#068: Getting started as a Therapy Dog team with Katie and Archer

by | January 30, 2023 | Therapy Dog Talk

Therapy Dog Talk - Katie + Archer

Katie has a lot to share about her experiences getting started as a Therapy Dog team with her Golden Retriever, Archer. 

In this 68th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with Katie Baron and her dog, Archer, about being a Therapy Dog team in New Jersey with Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dog. We talk about their visits to places like assisted living facilities, hospitals, libraries, and schools, and how they make friends with the people they meet.

Katie tells us how she learned about therapy dogs and how she found the perfect dog, Archer. She shares their training story, which included regular obedience school, Canine Good Citizen, and getting different AKC Therapy Dog titles.

During our talk, Katie shows how Archer helps people they visit, like changing an elderly woman’s life and connecting with students at schools. We also talk about how important it is to be flexible in training and how people like Katie can use special skills, like sign language, to help even more.

We finish by looking at resources from groups like Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Pet Partners, and Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and how people wanting to be a Therapy Dog team can find what works best for them. After listening to this episode, you’ll understand the good parts and challenges of being a therapy dog volunteer and feel excited to start your own Therapy Dog journey.

In this episode, we discuss …

  • What the different AKC Therapy Dog titles are and which one Archer is working on.
  • How Archer transformed a woman who hadn’t been communicating.
  • Why it can be helpful to have additional skills like Katie’s ability to communicate with sign language.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

  • [01:09] Katie introduces Archer, her Golden Retriever, who became a certified Therapy Dog with Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs in October 2020.
  • [02:06] Katie and Archer volunteer at three hospitals, two nursing homes, a library, and a grammar school and middle school, helping their community.
  • [05:35] To find the perfect Therapy Dog, Katie worked with a breeder who picked Archer because he loves people and is great for therapy work.
  • [09:01] Katie shares that Archer’s training included regular obedience school and getting his Canine Good Citizen certificate, without needing special Therapy Dog classes.
  • [12:27] We find out that Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs started in New Jersey, giving many resources for Therapy Dog teams in the area.
  • [13:40] Katie and I talk about the importance of being flexible in training and the different ages dogs can start doing pet therapy work.
  • [16:23] The AKC website has a list of therapy dog groups, helping people find the best one for their needs and goals.
  • [19:39] Katie tells a touching story about how Archer changed the life of an elderly woman in an assisted living home, showing the power of therapy dogs.
  • [22:09] Katie can communicate using sign language, which helps her connect with more people during their therapy dog visits, making a bigger impact.
  • [23:43] Katie and Archer work hard to support therapy dogs, spreading awareness and giving resources for people interested in starting their own Therapy Dog journey.

I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Give it a watch or a listen and then let me know in the community which part you found the most helpful!

Mentioned in this episode:

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Therapy Dog Talk is a podcast where I interview a different team each week via Instagram Live. If you enjoyed this episode please find us over at Apple, Google, or Spotify and give us a follow after you leave a review.

Do you know someone who would make a great guest? Be sure to reach out and let me know.

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