When we go through the evaluation process with new Pet Partner candidates, they always question the need for a Restraining Hug. Why must the tester hold our dog in a tight hold for such a long period of time?
Well, we want to see how comfortable the dog is being held closely, by new hands, in a position that might restrain their mobility and see if they truly enjoy being close to people.
Also in some instances the owner may have to restrain their dog to keep it safe.
So no squirming, jumping, barking, nervousness or aggression can be displayed during the test.
This is also the clearest way to see if the animal if a born therapy dog … the natural therapy dogs just settle in and enjoy the close hold. Some even fall asleep, like my Kirby did!
And for the clients, sometimes it’s just enough to hold a calm, peaceful, gently breathing soul in their laps.
And for the best therapy dogs, this is always enough.