2018 - present
Harper was born May 2, 2018. She came from Puddle Duck Retrievers in Morrill, ME. The breeder completes temperament testing and exposes the puppy to kids and other stimuli to make sure the puppy is a good fit for the job.
The introduction of a new therapy dog is a very thoughtful and planned transition. It's important that Harper learn how to navigate the advanced environment of a public school. Thus, Jade ( the current therapy dog) becomes her mentor in this year long process.
Harper has been busy with her training this year. She has completed all three levels of AKC Canine Good Citizen Certifications. Harper will test for her therapy dog certification on May 11, 2019. Harper is also enrolled in ongoing training classes over the summer.
Certification & Insurance
Harper is certified as a therapy dog through Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Her current training exceeds the minimum standards for therapy dog certification, and training never ends. Public schools are an advanced environment for therapy dogs. Thus, I require that Harper demonstrates competencies beyond the minimum standards for certification. The benefit of certifying Harper with Alliance is the ability to obtain additional insurance coverage for the use of a therapy dog in my work at school. The insurance policy that comes with therapy dog certifications are only valid while volunteering. The Business Insurers of the Carolinas recognizes Alliance as meeting the requirements for their policy. Thus, Harper has both policies.
"What you practice is what you have." - Dr. Allen
Harper is practicing "leave-it!" with some high reward treats on those mats. She loves tomatoes and kibble! Now it's time to transfer this skill to the advanced environment of a school hallway with lots of stuff on the floor. It's a safety issue for dogs with things like xylitol in human foods.