Therapy & Service Dogs
SA Dog Training College is now offering Therapy & Service Dog Courses in South Africa. There is a huge demand for this and if you are interested, please feel free to contact us.
Therapy dogs and handlers play a vital role with regards to working with cases of trauma, head injuries, retirement villages, illnesses, etc.
We have a therapy tester, and two therapy handlers, of which one is also a therapy instructor. They are qualified with DELTA, an international therapy organisation.
The genuine happiness Therapy dogs can give to someone in hospital who is terminally ill, a traumatized adult or an abused child, etc, is second to none.
It takes a special team to do this kind of work, but if this is for you, you will have no regrets.
You can be trained and tested right here in South Africa and won’t have to travel overseas, as we are internationally endorsed with the Delta Society.
PATus was officially started in 2001 when noticing the need of having TRAINED ANIMAL ASSISTED THERAPY “HANDLERS” and “DOGS” as well as ACTIVITY HANDLER and DOGS.
Heidi had qualified as a Delta® (USA) team with her dog Titan. She had also completed a number of Animal Behaviour Courses as well as Animal Assisted Activity Courses in South Africa and abroad and felt the need for trained handlers together with their pets to be qualified here in South Africa
Instructions and evaluations are now conducted locally, SADTC Christine van der Westhuizen is an accredited alternate evaluator for Delta® and is conducting the local evaluations in the Gauteng Area.
Evaluations will also be available on the South Coast from the middle of next year as Heidi is moving to the coast. However training of the dogs can be done at any club of your choice for these purposes in SA and we will assist with any problems. Both elements have been brought together with teaching and evaluating handler and dog.
This was just an amazing interaction to watch. Rocco is generally psycho, and that is on a good day. When he saw the wheelchair, he went super hyped, the concern from the instructor that Rocco would be his usual hyped self, but when he got close enough to the gentleman it was like he was another dog.
He calmed down COMPLETELY and was just gentle soul interacting with a man that clearly loves dogs too. Rocco has apparently been around a family memeber who is also in a wheelchair and is as gentle as can be and even sleeps under the chair, just to make sure he is close enough.
It was very special to see. These creatures are truly amazing and inspiring at the same time.
Tammy & Nyx appeared on Activated Season 2
X had a seizure on the evening of 8 November. Mila sensed that X was not feeling well and kept pressing her body against X on the bed(normally she sleeps at the foot end of the bed and not up close). When X had her seizure, Mila poked her nose against X’s chest. X was aware of Mila but did not respond, so Mila proceded to press with her front legs against X’s chest until she responded. Afterwards Mila pressed her nose against X’s nose until X was calm. Mila kept looking at the door until X went to fetch her dad to get help. Mila only started to relax after X was back and safe in bed.
We also want to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you do to help X. We believe the training empowers her. Both Mila and X loves the training sessions and the positive impact has been visible from the first lesson.
X, Mila & B
Training type: Therapy Dog Training
I’d just like to say thank you so so much for the incredible therapy training program you have put in place and all your guidance and help over the past year. I got Osha because I was having such terrible and frequent Anxiety and panic attacks and I was struggling hugely with my day to day life. Although we have a long way to go still , Osha (with help from Tammy’s incredible training and love and support) has been an amazing help with my anxiety. Because of her training I feel very happy taking Osha out with me and as Tammy saw when we went to the hospital she knows it’s time to work when she’s out! Osha comes shopping with me , she comes to restaurants and to any social gathering I can take her to and what’s amazing is that when I have her out with me I am able to keep my anxiety under control and even start to enjoy social things again. My psychiatrist is so pleased and excited by the progress I have made this year and he is convinced a lot of it is because of Osha and her therapy training. He has recently taken me off some of the more hectic medicine I was on because even if I do have a panic attack osha will be with me to help ground me and stop me from hurting myself so this is a huge step for me. I feel like I’m finally starting to feel like myself again and a lot of it is thanks to Tammy’s hard work with us and the amazing therapy program. Thank you so so much you have no idea how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and Osha too!
Training type: Therapy Dog Training Parkview
I have been for my first Old Age Home session with Makai. He was so wonderful putting his head on the peoples lap and enduring the patting.
The folks liked it and some wanted him to do a second round with them. I am very pleased.
We also entered a dog show the other day and won the “best home trick” category. We did the trick with opening the dustbin, taking a toy out, then dropping the toy on someone’s lap, take the toy again and drop it in the suitcase and then close the suitcase. Ending with a BOW.
Best regards to all the trainers too please.
Training type: Therapy Dog Training Polokwane
Tammy & Nyx
My journey with my incredible companion Nyx
Nyx joined my family almost six years ago as a very cute and naughty puppy. Nyx is a German Shepherd/husky mix who will be 6 years old on 18 September. She was always busy and very destructive but this also taught me the value of stuff. Most of the stuff she destroyed I never replaced as I didn’t need it. I always worried about her eating everything as it can be very dangerous. Her favourite is long strips of fabric or socks. I even had to find a laundry basket with tiny holes in that she couldn’t pull stuff out of. My lesson patience and a thick skin to some of the stuff she did. I am a paranoid dog mom and panic when they get up to mischief. I learned to panic a bit less and ensure the stiff was packed away. Little did I know that this incredible girl would take me places and have me doing things I never dreamed of.
Nyx loves to work and is very intelligent. Our bond is very strong and she is very in tune with my state of mind and emotional state. As she grew she taught me more and more about myself. She always pushes me out of my comfort zone and challenges me to become better at everything. I am so very grateful that this girl is in my life. She has brought me through some really tough times and loved me when I know I wasn’t the nicest person. A constant in my world with her quiet calm presence.
Her obedience eventually became good enough and was better than I had ever achieved so we started competing. I May add that oom Johan pushed me very hard and was very picky about my obedience. My nerves are terrible and we battled but we pushed on. Oom Johan and I took each competition results and worked on the things that weren’t great. I learnt to accept that each time we went into the ring it was just another day and we started doing a lot better. We are now at Novice level. In an effort to become a better owner and handler I have done several seminars with her and I have also done an Animal Behaviour course.
I tried out all sorts of different things with her like scent detection, tracking, tricks, etc. the ones she enjoys I continue to do as a form of reward. The protection work she is only now doing well in but I used it to build her confidence and give her some independence from me.
This amazing girl has taken me to places and I have experienced many things I would never have thought I would do. She continually challenges me to do better and try new things. I am however the most proud of the therapy work she does. We get to give back with her absolute natural talent and I get to share her with others. She is so calm and unaffected by the environment. She has brought smiles to people’s faces, stopped tears and lifted some out of a slump, me included. She is an absolute gift. I have said she is a once in a life time dog. Her natural ability leaves me astounded so frequently and she is a loved member of the SADTC family. So much so that my future goal is to work more with therapy and service dogs. I absolutely love being able to give back. I am a very proud dog mom.
She loves people and her calm, stable demeanour makes her the ideal therapy dog. Even people who don’t know her land up falling for her charm. She is a strong willed young lady and when she makes up her mind it can be difficult to change it. As everyone knows treats are a sure way to get her attention. We have used her skills, stability and calmness to help people and other dogs become more comfortable in their environments. Nyx is very independent at home and is no lap dog and she definitely isn’t a licker like my other dog children. However you know when she is concerned about you as you can’t doubt her presence. She usually quietly puts her head on your lap and waits patiently for your attention. She also nudges away any cell phones or brings a toy and drops it into my lap. There is no rest until she has broken the focus or changed your mood.
Thankfully she isn’t the destructive lady she was when she was a puppy. However she is still a busy girl and I have to often figure out games to keep her busy. I work full day and they are left on their own for most of the day. I always feel loved when I get home and the whole neighbourhood knows when I get home. She makes the most awful noise and has to sniff my face before she will start settling down. I look forward to our journey ahead and can’t wait to see what new things she will teach me and the new adventures we will tackle together.
This girl has changed my life for the better. I adore and spoil her.
Training type: Therapy Dog Training Alberton
Testimonial from Ninke
Thank you so much for all your help Christine and Martinique. I will let you know. I appreciate you guys.
Training type: Service Dog Training
Testimonial from Lize for Service Dog
Lize (blue shirt) got Holly as an alert dog, to alert her on low blood sugar levels. She has already alerted her about 7 times, and once when she was sleeping, when it was as low as 3.4
Training type: Service Dog Training
Testimonial from Christine for Autism Service Dogs
Hi there Christine,
Loved our lesson today. You have a great bunch of very kind, compassionate trainers.
See you next week,
Regards Christine xx