As with almost every other therapy group, our dogs have to be at least one year of age before they are eligible for registration and insurance with NCTD. Additionally, ALL of our human members of our dog teams HAVE to have a Level II background checks.
Each of our teams must go through at least 12 weeks of obedience/learning classes before they are ready for evaluation and hopeful registration within our group. This timeline has been developed to ensure that all of our dogs teams have a good degree of obedience as well as having a good start on the art of therapy.
Each team must pass the AKC CGC and CGCA. We believe that our teams need to be trained to as high a standard as possible, within reason. No dog that has been trained for personal protection will be allowed into our program, as we cannot have any “mistakes” that could result in a bite. Dog teams that wish to be considered for participation in Courtroom Dogs for Kids must also pass the Advanced Obedience Test of Nature Coast Therapy Dogs. Before they are accepted into this specialized program, teams must have a minimum of 1 year documented visits to various facilities, and even then, there is no guarantee of acceptance.
While this all sounds so serious, and it is, therapy with a dog is nothing but joy for all concerned. We even are available to funeral homes to help keep the little ones safe and content through was is surely a most difficult time for families.
For more information on our organization, please send an e-mail to us at: [email protected].