Canine Activity Therapy Team (C.A.T.T.)
What does it mean to be a Canine Activity Therapy Team?
All of our Canine Activity Therapy Teams are owners and their pet dogs. Dogs may already be registered therapy dogs, retired or current competition dogs or simply beloved family dogs that people would like to share with children and adults who come to particpate in our program.
The role of a DogAbility Canine Activity Therapy Team (C.A.T.T.) is to engage with your own dog and our participants while involved in a variety of activities. Our activities include running a dog through a tunnel and over a jump, pulling kids in a wagon, finding a hidden tennis ball, demonstratons or teaching about canine breeds, care and management or perhaps sitting quietly on the floor with your dog for a comfort or peaceful visit.
How to QUALIFY as a DogAbility Activity Therapy Team
There are 3 steps to becoming a Canine Activity Therapy Team:
Step 1 - Regardless of your dog's background, we must evaluate both you and your dog in person for basic impulse control, engergy and handler management since many of our activities require dogs to be in motion.
Step 2 - Once you pass the initial evaluation, we then ask that you set aside time to observe one of our sessions (without your dog) to see DogAbility Activity Therapy Teams in action. This can be done before or after you've had an evaluation.
Step 3 - In order to complete the requirements of becoming a C.A.T.T. you will need instructions as to how to master our obstacles and equipment, communicate effectively with special needs children and/or adults, and ensure the safety of your dog and our participants. To do so you are expected to attend 3 trial sessions, if after the trial sessions it is decided that both you and our staff feel that its a good match then you continue with 3 additional supervised sessions to become certified. During supervised sessions you will receive input on the behaviors, skills and procedures necessary for the program as well as hands-on session experience with our particpants. The qualifying process should be completed within approximately 2 months.
Once certified, a C.A.T.T. is expected to commit to attending a minimum of 1 session a month. We also have walk-abouts in public and events at schools or fairs which are fun to attend. Some handlers enjoy coming to sessions every week while others choose to attend randomly.
You will be given instructions on how to access our monthly session calendar and how to communicate with us regarding your attendance.
We look forward to working with you!