Our Dogs Are Therapy Dogs!
One of the most rewarding activities for you and your Doberman is doing therapy work. As opposed to service dogs, which are specifically trained to fill the needs of a handler (such as guide dogs for the blind, assistance dogs for the disabled and PTSD dogs for veterans who’ve suffered trauma), therapy dogs provide a calm, loving interaction for others, under the guidance of their owners. Depending upon the dog, and the owner’s preference, therapy dogs visit hospitals, rehab centers, memory care facilities, schools, hospice homes, teen programs, jails, etc., etc., and so on.
Not every dog is suited to be a therapy dog; many of the desired traits are inherent in the individual dog. Yes, they need to be friendly, but also must be open to any new situation, not at all fearful, not dog aggressive (as many dogs work in teams), well trained in basic obedience, calm and overwhelmingly well socialized to sounds, smells, odd movements, confined spaces and all ages and types of people.
There are a variety of agencies in the DPCNC area which certify and/or manage therapy dogs. Some do the testing and set up visits at affiliated facilities; others accept Canine Good Citizen certification and allow members of find and schedule their own visits.
When researching which to join, do research as to requirements and benefits which best fit your needs. Most importantly, make sure the organization provides insurance and support for participants.
DPCNC has members who do, or have done, therapy work with their Dobermans. Feel free to ask for assistance if it is something you would like to investigate sharing with your dog.
For more information, visit AKC.org.