Labrador red sitting with owner in front of a big city, man's best friend, big dog
Dog training 05.03.2021

Labrador as a therapy dog - procedure, costs, where, how, what and why just a Labrador

Sissi by Sissi, Sissi has been a blogger since 2014, got on the dog in 2018. Since then, she struts her 10000 steps through the world every day with Loki. The Beagdor (Labrador-Beagle mix) is a therapy dog for children and also accompanies her to schools. Secretly she fancies a French Bulldog as a second dog.

Labrador as a therapy dog

The areas of application of a therapy dog are very diverse. It is used in day clinics and hospitals as well as in schools, practices or retirement homes. A therapy dog has a positive effect on people. It helps to reduce emotional stress and to increase the social well-being. This fact is increasingly used in occupational and speech, psycho or physiotherapy. Unlike an assistance dog, which lives as a constant companion with people with mental, emotional or physical disabilities, a therapy dog lives with its owner. The owners of therapy dogs usually work as therapists or in the educational or medical field.

The most important at a glance

  • Depending on the provider, training to become a therapy dog differs in terms of entry requirements, costs and duration.
  • Before the therapy dog is admitted to training, the dog and owner usually have to pass an aptitude test.
  • The prospective therapy dog also learns from a fully trained dog during the practical training.
  • In the final exam, both the dog and the owner must show that they have mastered what they have learned.
Therapy dog labrador, white labrador, big dog in school. Dog with child as therpeutic measure

Not every dog or Labrador is suitable as a therapy dog.

In principle, dogs of any breed and size can be trained as a therapy dog. its later place of use decides on the optimal size of the dog. It is important that the four-legged friend is resilient, patient and character-proof. It should have a high irritation threshold and show no aggression. A pronounced willingness to learn and a close bond with the owner are also very helpful. A Labrador fulfils these requirements and is therefore ideally suited for training as a therapy dog.

Course of the training

Before the therapy dog can begin its training, it must show its suitability in a test. This ensures that the four-legged friend is basically suitable for use as a therapy dog and that its nature and general condition do not contradict this. If there are deficits in this aptitude test, you and your dog will most likely not be allowed to participate in the therapy dog training.

Theoretical and practical training

The therapy dog training is of course not only about your dog, but also about you. After all, you should work together and function as a team. Of course, the training begins with a theoretical part, in which all the necessary basics for dealing with your dog are taught. Then, in the practical part of the training, dog and human learn everything that is important when working with a therapy dog. In order for your dog to quickly internalize the desired behaviors, it is recommended to support the training with exercises at home. At the end of the therapy dog training you have to pass an exam with your four-legged friend and show that their team works.

Human and animal teachers

In therapy dog training, it is common to use an already trained dog in addition to an experienced trainer. This form of training is called trading. The big advantage of this is that your dog can learn important behaviors directly from a fellow dog.

Labrador as therapy dog

Costs of the training for the training of a Labrador as a therapy dog

As different as the content and duration of therapy dog training often are, the costs can also vary. In most cases, the cost is around 1,500 to 2,000 euros. The fees for the aptitude test and the final exam are usually already included.

If your therapy dog Labrador is supposed to support you after his training, the training costs are business expenses. As a rule, you can claim these in full against tax.

Banner: Shutterstock / Jaromir Chalabala
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