Many Greenhound owners have enquired about how they go about putting their Greenhounds in the Delta Therapy Dog program and how to prepare their Greenhounds for a therapy role.
To help those of you considering therapy work with your hound, one of our approved assessors Alex Surplice, outlines some of the differences & requirements she has noted between the Greenhound Assessment and the Delta Therapy Dogs Assessment.
Difference between a Greenhound Assessment and a Delta Therapy Dogs Assessment
The main difference between the two is a Greenhound Assesssment is assessing the hound, whereas a Delta Therapy Dog Assessment is assessing the Team – ie handler and hound working as one.
The pre-requisites for assessment are:-
a) The hound must have passed their Greenhound assessment
b) The hound must be over 18 months of age
c) The hound must have a veterinary health assessment
Details of the full assessment requirements including a video can be found at www.deltasociety.com.au/pages/about-delta-therapy-dogs.html
Apart from the exercises that need to be performed as part of the assessment, the assessor will be looking at the “teamwork” demonstrated between handler and hound.eg.
- a strong bond with its owner, i.e. the dog is responsive to the handlers requests
- the ability of the handler to read the dog's body language i.e. able to tell when the hound maybe stressed or uncomfortable
- a well-socialized and outgoing hound who will actively seek out people
- a calm, stable personality that can handle the unexpected, such are a cane dropping, a patient yelling or rough, clumsy petting.
- a hound that is under handler control at all time, even in the face of distractions.
- a hound MUST NOT jump up, paw, bite, snap, mouth, lick, pull on the leash, or bark
The assessment process requires teamwork as outlined above together with some preparatory training.
We have a 4 week therapy dog preparation course which covers all the things the need to be performed in order to pass the assessment, alternately if the hound has most of the behaviours required under control, we also provide a one session “polishing” service where we can provide the handler with tips as to where they need to “focus” training.""
Please contact Alex Surplice at [email protected] for more information on preparing your Greenhound for the therapy dog assessment.