Q. Will my dog have Public Access rights upon completion of the course?
A. No, unfortunately not. There is no legislation to support Therapy Dogs sitting the Public Access Test. Your dog will not need to gain public access, and we strongly discourage people using their Therapy Dogs Australia therapy coat to attempt to take their dog in to public access places.
Q. Why should I do this training, when there is no regulation in this industry?
A. It is up to you whether or not you access formal training for you and your dog before taking them in to a therapy setting. It is important to us that as this industry grows, it is heading in the right direction. We aim to ensure that employers and clients can be confident that their human-canine therapy team has been appropriately trained and assessed to be safe. This is why we keep a database of therapy teams, so that clients and employers can look up what level of training that their therapy team has acquired. Further, it is important for most insurance providers that your dog has had an 'appropriate' amount of training in order for them to be included on your certificate of currency. We also believe that creating a network of Animal Assisted Therapist Graduates who are invited to attend peer supervision days (with their therapy dogs), will provide a level of support which may not be otherwise available to you.
Q. Does 'balanced training' include harsh punishment methods?
A. No, balanced training doesn't mean 'harsh punishments', it means that we work across a broad range of training methods, from each of the Operant Conditioning quadrants. Remember, the term 'Positive' means 'Addition' and 'Negative' means 'Subtraction', while a 'Reinforcement' is something that encourages the behaviour, and 'Punishment' is something aversive which will discourage or change the behaviour.
Q. What age does my dog need to be to attend the course?
A. We generally take young dogs from about 9 months and older, however any dog that graduates when it is less than 12 months old will only graduate as a 'Learner', and will need to be re-assessed more frequently. While these younger dogs have not been through adolescence which can bring some new and sometimes unusual behaviours with it, we can continue to support you through this time.
Q. How often will I need to be re-assessed, and why?
A. The frequency of your re-assessment depends on the age of your dog at the time of their initial training, and their graduation level. We also take in to account the individual ability of each human-canine team throughout the 5 and 6-day courses. Teams who require more support will have an earlier re-assessment date. The reason we re-assess dogs is to promote ongoing training and safe and reliable canine-handler teams in the workplace. This allows our clients and referrers to feel safe and confident working with TDA dogs. Typically, dogs will be re-assessed every 12 months, this can be done by video submission if required.
Q. What happens if I am not re-assesed?
A. Your graduation certificate will expire on your re-assessment date. Therapy teams who have not been re-assessed at their due time may be removed from our referral database. We will be making it as manageable as possible to sit these re-assessments both financially and in terms of convenience, which is why they are available at our Group Training and Supervision days. We will also do our best to make arrangements for our interstate attendees.
Q. Can I attend Group Training and Supervision without having attended the 5&6-day courses?
A. No, these days are reserved for TDA graduates (Lead The Way graduates are welcome via invite only, please contact us if you are a LTW graduate).
Q. Can I book Individual Supervision or Consulting without having attended the 5-day course?