The Unofficial Job of My Teletherapy Dog

teletherapy dog

Derby is currently an unofficial teletherapy dog. He’s doing a great job and is very helpful. He is not officially a therapy dog yet, but he has his Canine Good Citizen certificate. Things stopped there once Covid19 hit in 2020, but don’t worry! It’s still on the list of things to do at some point. We are still practicing, and we are trying to be creative through teletherapy. Check out these two posts here and here for more information on speech teletherapy.

Derby has been really helpful during speech teletherapy sessions, and kids love to see him. He is often requested! He always brings a smile to the child’s face, which is so helpful after all these months of teletherapy. It’s now 2021, and we are all getting tired of everything. The kids love the energy he brings. I get more speech practice completed. Derby gets to practice his skills and earn treats. Everyone is happy!

Activities for Teletherapy with a Dog

Treats for Tricks

This is the easiest way to incorporate a dog into teletherapy sessions. Derby has about 6 tricks that he can do: sit, down, dance, high five, roll over, and push-ups. He hates roll over and push-ups, so he complains when asked. That gets a laugh from kids. I work on expressive language skills when I have the child give Derby a direction. You can also target articulation sounds and drill work.

Where is Derby

This is fun when we try to find Derby in the house, and sometimes the cat is included. Derby likes to sleep on the couch, his bed, on the floor, on the steps, outside, in the kitchen, etc. Thankfully there are a lot of places to find him without me having to move far from where I am sitting. I work on answer “wh” questions when we look for Derby. Questions like “where is he,” “what is he doing,” “why is he sleeping,” etc. are good.

“Puzzle Time”

I love when I get out Derby’s puzzles. We work on requesting what puzzle we want to use, what kind of treat to use, and where to put the puzzle. The kids love to watch Derby work on his thinking skills to get all the treats out of his puzzle. Check out theses cool dog puzzles here and here.

“Derby’s Listening”

Derby gets treats just for sitting and listening to the child drill their articulation sounds, read a passage, or sing a song. Sometimes this will get a child out of a power struggle and willing to move on with therapy.

I have to say 2020 was a fantastic year for Derby. His people were home all the time. He got a cool new job as a teletherapy dog. He really couldn’t be happier with this global pandemic. Hopefully this will help him as we work toward actually being a therapy dog. Our next step is starting that process with KPETS. Derby will be 3 years old next week, and I think he has calmed down enough to start when things open up.

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