Facility Therapy Dogs
Facility Therapy Dogs primarily work in nursing homes, educational settings, or courthouses and are often trained to help keep patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other mental illness from harm or to reduce witness anxiety. They are handled by a trained staff member and live at the facility.
DireWolf Guardians American Alsatian Dog Training Program does train and place American Alsatian Dogs as Facility Therapy Dogs, but only upon appoved application with courthouse/hospital/school partnership and with the clear understanding that the certified Facility Therapy Dog remains the sole property of DireWolf Guardians at all times while in active service until retired from the program in writing.
Certified handlers of a DireWolf Guardian Facility Therapy Dog graduate must first submit an extensive application package with letters of support/recommendation. If the application passes, they are granted a telephone interview, approximately 45 minutes in length. If they pass that they are granted an in-person interview which can last between 4 and 6 hours. If they pass this, they report for two weeks of intensive training – with daily tests – both written and practical to assess the mastery of the material on an ongoing basis. Handlers must pass the public access test to graduate. This test is extensive and rigorous and involves having to think on one’s feet in unpredictable situations.