We have several Pet Partner evaluations coming up this month and the teams are excited and probably a bit nervous too!
The evaluation is comprised of 22 elements whereby both handler and animal are scored separately. We consider the handler’s score paramount as it tells us that person at the end of the leash truly knows their animal and can handle any situation that comes their way.
We test teams in an indoor location they have never been to before thus they cannot be tested outdoors in a park or where they trained. They need to meet new people they never met before thus our volunteers who work evaluations are critical to us.
We use one of our registered therapy teams for the “Neutral Dog” element, a dog the test team has never met.
The neutral dog enters the space where we are through a door and that initial reaction to the other animal is what we look for: is the dog being tested excited, fearful, anxious, aggressive towards the new dog?
We must have a male in the room to see how the testing dog reacts to men.
All the elements simulate working in the field and a lot of role playing is done to make sure the handler knows how to handle their large, medium or small dog with clients in a broad variety of situations.
We graduated several new teams in the last month and look forward to this next round of testing.
But passing the Pet Partner Evaluation is not the End but only the Beginning of your journey as Love Dog therapy team volunteers. The real fun begins as you find out where you and your animal have the most to contribute and are happiest volunteering. Because the Love Dogs has such a broad range of therapeutic and educational partnerships, there is always the right fit waiting for a new team!
And what truly sets Pet Partners apart from other therapy organizations is we are required to complete the exact same Evaluation Test every two years to remain registered – very important as animals and humans change over time and this ensures safety, safety, safety. Love Dog Adventures is proud to be an official affiliate of Pet Partners, representing Nevada.