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Therapy Dogs NationwideWe are always looking for new volunteering teams to join us.  Many questions can be answered in our Volunteers section on the website.

We all know we each have the best dog in the world, but here at Therapy Dogs Nationwide, we need dogs that are extra special.  We are looking for sociable dogs with a sound temperament.

One of the most common reasons we have to defer a dog is because they jump up or paw.  If your dog has its feet firmly on the floor, both figuratively and literally, if they are over 9 months old, been with you for at least 6 months and you would like an application pack, please email us on enquiries@tdn.org.uk

What to expect from the temperament assessment for your dog:

Dogs need to be able to….

1.   Walk on a relaxed lead, without excessive pulling and without the use of head collars, harnesses or check chains.

Why?

TDN dogs need to be under the owner’s control at all times, without relying on the use of training or behaviour correction aids.

2.   Accept being stroked and handled and having their paws, tail, and ears checked by the assessor.

Why?

TDN dogs have to accept being patted, often vigorously, by patients or clients. They need to not be overly worried about having their paws, ears, or tail handled by a stranger. The assessor will check that the dog’s nails are trimmed short and you should keep the nails short at all times.

3.   Take a food treat gently without snatching from the assessor.

Why?

Patients and clients love to be able to give their TDN dog a food treat. It is important that they do not snatch it because some patients, such as older people have very fragile skin.

4.   Respond appropriately to a sudden noise or disturbance in the room whilst being tested.

Why?

TDN dogs have to encounter lots of new and unexpected stimuli – they should not be overly fearful of this and recover quickly.

Owners need to be able to …

1.   Demonstrate control of their dog on the lead whilst holding a conversation with the assessor.

Why?

Much of the volunteer’s time is spent talking to different people and TDN dogs need to be able to wait patiently under the owner’s control at all times.

2.   Groom their dog’s back, chest, stomach, and tail.

Why?

If a dog readily accepts grooming by its owner, it demonstrates that the owner has control over their dog’s behaviour and the dog is willing to accept their authority.

3.   Demonstrate that they can restrict their dog by holding its collar or holding him/her firmly.

Why?

TDN dogs need to be able to accept restraint from their owners in case of an emergency in the establishment or if the owner needs to withdraw their dog quickly from a patient or client.

4.   Present their dog in a fit, clean and healthy condition.

Why?

Fit, healthy dogs behave appropriately as TDN dogs under demanding social and physical situations. A well-groomed and clean dog is a sign of a responsible pet owner.