GDB's Blog: No Bones About It

PACTT Handler Workshop, Assessment and Orientation

By: Karyn Munford (GDB Dog Placement Coordinator - Oregon)

My dog Ceili and I are now ready to go to the next step in becoming a PACTT (Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams) team. The elements looked for in this phase are: handler skills, dog skills, and communication skills. All should be done with ease, confidence and a friendly demeanor. Treats and appropriate handling equipment such as head collars are encouraged if needed.

The Handler Workshop Phase and Assessment Phase

During the workshop, GDB Community Field Representative Deana Allen thoroughly explains and demonstrates necessary skills. The group teams (up to five teams) then each have an opportunity to practice and ask questions. After the workshop, a time and date is be set for the assessment phase. Criteria to be assessed includes overall dog grooming and appearance, basic obedience such as sit, down, and stay:

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice sitting

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice sitting

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice the command "stay"

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice the command "stay"

Loose leash walking:

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice loose leash walking

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice loose leash walking

Come:

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice the command "come"

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice the command "come"

Passing by a dog, noise sensitivity, ignoring a dropped item:

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice ignoring a dropped item

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice ignoring a dropped item

Petting by a stranger:

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice petting by a stranger

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice petting by a stranger

Petting by a circle of strangers:

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice petting by a circle of strangers

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice petting by a circle of strangers

All criteria must be performed with the handler possessing the skill of multitasking between controlling and caring for their dog while engaging with the person they are visiting:

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice interacting with a patient on bed

Karyn and Ceili (Golden Retriever) practice interacting with a patient on bed

The Orientation Phase

The orientation phase takes place at DoveLewis when teams are given a look at the opportunities and choices for pet assisted teams. They are guided by Kathy Loter, who is the Pet Assistant Team Coordinator at DoveLewis. They are then fit and equipped with the Pet Assisted Therapy team jacket and badge.

Categories: Career Change Dog