Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs of Houston
-People Helping Dogs Helping People
Before achieving formal certification as a member of the B&BTD organization, you and your dog are required to be certified by one of our qualified evaluators. Although our certification test is similar to that of the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Canine Good Citizen® (CGC), and many of our teams share the CGC designation, our testing process is somewhat different. While the CGC seeks to ensure dogs are well behaved in certain situations, the B&BTD testing/certification process takes it a step further to ensure dogs are also well suited to respond suitably in certain environments where they will be expected to work as therapy dogs. While there are some similarities between the tests, the B&BTD certification/text is somewhat more stringent in that the dogs must show a greater degree of acceptance of items and situations commonly encountered in nursing homes, hospitals, and similar locations. These might include walkers, wheel chairs, being bumped with crutches, strange people with canes talking loudly.
One note of caution before reading on about the certification process. Although therapy dogs come from all different breeds and backgrounds, please be aware that not all dogs possess the proper traits or dispositions to serve as therapy dogs. Some dogs do not react well to other dogs, certain types of people may scare them, they may be too shy, or they may be too active for therapy dog work. In some cases, dogs that simply cannot work as therapy dogs when they are younger may calm down a bit as they grow older and be much more suited for therapy dog work. Unfortunately, some dogs that work diligently for years as therapy dogs become less suited for the job and must retire from therapy dog work due to injuries, health reasons, or changes in temperament for various reasons.
Here are a few things to think about as you make the decision of whether you and your dog should apply to work as a therapy dog team:
As responsible dog owners, we know our dogs, their likes and dislikes and their abilities and inabilities. As you read through the criteria for certification, please realize that if your dog is not suited for therapy dog work for whatever reason, there is no reason to force your pet into this activity. If your dog is afraid of an object and you can work with it to accept the object without panicking then please do so. However, if you know your dog does not like small children, elderly people, or men, the challenges of engaging in therapy dog work will take a much greater degree of dedication that you must undertake before seeking certification.
It is also important to note that once a team passes the test and pays the initial $50 membership fee, there are annual membership requirements. Each year, members are required to pay a $40 renewal membership fee and provide proof of vaccinations from a licensed veterinarian. Evidence of vet examination, shot records, and negative fecal exam must be submitted each year.
TESTING LOCATION: Our tests are conducted at the Rosemont Assisted Living, 6450 Kings Parkway, Kingwood TX. 77346. This facility is off of FM 1960, east of HI 59 @ Humble. Plan to be there about 2 hours. This is to allow for the actual “testing,” completing all documents, and an overview of general information related to making visits.
POINTS TO CONSIDER: • As a member of B&BTD, you are making a commitment to make 1 visit per month. Visits are usually 1 hour. We have visits during the day, evening visits (Ronald Mc Donald House/Menninger Clinic) and week end visits.
Due to the work that goes into the evaluation process and the necessity to ensure the effectiveness of certification, our evaluators may limit how many teams at a time may be tested depending on how many evaluators are available. In any event, we are dedicated to certifying as many teams as possible to help achieve our organization's goals.