Can a German shepherd become a therapy dog? Get Your Pet Thinking

Do German Shepherds Make Good Therapy Dogs?

Because of their intelligence and affectionate nature, German Shepherds make some of the best therapy dogs. German Shepherds are incredibly smart, which means they can be trained to do almost anything. With some dedicated time, German Shepherds can learn to be patient, quiet, and calm even in hectic settings.

German Shepherds are also extremely social and will enjoy all the attention they receive as part of therapy activities. Because German Shepherds are such athletic dogs, you will have to be careful when training them about distinguishing between playtime and therapy time.

A German Shepherd therapy dog will need plenty of play and exercise, but they’ll have to remain calm when meeting new people, rather than trying to play. You should keep in mind that some people may feel nervous around German Shepherds because of their reputation as police and military dogs. When volunteering for therapy, always respect the comfort level of other people.

Some places require official certification before you and your dog can volunteer together. Organizations such as the Alliance of Therapy Dogs provide training and certification. Typically these programs involve a training course, test, and monitoring during the first few volunteer visits.

Once your German Shepherd has therapy dog certification, you may be able to access opportunities to volunteer with national organizations such as the Red Cross. You may be able to find a local organization that offers therapy dog training and certification. If you’re interested in volunteering at a specific facility, try asking them if they work with a particular therapy dog organization.

What Traits Make a Good Therapy Dog?

The most important characteristics of a great therapy dog are that they are calm and that they get along with all people. A therapy dog must maintain a calm demeanor in loud or crowded rooms, be able to focus despite distractions, and avoid jumping on people. Dogs of any size can make good therapy dogs. It is most important that they are calm, social, and have the intelligence and concentration for thorough training.

The same traits that make German Shepherds great companions—their intelligence and affectionate nature—also make them excellent candidates to become emotional support dogs or therapy dogs.

Does Insurance Cover German Shepherd Service Dogs?

No, insurance doesnt cover paying for a German shepherd service dog or caring for it. You may be able to use a health savings account or flexible savings account that saves you money on your taxes.

German Shepard training to be therapy, security dog at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital

German shepherds are highly intelligent, loyal, adaptable, and protective. They have ranked as the second most popular dog breed in the U.S. since 2014, and they make outstanding service dogs. A German shepherd may be just the dog you need when considering a canine companion to assist you. Choosing the best service dog combines personal choice and individual needs. Here, weve put together everything you need to know to make an informed decision about whether a German shepherd service dog is right for you.