BARK Testing Requirements
Our next evaluation will be for Reading Therapy Dogs only (unless you wish to visit at Comm. Hospital LB, then see below). If you would like to listen to children read in schools or libraries, please email us at BARKeval@aol.com.
BARK therapy dogs and their handlers must be evaluated and certified as a therapy team.
dog must be a minimum of 1-1/2 years of age and have a stable,
friendly temperament. Each dog must have lived with the handler for at least six months. Handlers must be at least 18 years of
age. A dog can be certified with more than one handler.
BARK dogs must really enjoy people, especially kids, and love being touched by many kids at once - sometimes not so gently. Handlers must be in control of their dogs at all times: no pulling or jumping.
Prior to evaluation, all dogs must have their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title, indicating they know basic obedience. Click here to find a CGC evaluator in your area.
All dogs must be tested with a buckle or quick release flat collar - no
training, choke, pinch, harness, martingale, or nose collars (halti/gentle leader). Children can be apprehensive upon first meeting a dog and any equipment other than a flat collar can cause concern on the child's part. We need to have control of our dogs with a regular flat collar. To have your name added to the waiting list, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Linda at (562) 818-2594 or Josie at (562) 235-8835.
If you would like to volunteer at Community Hospital of Long Beach, please call Josie directly at (562)235-8835.
We look forward to hearing from you!
AFTER THE EVALUATION
DOGS MUST BE UNDER HANDLER'S CONTROL AT ALL TIMES
- Paperwork must be submitted within six weeks.
- Each BARK team must complete three supervised library/community events within the first three months after their paperwork is submitted.
- BARK will provide all supplies and try to find a school, library, community location for each team.
- Each BARK team must visit a location/event at least once every other month.
Additional tests may be added.
- Meet the evaluator without jumping or barking
- Sit politely for petting
- Ears and feet touched/fur brushed
- Walking by your side with a slack leash - not pulling
- Walking through a crowd
- Sit, stay, down, come
- Stay at end of 20' leash
- Come with handler 10' away
- Greet another dog team without the dogs meeting - dogs need to stay at handler's side
- Reaction to distraction (keys in metal bowl); dog can be interested, but not stressed
- Reaction to medical equipment (wheelchair, walker, crutches)
- Reaction to children running by; dog can be interested, but not lunge or try to chase
- Leave it (walk within 2' of toy or treat) without excessive interest
- Crowd hovering over dog with touching and high-pitched voices
- Settle within two minutes
- Stay with another handler for three minutes without concern
Meet the Evaluator
Dogs must not bark or jump on the evaluator.
Greet Without Dogs Meeting
Two handlers greet and say hello. Dogs should not cross to meet each other.
Settle within two minutes
Dogs need to show that they can relax for a reading visit.
The dog's ears, face, nose, back, chest, feet, and tail are touched.
Crowded Touching and Hovering
Dogs must not jump or shy away. We
are often asked why we have the crowded hovering/touching test when
some therapy groups do not. As you can see by the picture, BARK dogs can
be swarmed on playgrounds, in school hallways, and at some community
events before we have the chance to get the kids in line. Our dogs must
be able to handle and actually enjoy this much attention without
Three minutes without owner
are left with the testing person or helper for three minutes while the owner
hides. Dog must not whine, bark, or become stressed.
Moving around medical equipment
we are mainly a reading dog group, once certified with BARK, you can also
visit hospitals or nursing homes. Dogs can be curious, but not
afraid of the equipment.
Reaction to children
must remain calm and not bark or chase after the kids running past.