What does it take to become a therapy team?
At Habibi Bears, we've developed a breed with significant potential for therapy or service roles. Our thorough evaluation helps identify puppies with the best aptitude, yet it's crucial to note that it doesn't guarantee your puppy will fulfill these roles. While we provide a strong foundation through our advanced service puppy curriculum, success relies on your consistent training and bonding efforts once the puppy is home with you.
While many assume that dogs will naturally excel in therapy or service tasks, achieving these roles requires dedicated training, milestones, socialization, and proper puppy-raising techniques. We don't provide a guarantee that any puppy leaving our program without completed training and certification will qualify for therapy or service, as the process is precise, and a single event can impact a dog's suitability. Our puppies depart with the potential, but environmental factors outside our care are beyond our control. Fulfilling the requirements with their puppy becomes the full responsibility of the family.
Statistically, around 40% of well-qualified dogs end up not meeting program requirements and wash out. This doesn't label them as failures; their excellent temperament and breeding make them wonderful family companions.
Even with organizations such as CCI, known for selective breeding and training, only about 35 to 40 percent of their dogs graduate to become full-fledged service dogs. Dogs may "wash out" for various reasons, including "typical dog behavior" such as being distracted by cats or birds, or exhibiting whining or barking in public.
We urge families to set realistic expectations and, if interested in therapy or service roles, collaborate with qualified training programs for guidance. Forming a therapy team or service dog partnership is a joint effort between human and dog. Those seeking a dog for this role should actively participate in the training process, recognizing their role as the other half of the therapy/service team holding the leash. Building a strong bond through humane training methods is crucial to avoid damaging trust with aversive techniques. Conversely, expecting a dog to perform these tasks independently is unrealistic—it's a teamwork approach. We can connect you with excellent trainers who offer virtual sessions worldwide, ensuring effective guidance for you and your dog. Remember, the trust and training relationship with your dog is earned, and it's one of life's invaluable experiences that cannot be bought.