How many dogs can you bring on a therapy visit? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 05:01 PM Thread Starter

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How many dogs can you bring on a therapy visit?

Are you limited to only bringing one dog with you? I ask because I have one boy testing for the CGC next month. I was thinking of getting my other boy through it also and on to therapy work. Can I realistically bring both boys out on therapy visits? Is it something you would or would not recommend? They are 5 and 6 years old.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 05:53 PM
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I take my 2 to a children's hospice. They have a "one dog, one handler" policy. However, depending on the facility that seems to be negotiable. My 2 dogs are very different, one is very quiet and a cuddler and the other outgoing and a class-clown. When we visit, the cuddler heads off to "her" special patients room and remains with that child the entire time, there is usually other family in the room. My social butterfly makes the rounds and enjoys everyone. This is a very small facility, with a unique patient population and high patient turnover rate, so I believe they can bend the rules "in the best interests of the patients".

If you train, both dogs, I would definately ask what their policy is, and if is it negotiable. Or you could alternate which dog you bring. Or double up how many times you visit, I am sure the organization would like that.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 06:18 PM
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I take both dogs. Gunner is certified and Honey is in training. No one has ever questioned me having two.

GUNNER 08-30-08 ATD, CGC (MyCascadeGoldens) Michigan - HONEY 01-11-11 (Harborview Goldens) - Pennsylvania

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 06:21 PM
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I've only got one dog so I've never faced the issue but it's my understanding that places like nursing homes, hospitals etc. generally have a 'one dog, one handler' rule. That wouldn't preclude you from taking your dogs on separate visits. You can also have two or more people each qualify to work with the same dog but again on different visits. In practice attending to one dog and interacting with the person you are visiting can keep you fully occupied. For most settings I wouldn't want to be responsible for two dogs.

ETA: Seeing the post above reminds me that the rules vary from site to site. . . each will have it's own requirements for qualifications and how visits are conducted. If you know where you might like to work you should contact their director of volunteers and see what they require for certification and what kind of visits they allow.

Gracie, Sunfire's Amazing Grace, CGC, CCA, Pet Partner therapy dog, 9/12/2013
Zoe, Rockwall Nantucket Breeze, BN, CGC, Delta therapy dog, 5/4/2008 - 10/28/2013
Zeke, our introduction to the world of Golden Retrievers, 6/12/1997 - 12/18/2007

Last edited by TheZ's; 12-17-2012 at 06:27 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-17-2012, 06:41 PM
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Our therapy group also has the "one dog, one handler" rule. They even go so far as to require us to keep dogs at least 2 feet apart at all times. (Apparently there was an incident with two dogs not caring for each other much and getting into it at a nursing home.) I would definitely check with your group and with the facility.
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