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Today’s therapy dog handlers recognize the need to be teammates with their dogs, not just supervisors. Teaming with one’s dog involves unobtrusively providing physical and emotional support as well as respectful guidance in what to do. Being a teammate requires attention to the handler’s behavior, not just the dog’s. This book reminds all handlers that being conscious of what they do with their dogs increases the effectiveness of therapy visits as well as providing a more rewarding experience for all involved. Written by a nationally famous practitioner with decades of real-world experience, the book introduces the “STEPs of Teamwork” and how those STEPs fit with a Therapy Dog’s Bill of Rights. These general principles free handlers to apply them in their own way to their therapy dog’s individual personality and work. As the author writes, “The book explores a way of being conscious of what you do with and to your therapy dog to support him in his work. It describes functional principles of behavior you can learn and use immediately, either together as a package or independently.” Using an exciting new methodology, the author guides readers to deepen their relationship with their dogs by acting consciously and respectfully. "If we truly care about our dog partners who give themselves so valiantly to this kind of work, we realize that the role of a handler in a therapy team is pivotal. We must protect, advocate, and speak for our dogs, so that they can trust our support in the emotionally challenging situations in which we place them. If you work anywhere in the world of animal-assisted interactions, you have been waiting for this book. You're going to want to keep it close, and read it over and over." Kathy Klotz, Executive Director, Intermountain Therapy Animals and Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.)

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. The Therapy Dog's Bill of Rights
  2. p. xvii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-6
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  1. Chapter 1: The Need for Different Ways of Handling
  2. pp. 7-16
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  1. Chapter 2: The Foundation: Be Fully Present
  2. pp. 17-32
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  1. Chapter 3: Behavior Is Information
  2. pp. 33-66
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  1. Chapter 4: Maintain Close Proximity to Your Dog
  2. pp. 67-80
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  1. Chapter 5: Keep Your Eyes on Your Dog
  2. pp. 81-94
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  1. Chapter 6: Stay in Touch with Your Dog
  2. pp. 95-114
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  1. Chapter 7: Speak Conversationally
  2. pp. 115-124
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  1. Chapter 8: The Therapy Dog's Bill of Rights
  2. pp. 125-138
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  1. Chapter 9: Putting It All Together
  2. pp. 139-150
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  1. Appendix A: Dog Behavior Checklist
  2. pp. 151-154
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  1. Appendix B: Some Terrific Resources
  2. pp. 155-161
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