Did you know Therapy Dog organizations have Junior Handlers and that their requirements differ from adults?
In this 25th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with Katelyn, a Junior Handler, and her therapy dog named Ace. Katelyn shared her experience as a Junior Handler for the Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD), and what it takes to transition from a Junior Handler to an Adult Handler. We also talked about why Katelyn enjoys visiting the local college with Ace and the stories she’s heard from people while volunteering.
We discussed what it’s like to be a Junior Handler and how Katelyn’s opportunities will change when she can volunteer on her own. Katelyn also shared her thoughts on how socializing Ace as a puppy led to his excitement and how she now focuses on building a bond with the puppies before socializing them with others.
Additionally, we talked about Katelyn’s journey as a breeder, starting with a litter of Skye Terriers in 2020, and how being a Therapy Dog team has impacted the way she raises the puppies. Finally, Katelyn shared her perspective on the appropriateness of Skye Terriers as Therapy Dogs and what she looks for when selecting a family for the dogs she breeds.
By listening to this episode, you’ll gain insight into what it’s like to be a Junior Handler and learn about the experiences of a Therapy Dog team. You’ll also get to know more about the breeding of Skye Terriers and how it is influenced by the work of a Therapy Dog team.
In this episode, we discuss …
- What it’s like to be a Junior Handler and how Katelyn’s opportunities will change when she can volunteer on her own.
- Ace’s extreme love of people and how that has impacted the way that she raises her new puppies.
- Katelyn’s history of competing with Ace and how it connects to her work as a Therapy Dog team and breeder.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [01:18] Katelyn found out about Therapy Dog work through her AKC friends with toy spaniels.
- [04:00] Katelyn shares what she needs to do to transition from a Junior Handler to an Adult Handler through ATD.
- [06:26] Ace passed his Therapy Dog test, living up to his name.
- [07:29] Katelyn shares how being a Junior Handler has impacted where she’s able to visit.
- [08:00] Katelyn shares her theory of how socializing Ace as a puppy led to his excitement.
- [09:49] Katelyn explains how she focuses on building a bond with the puppies before socializing them with others.
- [10:22] Katelyn compares how she raised Ace to how she is raising the puppies.
- [10:45] Katelyn discusses her journey as a breeder starting with a litter of Skye Terriers in 2020.
- [13:13] Katelyn explains why Ace isn’t involved in the breeding and what her breeding goals are.
- [15:56] Katelyn shares her perspective on the appropriateness of Skye Terriers as Therapy Dogs.
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:
- Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD)
- American Kennel Club (AKC)
- Elise and Moosh
- Olliver the Corgi and his pink Porsche
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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.
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