Date: __
Please don’t hesitate to contact OC Therapy Dogs 714-618-4675 or email@example.com OC Therapy Dogs is dedicated to the regulation, testing, selection, and registration of qualified dogs and handlers for the purpose of visitations to hospitals, nursing homes, schools or any place where teams can safely benefit the emotional or health needs of others.
Our test will require your dog to be well trained and the handler to be able to control their dog in various situations. This test includes portions of the AKC-CGC test.
DEMONSTRATING CONFIDENCE AND CONTROL, THE DOG MUST COMPLETE THESE 16 STEPS OF THE AKC/CGC TEST® AND THE ADDITIONAL OC THERAPY DOGS
During the Team Evaluation, the dog: Should Want to visit & is friendly and confident Respect personal boundaries – will not jump, bump, nibble etc. Is reliable, under control & predictable Will make the first move to interact, and stay involved and allow actions to be redirected
Dogs should demonstrate neutral body posture – Behave in a friendly or welcoming manner – have a relax body – Dog should show no shyness, aggression or fear -Dogs should not bark or whine – should not eliminate (any sign of aggression towards human and/or animal is unacceptable and will immediately disqualify them for becoming a Therapy Dog)
REQUIREMENTS. Prior to beginning this test OC Therapy Dogs requires proof of current rabies certificate and any other state or locally required inoculation certificates and licenses.
TEST 1: ACCEPTING A FRIENDLY STRANGER This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The Evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. Evaluator looks but does not touch your dog. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the Evaluator. The Evaluator will also move behind you; your team may change positions but your dog must remain next to you
TEST 2: SITTING POLITELY FOR PETTING OF A FRIENDLY STRANGER This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. The dog should sit at the handler’s side as the Evaluator approaches and begins to pet the dog on the head and body only. The dog may stand in place to accept petting. The dog must not show shyness or resentment. Your dog must willingly accept the evaluator petting.
TEST 3: APPEARANCE AND GROOMING This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger, such as a veterinarian, groomer, or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern, and sense of responsibility. The Evaluator inspects the dog, then combs or brushes the dog, and examines the eyes, ears, nails and each front foot.
TEST 4: OUT FOR A WALK (WALKING ON A LOOSE LEASH) This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog can be on either side of the handler, whichever the handler prefers. There must be a left turn, a right turn, and an about turn, with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The dog should be aligned with the handler and should sit when the handler stops
TEST 5: WALKING THROUGH A CROWD This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers, without appearing over exuberant, shy, or resentful. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not be straining at the leash. Also have a group surround dog.
TEST 6: SIT AND DOWN ON COMMAND/STAYING IN PLACE This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s command to sit and down, and will remain in the place commanded by the handler. The handler may use a verbal and/or hand signal. The evaluator will instruct for the sit command and needs to stay in the sit command for at least 5 seconds. Will then repeat for the down command. For the stay portion the handler can choose between Sit, Down or Stand. When instructed by the Evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of a 10-foot line. The dog must remain in place, but may change position but must stay until the Evaluator to release the dog.
TEST 7: COMING WHEN CALLED This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog. The evaluator will distract your dog by petting. The Evaluator will tell you to call your dog. Your dog must return to you without distraction or delay. You will attach your standard leash and return the long line to the evaluator
TEST 8: REACTION TO ANOTHER DOG &/OR OTHER ANIMALS This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 10 yards, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 5 yards. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other. Your dog may not show aggression, fear, or excessive fear.
TEST 9: REACTIONS TO DISTRACTIONS This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations, such as the dropping of a large book or a jogger running, a bicycle or a skateboarder riding in front of the dog. The dog may express a natural interest and curiosity and/or appear slightly startled, but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. There will be a visual distraction in front and auditory distraction behind.
TEST 10: REACTION TO MEDICAL EQUIPMENT WITH STAGGERING AND GESTURING INDIVIDUAL The dog must be tested around medical equipment (such as wheelchairs, crutches, canes, walkers, or other devices which would ordinarily be found in a facility) to judge the dog’s reactions to common health care equipment. Using the healthcare equipment, he/she may stagger, gestures with hands, make noises, and moans until she is about 5 ft. from your team. Will stop and call and motion your team to approach and pets your dog. The ideal Therapy dog is “neutral” to these devices and your dog must willingly approach and accept petting.
TEST 11: LEAVE-IT The handler with the dog on a loose leash walks over food on the ground, over toys on the ground and, upon command the dog should ignore the food and toy or any other item. Will also throw and/or drop toy and dog should not go after it.
OFFERED TREAT Evaluator walks toward your team with treat in hand with it reached out in front and asks “May I give your dog a treat?” You get to decide whether your dog may have the treat. If you allow the treat to be taken, tell the evaluator how to give the treat to your dog. Your dog must take the treat gently.
TEST 12: ACCLIMATION TO INFIRMITIES This test demonstrates the dog’s confidence when exposed to people walking with an uneven gait, shuffling, breathing heavily, coughing, wheezing, or other distractions which may be encountered in a facility. Again, being “neutral” is ideal. ANGRY YELLING Assistants begin yelling at each other approximately 5ft away (the yelling is not directed at your team). The assistants stop, yelling become neutral and one assistant calls your team over. Your dog must be willingly to approach and accept interaction.
TEST 13: SUPERVISED SEPARATION This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain its training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.
TEST 14: SAY HELLO WITH EXUBERANT & CLUMSY PETTING & RESTRAINING HUG
The Evaluator will test the willingness of each dog to visit a person and that the dog can be made readily accessible for petting.
Evaluator simulates petting by someone with limited mobility and poor motor skills. Evaluator will make strange noises while interaction with your dog.
The Evaluator will also give a full body hug around the shoulders that restricts it for no more than 15 seconds. Your dog must be willing to except the petting and hug.
TEST 15: REACTION TO CHILDREN The dog must be able to work well around all types of populations, including children. The dog's behavior around children must be evaluated during testing. This means the dog can be observed for a reaction toward children playing, running, or present in general at the testing site. Any negative reaction by the dog will result in automatic failure. Negative reaction means a dog showing signs of aggression. The dog must allow the children to pet, hug, him/her.
OVERALL HANDLER EVALUATION The evaluator makes an overall assessment of your handler skills, as demonstrated throughout the evaluation. Did you advocate your dog? Did you guide interaction? Did you have appropriate social interactions?
Test 16: FINAL TEST OC Therapy Dogs Evaluator will accompany dog and handler team to visit a local facility. All dogs are tested and evaluated for Therapy Dog work by OC Therapy Dogs Evaluators. Many dogs provide love and companionship in the home however, not all dogs are qualified or have the temperament suited to be a Therapy Dog.
Test 17: Evaluator Discretion: If the evaluator is concerned with the Temperament or aggression. The evaluators are instructed to redo a test or same test in slightly different environments to make sure there is no aggression.
For Small Dogs
PASS BETWEEN STRANGERS Assistants are seated in chairs within arm’s length, you pass your dog to the first assistant. Your dog sits for a minimum of 5 seconds in the assistant’s lap and is petted, and then returned back to your lap. The process is repeat with 2-3 more assistants. You may reassure but not pet your dog. Your dog must welcome the interactions.
Team Work is critical. Think about what is best for both of you not just you and not just your dog but both of you working together. However, even if you feel strongly about participating but if you know your dog will be stressed you might need rethink the activity.
Activity level of the facility that is best suited for your team Quite place or Active
Do you enjoy communicating with strangers, or do you prefer developing relationship with the same people over many visits?
Would your team enjoy working with children, adults or both?
Think about where you as a team will be most effective. Is your dog effected by different equipment?
It is important that your team inspires confidence! The way to inspire confidence with yourself, clients, facility staff is when they perceive that you and your dog are a true team. Your dog’s behavior needs to be consistently obedient, you need to be in control of your dog in all situations. You and your dog should both have good manners be polite and courteous. Your dog’s behavior should be dependable, predictable and controllable. This will inspire confidence in others and yourself.
Section I: Adherence to Standards
I certify that I meet all required qualifications for a Therapy Animal Team as required by Pet Partners at the time of my registration, including, but not limited to:
a. I have known the animal the minimum required length of time.
b. The ages of the handler and the animal meet the minimum requirement.
c. My animal does not have a history of aggression towards animals or people.
d. My animal has not ever seriously injured or killed another companion animal.
e. My animal has never been encouraged or trained to bite, even as a part of dog sport, such as Schutzhund.
f. My animal is reliably house trained.
I agree to abide by the most current versions of the OC Therapy Dog Program Code of Ethics, Standards of Professional Conduct and Policies
I understand it is my responsibility to provide OC Therapy Dogs with up-to-date contact information for my volunteer record to ensure that I receive OC Therapy Dog communications.
I understand I must cease visits if my Therapy Animal Team registration expires.
I understand it is my responsibility to report incidents that occur while volunteering as an OC Therapy Dog Team without delay using the Incident Report Form. If an incident does occur, I will cease all OC Therapy Dog visits immediately until I am told by Pet Partners that I may resume visiting.
I understand OC Therapy Dog assumes no legal responsibility for my actions, or those of my animal, in our roles as a registered therapy animal team.