What makes a Great Therapy Pet? The pet must be at least 9 months old, calm, friendly, well socialized and up to date on shots. They must like being around other pets and being petted by people of all ages. Pets must not be on a raw food diet. A Handler/Dog/Cat/Rabbit team consists of one pet and one handler, who is over 18 years of age. The pet must be a certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC). FAF is associated with a CGC evaluator and can work with interested teams to get certified. Some of the components of the FAF/CGC certification include:
Accepting a friendly stranger Sitting politely for petting
Sitting politely for petting
Walking with a loose leash
Separating easily from owner
Walking through a crowd
Sitting and laying down on command
Staying in place
Coming when called
Reacting calmly to another animal
Reacting calmly to children
Reacting calmly to loud noises, medical equipment like wheelchairs, crutches, canes, walker or other equipment deemed necessary
Dogs who have passed the FAF/CGC requirements and have been a volunteer with FAF for one year are eligible to take the FAF/ CGCA (Advanced).
Dog stands, sits or lies down and waits under control
Walks on a loose leash in a natural situation (not in a ring)-does not pull. left and right turn, stop, fast and slow pace
Walks on a loose leash through a crowd.
Dog walks past distraction dogs present; does not pull.
Sit-stay in small group (3 other people with dogs). Owners and dogs are in an informal group while owners have a conversation.
Dog allows person who is carrying something (e.g., purse, computer case, backpack) to approach and pet it. “May I pet your dog?” (Item is put on floor/ground before person pets dog)
“Leave it.” Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, “Leave it.”
Down or sit stay (owner’s choice) at a distance.
Recall with distractions present (coming when called). Handler goes out 20-ft. (off center) and calls dog. Dog comes past a distractor to return to handler.
Dog enters/exits a doorway or narrow passageway (on leash, with owner) in a controlled manner.
Dog will not react to loud noises
Dog will take a treat politely from a strangers hand