Wednesday, 2 September 2015

How To Prepare A Dog For Therapy Dog Training

TVLesson.com did a wonderful job providing filming for this video to help people who have questions about what is needed before training a dog for Therapy Dog Training. 


There a number of organisations that can help you train you and your dog to become accredited. If you would like to have your dog trained to do Therapy Dog work you can contact: 


USA

Pet Prescription Team www.petprescriptionteam.com  

Pet Prescription Team was founded in 2003 for one purpose, to help pet owners train and certify their family pets for assisted therapy visits. 

It had been brought to the attention of Krystal Emery, the Founder of; "The Pet Prescription Team" the difficulties and lack of information on the certification process as well as the lack of hands on training for those that desired to train their personal family dog for therapy work.


Pet Prescription Team developed its own personal Training Manual and Policy & Procedure Manual as well as classes to assist in the certification process. Once owners complete an 8 week Pet Prescription Team Training Course they are evaluated through the Pet Prescription Team for certification. Once certified the Pet Prescription Team places Liability Insurance on both the dog and owner while out on Pet Prescription Team therapy visits.

Australia

Delta Therapy Dogs www.deltasociety.com.au/pages/delta-therapy-dogs.html
Delta Therapy Dogs is a heartwarming program that brings the joys of animal companionship to those who need it most. 
  • Delta’s volunteer Therapy Dog Teams brighten the lives of an estimated 20,000 Australians in hospitals and care facilities every week.
  • Delta Therapy Dogs world class program is the largest of its kind in Australia with over 1000+ volunteers and their special dogs making regular visits to health care facilities to offer the wonderful benefits of pet therapy, spend time with patients and offer a chat, a floppy ear to listen and a paw to shake.
  • There are currently over 850 facilities involved nationally ranging from aged care through to acute care hospitals for children and adults as well mental health, prisons and dementia specific facilities.

Become a Volunteer Delta Therapy Team
Delta volunteers and their amazing therapy dogs are their most valued resources, and are always looking for new volunteer teams to join Delta Therapy Dogs program.
  • Do you have a dog with a good temperament?
  • Do you have an hour or two to spare every week?
  • Are you interested in volunteering in your local community?
  • Do you love talking with people about your dog?

If you answered yes to all these questions, then volunteering with Delta Therapy Dogs could be an incredibly rewarding experience for you. To become a Delta Therapy team, your dog must pass a strict temperament assessment with you, and you must complete a volunteer training session.
  • What is required?
  • Is your dog suitable?
  • Watch the temperament testing procedures video


If you feel that your dog would make a perfect Therapy Dog, then click here: www.deltasociety.com.au/pages/register-your-interest.html  

UK

Pets As Therapy www.petsastherapy.org 

Pets As Therapy is a national charity founded in 1983. It provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues by volunteers with their own friendly, temperament tested and vaccinated dogs & cats. 

Since its beginning over 28,000 PAT dogs have been registered into the Pets As Therapy scheme. Every year some of these retire and new dogs, having first been examined and passed on health, temperament, suitability and stability grounds, join Pets As Therapy.
Today there are currently around 4,500 active PAT visiting dogs and 108 PAT cats at work in the UK. Every week these calm friendly dogs and cats give more than 130,000 people, both young and old, the pleasure and chance to cuddle and talk to them. The bedsides that are visited each year number a staggering half million.

Each Pets As Therapy dog has an identifying tag on its collar and many of them wear a distinctive yellow coat. The owner has a photo ID badge which is worn for security at all times when visiting. Pets As Therapy have introduced a photo ID tag for its Pets As Therapy Dogs & Cats as well. As the largest charity of its type in Europe, Pets As Therapy recognises that security needs are paramount and that busy authorities and on duty staff alike, need the reassurance of a therapeutic supportive service which is problem free.

Unusual Dog Breeds

Over the centuries, people have bred dogs to be companions, pets and workers. Because of this, dogs are the most diverse land animals in terms of physical appearance. While you might know that Labs are squarely-built short-haired retrievers and Dachshunds are short, squat, little badger fighters; but there are also other rarer type dogs.

1. Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is a large, fearless dog traditionally bred to guard herds, flocks, families, and entire villages. One of the massive fluffy pups was also recently sold in China for $1.5 million dollars, and became the most expensive dog ever sold.




2. The Pachón Navarro
With a nose like the double barrels of a shotgun, the Pachón Navarro is an extremely rare Spanish hunting dog that was once believed to have superior sniffing skills. Now breeders know that the Pachón Navarro’s nose is just cosmetically different, they don’t offer any advantage over a regular pup nose.



3. Thai Ridgeback

Similar to the Rhodesian Ridgeback, the Thai Ridgeback pup has a line of hair growing in the opposite direction along the spine. These strong-willed, powerful pups are used as livestock guardians in their Asian home.


4. Salish Wool Dog

Originally from the Washington State/British Columbia area, the Salish Wool Dog is now extinct as a distinct breed. These pups were small with long white hair that the native people sheared (like a sheep) to weave into treasured Salish blankets. The dogs were kept in groups ranging from 12 to about 20 and kept safe on islands or in gated off caves.


5. Xoloitzcuintli

Pronounced Sho-lo-eets-quint-lee, the Xoloitzcuintli is usually referred to as the “Mexican Hairless Dog” or just “Xolo.” This breed is so old that it was actually worshiped by the Aztecs. Because many Americans are not familiar with Xolo pups, it has been mistaken for the mythological Chupacabra along the US border states. The Xoloitzcuintli has not been inbred over the years like many other purebreed dogs and it is a very healthy and hardy dog that only requires a bit of moisturizer, sunscreen, and regular bathing.



6. Neapolitan Mastiff

Historically bred to fight alongside the Romans wearing body armor and blades so that they could run under and disembowel enemy horses, the Neopolitan Mastiff was almost extinct at the end of WWII. After an Italian painter set up a kennel to protect the enormous pups and bred them with English Mastiffs to diversify the bloodline, the Neopolitan Mastiff has evolved as a breed and one even appeared as Hagrid’s pet dog, Fang, in the Harry Potter movies.


7. Mudi

The Mudi is a mid-sized Hungarian herding dog with a thick, curly coat and smooth face. While they are still rare in the US, the Mudi dogs are gaining popularity with their versatile, energetic attitudes.


8. Lundehund

Originally used in Norway to hunt for Puffins, the Lundehund has six toes on each foot, prick ears that it can control at will, and the ability to tip its head backward to touch its backbone. The Norwegian Lundehund is unlike any other breed.


9. Catahoula Leopard Dog

Prized by Native Americans for their incredible hunting abilities, these pups have been favorites of famous hunters like Teddy Roosevelt. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is named after the Catahoula Parish in Louisiana, where the breed originated.

10. Carolina Dog

Also known as the “American Dingo,” Carolina Dogs are thought to be the oldest canine species in North America, appearing on rock paintings by Native Americans. The Carolina Dogs share DNA with the Australian Dingoes and New Guinea Singing Dogs and even though the breed has been domesticated, there are still wild pups still roaming around.


11. Azawakh Hound

The Azawakh is a sighthound that is very rare outside of its West African homeland. Known for its agile and feline-like gait, the Azawakh are timid by nature, but gentle and affectionate once they get to know you. It's used for hunting gazelles and other fleet animals of the African deserts.


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12. Beauceron

The next breed of dog you’ve probably never heard of is the Beauceron, a French herding breed that is noted as one of the breeds used to create the Doberman Pinscher. The Beauceron is a large and athletic, highly intelligent and obedient, with an eagerness to please. 

Source: https://barkpost.com/rare-dog-breeds 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Dogs Trained To "Sniff Out" Landmines & Save Lives

Landmines maim & kill thousands each year, keep people from their homes, and deny the use of productive land. The Marshall Legacy Institute works in war-torn countries and provides Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) to "sniff out" landmines, save lives and return the land to productive use. MDDs are one of the most efficient and effective detectors of landmines, searching an area 30 times faster than other demining tools and saving tens of thousands of lives, before retiring into good homes.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

For many nations, a primary obstacle to achieving sustainable progress is the deadly legacy of landmines. Landmines halt agricultural production, impede economic growth, slow the return of refugees, instill fear, and kill and maim innocent citizens on a daily basis, injuring or killing at least one person every 40 minutes. 
Thus, MLI's primary mission is to establish practical, affordable, and sustainable indigenous programs to help severely mine-affected countries rid their land of mines.

How will this project solve this problem?

Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) are able to effectively and efficiently "sniff out" the landmines, which are often small, plastic, and buried in the ground. Over the past 16 years, MLI has provided 197 highly trained mine detection dogs to 11 mine-affected countries. In 2013, MLI's active MDDs searched nearly 800 acres of mine affected land, saving countless lives. None of MLI's MDDs have been injured or killed while working and all are retired into excellent homes

Potential Long Term Impact

MLI emphasizes the importance of helping countries help themselves and is the only organization in the world that builds indigenous demining capacity by donating highly trained Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) to mine contaminated countries, and then training local handlers to safely and effectively employ the MDDs in national landmine clearance programs. Each MDD impacts tens of thousands of lives by searching up to 2 million sq. meters of land in their working life before retiring into great homes.

Funding Information

If you would like to help this amazing program click here...



Resources

Friday, 21 August 2015

New research on older people and pets

Measuring the Benefits Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons - IFA’s new report

The health impact of pets on older people is explored in a new report published by the International Federation on Ageing (IFA). The report Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons provides a literature review into the ways pets contribute to the physical and mental health of individuals and the well-being of society.

“This field of research has important implications across generations and also for the future of our broader societies,” said Dr. Jane Barratt, International Federation on Ageing.

“Many studies have broadly discussed how pets, such as dogs and cats, contribute to health by reducing anxiety, loneliness and depression, but until today have not yet been published in a single resource. This new report advances our understanding of the value of companion animals in the framework of human health and the broader society,” she said.

"The interaction between humans and animals is powerful; animals can educate, motivate, and enhance the quality of life for people around the world", said Michael Devoy, chief medical officer, Bayer HealthCare, which sponsored the report.

“Given the scope of this report, we are excited that this research has the ability to reach human healthcare practitioners, veterinarians, doctors, nurses, gerontologists, and social workers,” Mr Devoy said.


Report Summary:

This report is the most extensive literature review to date of research undertaken in the field of companion animals and the health of older people. Encompassing published research from 1980 to 2013, it considers the impact on the physical, psychological, emotional and social health of older people, both in the community as pet owners and as residents of care facilities and other institutions to whom animals are introduced for recreational and therapeutic purposes. The economic impact of companion animals is also considered. Despite limitations and gaps in the research caused by weak project design or poorly-controlled studies, the positive indicators of improvements to the health and well-being of older people are encouraging and affirm the value of future research in this field.


Thursday, 20 August 2015

This Dog's Nose Saves Bees

Klinker is a one-of-a-kind dog. She’s the only dog in the U.S. certified to detect a damaging bacteria in beehives.

Along with her handler, Bill Troup, she inspects up to a thousand honeybee colonies a day for the contagious and lethal bacteria called American foulbrood.



Source: Swindon & District Beekeepers Association (14 Jan 2015) www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/home/2015/1/18/watch-this-dogs-nose-saves-bees.html 

Pets As Therapy (UK)

Pets As Therapy is a national UK charity founded in 1983. It provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues by volunteers with their own friendly, temperament tested, vaccinated dogs & cats.

Since its establishment 28,000+ PAT dogs have been registered into the Pets As Therapy scheme. Every year some of these retire and new dogs, having first been examined and passed on health, temperament, suitability and stability grounds, join Pets As Therapy.

Currently 4,500 active PAT visiting dogs and 108 PAT cats work in the UK. Every week these calm friendly dogs & cats give more than 130,000 people, both young and old, the pleasure and chance to cuddle and talk to them. The bedsides that are visited each year number a staggering half million.


Why Pets as Therapy

Sick patients often feel isolated and even the most withdrawn seem to open up and let the barriers down when their regular Pets As Therapy visiting dog is around. These dogs bring everyday life closer and with it all the happy associations for them of home comforts. The constant companionship of an undemanding animal, that gives unconditional love, is often one of the most missed aspects of their lives. Pets As Therapy was formed to help make this loss more bearable and speed recovery. 


Evidence based research

Research continues to validate the very real value of this daily work undertaken in the community by voluntary Pets As Therapy visitors and their dogs that work amongst those of us most in need of a little extra boost in addition to medical skills and nursing care. Pets as Therapy are in the process of setting in place research to further validate the very real health benefits these animals bring daily into the lives of those people who are ill or disabled.


Accreditation

All Pets As Therapy dogs and cats are required to pass an assessment to check their temperament by Pets As Therapy accredited assessors or qualified vets be fully vaccinated, wormed and protected against fleas. Records are required by the charity and each volunteer is bound to send copies when boosters have been given.


Download the Pets as Therapy Temperament Assessment Test: http://www.petsastherapy.org/images/stories/Factsheets/Factsheet3.pdf

Identification

Each Pets As Therapy dog has an identifying tag on its collar and many of them wear a distinctive yellow coat. The owner has a photo ID badge which is worn for security at all times when visiting. Pets As Therapy have introduced a photo ID tag for its Pets As Therapy Dogs & Cats as well. As the largest charity of its type in Europe, Pets As Therapy recognises that security needs are paramount and that busy authorities and on duty staff alike, need the reassurance of a therapeutic supportive service which is problem free.




Becoming a volunteer team with Pets As Therapy

Any dog or cat can become a PAT dog or a PAT cat, as long as it has been with its owner for at least 6 months, is over 9 months of age and can pass the assessment. All PAT dogs and cats wear a special ID disc on their collars. Their owners also wear a special ID badge whilst on visits. Pets As Therapy volunteers generously give their time. The amount of time varies, but regular visits are appreciated.

Making an Application and FAQs for Potential Volunteers 

Find out here about the application process and what is expected of you as a volunteer by downloading the fact sheets before making a full application.


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