Pets as therapy assessment

(9 Posts)
WonderIfThingsWillChange Thu 18-Jun-15 18:47:49

Hi, my dog is due to have this assessment soon and I just wondered if anyone on here has been through it with their dogs and could share their experiences please? What sort of things did they do? How long did it take, did you have to wait long to find out if your dog passed?

basildonbond Thu 18-Jun-15 19:40:27

Hi wonder - my dog is a PAT dog. He goes into a primary school as part of the Read2Dogs scheme. He had his assessment when he was 15 months old and found it pretty straightforward.

We met the assessor at an outside cafe at a garden centre. The assessment is basically checking that your dog has good manners so I had to show that he could walk nicely on a normal collar and lead without pulling; that he would sit or lie down quietly while I was talking to someone; that he didn't jump up, paw or mouth either me or the assessor; that he took a treat gently from the assessor's hand and that he didn't bark or whine. I had to show that I could get him out of the way in a hurry (eg if there was a medical emergency in a care home). At one point the assessor dropped a metal tray on the ground to see how he would react to sudden, loud noises. Halfway through the assessment a toddler wandered over from a nearby table and started stroking my dog rather enthusiastically- ddog just turned round, gently sniffed the little boy's hand and wagged his tail.

You don't get told definitely whether or not you and your dog have been accepted but the assessor wrote that my dog was lovely, calm and gentle and he would be happy for him to go into any setting so it wasn't much of a surprise when we got the letter confirming that a few weeks later!

He really enjoys going into school - he has a group of children who read to him and it's lovely seeing the relationship between them blossom

Here he is from this morning's visit

Wotsitsareafterme Thu 18-Jun-15 19:42:44

Ooooh I'm looking in to this for the dog we are getting thanks for the post grin

WonderIfThingsWillChange Thu 18-Jun-15 19:54:23

Hi Basildon, thanks for your post. Your dog is gorgeous!

It doesn't sound too bad then! My dog is great with people, nice manners (always have young children wanting to stroke him on school run etc) and doesn't react to loud noises. He generally will walk nicely on a lead but I really hope we don't meet another dog or he will pull to say hello. I really hope it goes well, I used to work in the health profession but had to leave my job due to being bullied in work and it impacted on my health. I have another (extremely mundane) job now but really miss the feeling of making a difference my previous job gave (sorry if that sounds cheesy!) I feel that being involved with pets as therapy would be really worthwhile and fulfil the part of my life that is now missing. Most people seem to enjoy meeting my dog and he enjoys the attention too do I'm keeping everything crossed!

basildonbond Thu 18-Jun-15 21:50:49

It sounds like he'll be fine then. The reasons I thought my dog would be a good candidate are he's always been very calm and chilled considering he's so young and he loves meeting people and having a fuss made of him. He's definitely one of life's optimists and because he generally looks so happy he makes people around him happy too. I really enjoy the volunteering - it's good to feel that you're making a difference smile

Good luck with the assessment

EdwinaLIzzard Fri 19-Jun-15 10:21:43

Basil, your dog is just gorgeous - is he a Toller?

I am also really keen to do this, my pup will be nine months next week and will be eligible, although I am planning to wait until he is neutered at the beginning of July before I submit the application.

He is cocker spaniel and although, they are a bonkers busy breed, he is unusually chilled and loves to meet people - adults and children alike. I have been working on his obedience and breaking his habit of jumping up, which I know would be a fail and he is much improved. He just loves to be petted and his whole body seems to wag along with his tail! He not phased by noise - whether it be traffic, sirens, fireworks, children shouting and screaming etc.

I would like to be able to take him into care homes, I have always felt so sad for life long dog owners who can no longer keep pets and would just love to see the pleasure he could bring.

Good luck Wonder, you must let us know how you get on

WonderIfThingsWillChange Fri 19-Jun-15 12:55:35

Well....just had the assessment and really pleased with how it went! We won't know officially for several weeks but the assessor mentioned that age had a few places in mind that he would suit so fingers crossed! What ever happens, he's still a star to me grin

EdwinaLIzzard Fri 19-Jun-15 13:11:28

That sounds really positive Wonder, especially as the assessor clearly has you lined up for a specific place

Just the wait for official confirmation now

basildonbond Fri 19-Jun-15 13:58:52

That sounds great, wonder smile

Edwina - yes he is a Toller - lots of his relatives are PAT dogs too and there's a couple of hearing dogs in his immediate family as well

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