Therapy dogs are typically well behaved pets who's owners have trained to provide affection, comfort and love to people in hospitals, retirement or nursing homes, schools, hospitals and other places where visitation may be appropriate and where they have been invited. Therapy dogs DO NOT have public access privileges under the Americans with Disabilities Act and must be invited. In an effort to provide our community with well-behaved, well-trained and socialized therapy dogs, Linda Brown, tester/evaluator for the Alliance of Therapy Dogs will be conducting a once per month obedience evaluation for those people interested in having their dog tested for suitability as a therapy dog. Once the dog and handler team are deemed suitable for therapy dog work, there is an additional observation of 3 visits to a facility for Linda to observe dog and handler in an actual working environment.
Handlers must be 18 years or older and dogs must be at least 1 year old. They should be friendly to people and other dogs. Any dogs showing aggression or fear toward people or dogs will be dismissed from class. Training methods should never be harsh, overwhelming or stressful for the dogs. In accordance with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs code of ethics and rules, these services are being offered at NO COST. Linda Brown has been a member of the QCDOC for over 15 years. She has trained, shown and titled multiple dogs in many different AKC events including Obedience, Rally, Agility, Earthdog trials, Hunt Tests and the breed ring with her Labrador Retrievers and Parson Russell Terrier. Linda believes in positive reinforcement methods when training dogs. Positive reinforcement training uses praise and/or treats to reward your dog for doing something you want him to do. The reward makes him more likely to repeat the behavior, positive reinforcement is one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your dog's behavior. Positive dog training will be more effective, will work more quickly, and it won't confuse your dog or break their spirit.
For more information on the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and their mission, please click here.