What is Dr. Dog and how can my dog join the program?
PAWS' Dr. Dog is an animal-assisted therapy program under Animals Asia
's Dr. Dog Program.
We're always on the lookout for recruits! If you think you know any able capable possible Dr
lead 'em towards our scent! Aside from being very friendly and well-socialized, applicants must also be spayed/neutered.
For interested applicants, more details about Dr. Dog can be found below from the Animals Asia site:
Basic Volunteer Requirements
- Dr Dog volunteers must be over the age of 18 and have their own dog.
- Volunteers must be committed to the programme and its aims.
- Volunteers must have good "people skills" and an enthusiastic personality.
- Volunteers must be willing to be a part of a team and enjoy meeting new people.
Basic Requirements for Potential Dr. Dogs/Professor Paws
- Volunteer dogs of pedigree or mixed breed naturally need to be healthy and have a happy, placid, nature.
- Dogs must be at least two years old before examination.
- Both male and female dogs must be de-sexed (spayed/neutered). Read details on the benefits of de-sexing your dog.
- Dogs must display basic obedience skills. (PAWS note: We would be willing to be lenient with this requirement for as long as you have control over your dog at all times and he/she is well-mannered.)
- Dogs must have lived with the handler for at least 6 months prior to examination.
- All vaccinations must be up to date and proof of vaccination provided for our records.
- Any dog over 20 kg in weight must be held on a leash not more than 2 meters in length when in a public place (as specified by the Dangerous Dogs Legislation) by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFCD) in Hong Kong. (PAWS note: All owners must have their dogs on a leash at all times in public places, as stated in the Anti Rabiest Act of 2007. Small dogs may be carried by their owners, but please have a leash on hand.)
Is your dog suitable to be a Doctor or a Professor?
||The Examination - what to expect
The examination for potential Dr. Dogs / Professor Paws consists of 3 basic parts and takes approximately 10 minutes:
1. Initial observation of the dog interacting with their owner, strangers and other dogs. Dogs should have a loving bond with their owner and appear relaxed and friendly towards new people and dogs.
2. Temperament Assessment: Examiners begin with a basic health check, examining eyes, ears, teeth and skin condition. This progresses to handling the dog all over, pulling ears, pinching skin, pulling their tail, blowing in their face, touching their paws and checking for possible areas of pain in the back and hips. We do need to handle the dogs quite roughly in order to asses their tolerance levels and reaction to patients (i.e. small children who may inadvertently pull their tail.) Dogs are also assessed for their reaction to loud noises and behaviour around food - they must remain calm and not 'snatch' at food, even when teased.
If a dog is not aggressive but shies away from human contact or seems unhappy, this is not a good choice for Dr. Dog. The programme promotes happy animals as well as happy people and it is not our aim to involve dogs who will simply put up with being patted. They must enjoy their role too!
3. Basic Obedience: Dogs should walk calmly and quietly on a leash with their owners and be able to "sit", "stay" and "come" on command. Owners should display a reasonable amount of control over their dog and the dog should respond readily to instructions. (As mentioned, we would be willing to be lenient with this requirement for as long as you have control over your dog at all times and he/she is well-mannered.)
Potential Dr. Dogs should…..
- Appear healthy, friendly and relaxed.
- Display no signs of fear or nervous tension.
- Happily allow strangers to approach.
- Appear interested in people and have an outgoing nature.
- Be able to handle a reasonable level of stress.
- Feel comfortable in strange surroundings and with crowds.
- Allow clumsy / over enthusiastic petting or pinching.
Potential Dr. Dogs should not….
- Bark or whine continually.
- Display territorial behaviour.
- Be aggressive towards other dogs.
- Be possessive over food or toys.
- Display any signs of anxiety.
We believe that dogs either have the sort of friendly, tolerant temperament required, or don't - and this is something that cannot be forced, but is inherent in a dog's personality. Few dogs pass the rigorous Dr Dog examination, but this does not make the ones that fail "bad" dogs. For this reason, we prefer that people do not engage in extra preparation, resulting in negative reinforcement, in order to "train" their dog for a Dr Dog programme.
There is no fee to join the PAWS Dr. Dog Program or for the assessment. For our Dr. Dog volunteers, the only cost is the transportation of getting to the school/hospital (though we do try to coordinate with the organization who has asked for the activitiy if they can provide the transpo/pick up of our volunteers).
If your dog is not yet spayed/neutered, we offer low-cost spay/neuter. The PARC Clinic rates can be found here: http://paws.org.ph/site/388/default.aspx
Please let us know if/when you would like to schedule your dog for an assessment.
You may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call tel. 475-1688 during office hours (10am-5pm Mondays to Saturdays except holidays).
Also if you are connected with any hospitals with wards that are full of our speciality - kids who are confined for long periods of time, sign us up for our rounds! The kind of medicine we bring is something to see! We're best with kids who are confined to their beds with the lights dimming in their eyes. We find their inner spark and ignite the flames of recovery!
To all our Doctor Dogs - we are so proud of you! Keep up the good work!
Dr. Dog Philippines (PAWS Website) From street dog to Dr. Dog (PAWS Website) Dr. Dog (Animals Asia Website) Inquirer Magazine article (Sept 2011): Doggone it, these docs are too cute!