Thea is training her Standard Poodle Bentley to partner with her in Animal-Assisted Therapy as a future Social Work dog.
Thea shares her story of discovering therapy dogs (spoiler: she met a Doberman therapy dog!) and her goal of having Bentley join her in her social work practice. We discuss Bentley’s love for attention, the need for him to be calm when meeting new people, and what he’ll enjoy about being a therapy dog.
Throughout our chat, we delve into the challenges they’ve faced during training, such as Bentley’s stubbornness and the importance of working with a professional trainer. We also touch on the excitement of bringing Bentley to work and the positive impact he’ll have on Thea’s patients.
In addition to Thea and Bentley’s inspiring story, we discuss valuable advice for those interested in therapy dog work, like doing research, understanding the journey of therapy dog handlers and trainers, and managing the logistics of becoming a therapy dog. We also emphasize the importance of letting your dog grow into the therapy dog role naturally and at their own pace.
By the end of this episode, you’ll have a better understanding of the process of training a therapy dog and the impact they can have in a social work setting. You’ll also learn useful tips and insights to help you prepare your furry friend for an exciting journey in therapy dog work.
In this episode, we discuss …
- What has surprised Thea in her journey towards Bentley being a Therapy Dog.
- How she hopes Bentley will help the people who she works with as a Social Worker.
- What Thea recommends for others who are interested in getting into Therapy Dog work.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [00:23] Meet Thea and her Standard Poodle, Bentley, as they work towards Animal-Assisted Therapy in social work.
- [01:08] Thea aims to make Bentley a therapy dog for her social work practice.
- [01:55] Bentley will volunteer for practice and exposure before joining Thea professionally.
- [02:30] Bentley loves attention but needs to stay calm when meeting new people.
- [03:37] The importance of understanding dog maturity and managing behavior expectations.
- [05:24] Thea faces challenges with Bentley’s stubbornness during training.
- [07:02] Bentley’s obedience training at PetSmart and working with a professional trainer.
- [08:13] Benefits of working with a trainer and the value of accountability in training.
- [09:39] Thea is excited to bring Bentley to work, where he’ll positively impact her patients.
- [10:43] Tips for future therapy dog teams: research, understand the journey, and handle logistics like paperwork and vaccinations.
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!
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