Failed our therapy dog exam AGAIN :( - Page 3 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 09:32 AM
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I did Paws Across Texas for several years with my golden, she was a rescue so don't really know her age but guessing about 5. We were not perfect but very calm so they let us in. We still had lots to learn but loved the experience.
Several years later my girl had died, I had rescued a Dalmatian... possibly lab mix. He was actually better with people than the golden and absolutely LOVED kids. My golden would get up and move when she had enough. The Dal would roll over and ask for tummy rubs, he was wonderful and what kid doesn't love Dalmatians. This was when the 101 Dalmatians came out and even the youngest kids knew what a Dal was.

Well we went back to Paws and all the ladies on the board of exams loved him. He was quiet, gentle & obedient. There was a lady there with a dog that whined through the entire thing, poor dog was so anxious. But the lady had been with the group for many years with another dog so she passed, even though the dog didn't do anything correct in the obedience portion. Turns out the lady that runs the group didn't like Dalmatians. Seems they had one in the group previously and it didn't go well and guess all she saw was a insurance claim waiting to happen. Everyone but the leader voted us in but it was an uphill battle from there. Because the leader of the group disliked Dal's so much we were not allowed to do any locations with children. Seeing kids was his strong point! I had volunteered to do the Special Needs event as my grand children were going to compete. I called this lady several times to confirm our participation and the day before the event she said we could not go and would not be allowed around kids for 3 yrs., we were on probation. She really didn't want us in the group and after all, it was her group. Well I was heartbroken and resigned from the group.

So I went on my own to Ronald McDonald House, The Warm Place (place for abused kids) and the Fort Worth ISD let us do the special needs classes. Just had to meet with someone in charge, provide all vet records and a recommendation from the vet as to temperament.
We also went to day cares to give classes on how to treat your pets and show kids how to teach their pets to sit & down. Not being part of the group kept us out of the children's hospital but that was ok, I didn't really want to work with this lady anyway.

You just never know how some of these groups work. Don't take it personally, just keep working at it and give your guy time to mellow. Might see if there is another therapy group in the area. Here is a pic of my Dal that she felt was unsafe around kids.

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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 10:40 AM
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Wonderful!! Love the determination she had!!

Originally Posted by hotel4dogs View Post
I don't know if the OP still visits the forum, but I do know they have passed the TDI test!
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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, hello! Thank you for checking up on me and supporting us! Yes, we passed the TDI exam which to be honest was so easy compared to the one I had been failing repeatedly. He aced everything easily and the examiner took me aside and whispered that he's the best. I think the previous organization I had been testing with is kind of weird, not because we failed it, but because they have strange rules and also some of the dogs that passed were really reactive, so I feel like they don't emphasize temperament enough.

We already did some therapy visits at a college near my hometown and it is so cool. I'm SO excited to do more!
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 09:01 AM
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Congratulations, thanks for the great update.
Wonderful to hear you're enjoying the Therapy visits.
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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 10:54 AM
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That's awesome, congratulations! I'm so happy you found a different group. Enjoy the experience, sometimes sad but always heartwarming. Good for you
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 11:06 AM

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I have 4 Goldens, one of whom was a rescue at 8 weeks old from backyard breeder who went to prison for making and selling meth. To say this dog had received poor socialization from the backyard breeder and the dam (she was 6 years and on her 10th litter) would be an understatement. I tried and tried to train this one on my own and simply could not. It became a bit of a power struggle between us and I was too emotionally invested. I took him to a board and train facility for two weeks of intense training. This helped tremendously. They were able to help him over his mental hump. Today, of my 4 Goldens, he is the most reliable on and off leash. The training situation had simply reached a point where we needed a break and the help of someone not emotionally invested in the outcome. It sounds like your pup is almost there. Maybe a week with an outside trainer might be just the thing to get him over his final mental hurdle?

Lily - March 2014
Mochi - Feb 2015
Ruby, CGC - Feb 2015
Gracie - Aug 2015
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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Max's Dad View Post
I would suggest you wait until your boy is well over 2 years old. I did not even try to certify Max until he was over 2 years old. Your dog probably just needs to get all the puppy out of him. At age 2.5 years, Max breezed through his CGC and therapy dog test. He has now been making regular therapy visits for more than 3 years.
I just wanted to say, this advice has a lot of wisdom! I don't have any experience with training a service dog, but I just remember my Luke was so much better behaved at everything after the age of 2. Actually, let me make that 3! He calmed down and listened so much better when as he got older. It was almost hard to remember his active, "ADHD" puppy years after he calmed down and grew into a sophisticated, well-mannered young man-dog! I bet he could have passed an exam like that when he was 4 or 5, but definitely not when he was under the age of 2. He was still so much a puppy at that age.

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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 01:40 PM
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I didn't have Molly tested as a Therapy dog until she was 3 1/2 yrs old. Probably could have done it earlier, but was working full time then. I'm very lucky though because from the time we brought her home at 8 weeks old she has always been VERY MELLOW and lives for human attention. Molly knows when her scarf comes out it's time to visit. She does play VERY HARD with her Yellow Lab sister Sophie. I'm getting Sophie tested in April, but I know she won't pass. She's TOO ENERGETIC, loves people - but doesn't crave human attention like Molly. Most Golden's do well in this line of work, for some it'll just take a little time. After all Golden's do remain in that puppy mentality for a while. Good luck to all members that are thinking about becoming a Therapy Dog team. It's very rewarding

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