THERAPY DOG TRAINING

Therapy dog with owner in desert
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DOGS ARE THE BEST KIND OF THERAPY

Therapy dogs are used to bring comfort and joy to those in need of psychological or physiological support. Our therapy dog course provides the necessary training to prepare you and your pup to pass the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test and the therapy dog entry test.

Through the training process, you will learn how to read your dog’s body language and assess their needs. This skill is essential for the dog's wellbeing. For example, if your dog is working as a therapy dog in a hospital and they signal that they are tired, it is your job as their owner to give them a break.

 

Pet therapy is one of the most rewarding activities you can enjoy with your dog. The requirements are:
 

  • Your dog must be at least one year old;

  • You must have owned or had a close relationship with the dog for at least six months;

  • Your dog must have good manners - be able to walk on a leash without pulling, not jump on people when greeting them, allow a stranger to touch/pet him all over;

  • Your dog must remain calm around other dogs, with no aggression;

  • Your dog must be able to work around medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers;

  • Your dog must be in overall good health and be current on their rabies vaccine, have had a negative fecal exam within the last 12 months, and have had a physical exam by a vet in the past 12 months;

  • Your dog must be clean and well groomed;

  • You must be able to make at least one therapy visit every three months;

  • You must be able to control your dog at all times.

 

Our therapy training course will teach your dog to execute the following for the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test:

  • Sit/stay for 5 minutes

  • Down/stay for 20 minutes

  • Let's go

  • Come

  • Wait

  • Place

  • Walking on a loose leash

  • Accepting a friendly stranger

  • Supervised separation

  • Sitting politely for petting

  • How to focus during real-life distractions

  • Customized commands to suit your needs

Graduation from our Therapy Dog program, requires all dogs to take and pass the CGC Test. Once your dog passes the CGC Test, they will be eligible to take the therapy dog entry test. Upon completion of both exams, we will provide you with a referral to our trusted therapy dog organization. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Are therapy dogs, service dogs, and emotional support animals the same?

Service dogs are trained to help people with disabilities, such as visual impairments, mental illnesses, seizure disorders, diabetes, etc.

 

Therapy dogs are trained to provide comfort and affection to people in hospice, disaster areas, retirement homes, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and more.

 

Emotional support animals (ESA) provide their owners with therapeutic benefits through companionship.

 

Can my dog be a therapy dog?

It’s important to note that therapy work is not a good match for every dog. Therapy dogs must be obedient, as well as affectionate, and friendly to strangers. Additionally, owners should observe if their dog enjoys therapy sessions before pursuing this work.

 

Do I need to obtain a specific certification for my dog to qualify as a therapy dog?

No, there is no specific certification required for therapy dogs. Most organizations ask that you pass the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test, which we can provide.

 

Our therapy dog plan will begin with an evaluation of your dog's training level and, if necessary, placement in one of our training programs. After your dog passes our skills test and graduates from the program, they will be eligible to take the CGC test.

 

Can you guarantee that my dog will pass the CGC test?

We cannot guarantee your dog will pass the CGC test. If they pass is dependent on how much time you dedicate to practice what they’ve learned in the training sessions.

 

Can my therapy dog go everywhere with me?

Therapy dogs are able to visit facilities that allow scheduled visits. Unlike service dogs, they are not guaranteed legal access to all public places, and their visits must be approved.