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Thank you for your interest in Southwest Canine Corps of Volunteers. In these video clips, we will demonstrate the skills applicant teams will be asked to perform during the evaluation. Please notice the handlers speak to their dogs throughout the evaluation. You will be evaluated in the presence of other applicant teams. A good part of the evaluation is your dog’s behavior around other dogs. We expect your dog to pay attention to you. At the actual evaluation a SCCV team will demonstrate each of these skills before you are asked to perform it. No treats may be used to entice your dog to perform a skill, but we do ask you to bring a treat for your dog to allow us to check for food aggressiveness.


The first skill is to walk with your dog in front of the other       applicants. Walk by the first time with you between your dog and the other. Turn and then walk back with your dog next to the others.


The 2nd skill we call the “slalom.” All the applicants are lined up with space between them. Each applicant weaves in and out of the line.
The dogs in the line are to remain by their handler’s side, preferably sitting. There should be no interaction amongst the dogs.


Staying in this line, we will add a little noise to distract your dog. Remember you can talk to him. We expect him to stay at your side. I will walk in front of the applicants and behind the applicants.


Next, one at a time you will be asked to walk a figure 8. As you do so, you will be asked to change speeds a few times. We want to see your dog stay at your side.


You will be asked to put your dog on a “stay.” The dog may sit, down, or stand. You will put the provided long lead on your dog’s collar and then remove his leash. You are to walk away, with your back to the dog, turn and call him. Walk him back to the starting position, put his leash on and then  remove the long lead.


Two therapy dog teams will approach each other and stop about 2 feet away. The dogs are to stay at their handlers’ sides as they greet each other.  The demo team will then walk around you with the handler in-between you and the handler’s dog, then they will turn and go around you again with her dog next to yours.  You will then do the same circling.


After each applicant has completed these skills, we will
take a break and your dog can get a drink, walk around, go outside if needed and we will set up for the last section of
the evaluation. 

Most likely all therapy dog teams will be visiting with someone using a cane, walker or wheelchair. In order to give you some pointers about the safest way for the patient and your dog to accomplish these visits, we will demonstrate
the approaches and have you practice with each piece of equipment. The approach will be different depending on
the size of your dog. 


Remember you don’t have to memorize all that we have covered. During the actual evaluation each skill will be explained and demonstrated again. Everyone going through the evaluation is nervous even those of us who have taken several dogs through. The rewards of volunteering with your dog are well worth it.

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