Puppies in School - Why we say don't do it!
Q. How can I access the training in New Zealand?
A. The same as our Australian students! Most of our course is delivered online, we will work with you to locate a dog trainer in your area in NZ to complete the final F2F assessments for you. TDA trainers will also be making trips to NZ to further support our international teams with temperament assessments and other professional development.
Q. Will my dog have Public Access rights upon completion of the course?
A. No, unfortunately not. There is no legislation to support Therapy Dogs sitting the Public Access Test. Your dog will not need to gain public access, and we strongly discourage people using their Therapy Dogs Australia therapy coat to attempt to take their dog in to public access places.
Q. Do you train assistance/service/companion dogs?
A. No, we don't. Search your state government websites for a list of approved trainers.
Q. Which course is right for me - Community or Clinical?
A. The Clinical course is designed for professionals who are Bachelor trained within either the Health or Education industries.
The clinical course has a greater focus on Animal Assisted Interventions, clinical case discussion and focus on current research. Therefore, a high standard of prior clinical training is a must.
The Community course is designed for all other persons who are wanting to train their dog to a high standard, as well as receive extensive knowledge about Animal Assisted Activities, including all ethical and legal topics, canine welfare and Human-Animal Bond.
The Community course is suitable for non-bachelor trained counsellors, disability support workers and community volunteers (for nursing home, hospital & school visits).
Q. What if I want to train more than one dog?
You only need to attend our Community or Clinical course with ONE of your dogs. We suggest you choose the one that is the most difficult to train, so that we can help you along the way. We also prefer if you stick with the one dog during the course (in the training videos that you submit throughout). In the meantime, apply the same training methods to all of your dogs.
Once your dog/s are ready to pass their obedience & temperament assessments, simply submit assessments for each dog. You will pay for the assessments for subsequent dogs - but will not be paying for the Community / Clinical courses for each dog.
Q. What are you looking for in a Therapy Dog?
A. We are looking for dogs that are happy, healthy, friendly, confident and interested in being around people. It is really important that your dog wants to be a therapy dog. Therefore, we need to see that they are happy, confident and interested in being around new people. In regards to their behaviours, we can help you to train or manage most behaviours during the course (you do not need to bring an already trained dog to the course, we train them with you!). However, the issues that will need longer that 5/6 days to train include things like aggression, and high anxiety. If you are unsure about your dogs suitability, please contact us for a pre-course assessment (we can do these via Skype if required).
Q. What are you looking for in a Therapy Dog handler?
A. We are looking for handlers whom can display confidence in handling their dog in a variety of situations. Handlers need to be quick-thinking and able to apply previously learned information to problem solve novel situations. We are looking for handlers who are interested in building AAT in to a professional and ethical field which is considerate of the welfare of clients and canines, working together. AAT is harder than just 'bringing my dog to work', and costly! If this is your driving force, we may not be the training company for you.
Q. What age should I train my dog?
A. We accept dogs in to our courses from 12months of age, however you can register for your course when your dog is younger - as long as they are very close to 12 months by the end of your course.
However, we are training puppies and adolescent dogs through our Juniors Mentoring Programs. These programs include an introductory webinar with important 'must know' information about developing a young dog in to a Therapy Dog. Then you have access to our weekly/fortnightly online dog training classes - where you can ask questions and show us videos of what is happening with your dog. You will also gain access to our online training forum (closed Facebook group) where you can access trainers insights between classes.
The reason we train young dogs is to help the dog and handler get off to the best start, with the skills and information they need to be a great therapy team.
Q. Why should I do this training, when there is no regulation in this industry?
A. It is best practice to have handler training in any therapeutic modality before offering this type of therapy. Our courses provide that. We also equip you with the skills required to work safely and ethically with your dog - with the welfare of your dog and your client as top priority. This is particularly the case for clinicians whom are registered with governing bodies (such as AHPRA), and need to be working within their scope of practice, it is crucial that you have received some form of training in AAT before offering this service to your clients. It is also important that pet dogs taken to the workplace without training are not misconstrued as 'Therapy Dogs'.
You don't know what you don't know and the feedback we get from our course participants is that they are blown away with the amount of information that they did not know. Our courses fill the gap in this industry, helping to promote professionalism in the field.
Further to this, there are published guidelines for working in this industry. These are accessible on the Animal Therapies Ltd. website - The Code of Conduct. We encourage everyone to view this document and become educated on the expectations of people incorporating animals in to their work.
Insurance companies are increasingly asking for animal assisted therapists to provide evidence of their training. Our courses are accepted by these standards.
Q. How often will I need to be re-assessed, and why?
A. Teams need to be re-assessed every 12 months. The reason we re-assess dogs is to promote ongoing training and safe and reliable canine-handler teams in the workplace. This allows our clients and referrers to feel safe and confident working with TDA dogs.
This is in line with industry standards. Some teams will be issued a sooner re-assessment date, pending the outcomes on their final dog handling assessments. These decisions are made on a case by case basis and with the intention of supporting teams that require more assistance - particularly early on in their journey.
Q. What happens if I am not re-assessed?
A. Your graduation certificate will expire on your re-assessment date. This may have implications for your insurance and professional registration bodies.
Q. Can I book individual supervision/ training without having attended the 5/6-day course?
A. Absolutely. Samantha is also a board approved supervisor and is available for secondary supervision for 4+2 or 5+1 provisional psychologists.
We haven't answered your question? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org !
Are your customers raving about you on social media? Share their great stories to help turn potential customers into loyal ones.