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Does anyone use thier dogs as Therapy dogs?

I just wondered if anyone uses their dogs as therapy dogs as Setters must be absolutely perfect for the job!  It is something I may look in to for when Reuben is a few months older as I really would like to use some of the spare time I have in a voluntary capacity. Any thoughts on this?

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Hi Louise,
Quite a few setters I know of are therapy dogs. The Scottish club had a piece in our yearbook a couple of years back. Both of my girls are Therapets. Its done through Canine Concern Scotland Trust, but I know there are PAT dogs too. Maeve has been been a regular visitor to a local retirement home for about two years now and she absolutely loves it. The residents enjoy her cuddles and the staff are lovely to us. There are always loads of smiles and laughs and we've met some lovely people. She even has her own dog biscuit box with her name and a picture of a setter on it. The sure way to a setter's heart. For Therapets they have to be a year old. A local organiser would come to your home and assess Reuben. I'm not sure where you live, but I could send you contact details if you like. Canine concern also run fund raising walks and an annual companion dog show so you meet other volunteers with their dogs socially. I heartily recommend it.
Incidentally, Reuben looks a real sweetie!
Do you know Douglas and Irene? They have been assessors for Therapet for ever. I used to take my Lab Ken to the home in Livingston. they liked having the dog there and he loved hoovering up the crumbs!!

My setters were way too bouncy. They loved doing it but when you petted them they were into shoving against you and I worried some old person would get knocked over!

they would have been more suited to a younger environment I guess.
But it is a very worthhile thing to do both for the dog and the people you are visiting
In our case ossian, the local co-ordinator came to assess our girls. I may have met your friends at the Glasgow Therapet parade, but didn't know the names. I'll keep an eye out this year.
For Jamo, just imagine spreading that lovely therapy Nemo gives you around to people who can't keep a dog of their own any more, but just love the physical contact of a doggy cuddle. Stroking a setter's silky ears must lower anybody's blood pressure, and the dogs quite like it too!
Hi Louise
It just so happens our poor Aunt Billy fell and broke her hip about a week before Cash came home. She was sad because after her surgery she has had to go to a rehab center, in a nursing home, for a couple months to get her walking again. She is 94 years old bless her heart! I promised I would bring Cash in right away. He has been there now many times. Now he is little so harmless at this point. But I could see how if he proves to be a jumper, he could harm someone not intending too. I can see more hip replacements due to him!!! For now though he has been going once a week and they whole place just loves him. Another month or so and I will be concerned till he is middle aged. Most of the setters are just so excited to see people and I have found either they jump up on people or they don't. My last one didn't, he wrapped around people's legs which can equally cause a fall. If Rueben proves to be safe, it would be a great idea.

My Irish setter bitch Inca (Ixia Tabitha) is a Pets as Therapy dog. We are going to an old folks home tomorrow, she loves it when we get there and gets lots of attention. I think it is wonderful to share my gorgeous dog with others, she makes me smile every day so why not share it round. A while back we went to an open day at our local Surestart centre for under 5's where we met a little girl who was afraid of dogs following a nasty experience with one. She gradually made friends with Inca and after about 10 mins was walking her around the hall with me giving her sit commands. By the time she went home she was very confidently introducing her new friend Inca to all the other children - makes it all worthwhile ! Needless to say I am very proud of Inca and now looking to have my other Irish assessed so that she too can bring joy to others.
Thank you for your replies everybody and thanks Ruth I have made contact with the Canine society and they are sending me the appropriate info,
Isn't it funny that setters tend to do the leaning thing as that is exactly what Reuben does too. So I will have to try and control it if he is going to be a Therapet.
Susan - cash looks so adorable and a perfect poser. I hope Aunt Billy is recovering and how lovely you could take cash to visit. Reuben is not a jumper (fingers crossed) but does wrap around people. I have been working hard at the sit before fuss training!
Lorraine - lovely story as i see so many children in my area afraid of dogs and it is a real shame. I hope your other setter can join Inca in her good work.
Hi to everyone . I have George. My Best Friend in the world. He is a 12 year old setter.that has a job. of being a service Dog for people with Bipolar. Yes i'm bipolar =bp.These dog have the same rights as a seeing eye dog but he help me with my bp. I'm just giving you a basice ideal. He is to be their so i can love him when i get scared or upset. These dog do more the a Therapy Dog. Therapy dog can not go in to stores , Where my setter can go in to Wall-Mart, Out to dinner with me. I have special rules for him. Just like other service dogs do. The hardest thing for George is he wants to love everyone. he is a working dog . that has a tail that goes side to side all the time. with a big smile on his face.
Cheryl, I am so glad George helps you as my sister is Bipolar and it can be a really awful lonely condition to suffer with from what I see. George sounds just wonderful!




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