Therapy Dog Training

Therapy dogs are trained to safely interact with people for the purpose of comfort, companionship, a sense of well-being, and therapeutic benefit.  Therapy Dogs can be involved in regular visitations to hospitals, schools, and other facilities or they can have a more defined role working alongside a therapist with specific goals such as physical therapy or behavior therapy.  Some therapy dogs belong to crisis response teams where they are on-call to help relieve the suffering of a community after a traumatic event, natural disaster, or death of a loved one.

Therapy dog work takes a special team effort from both the handler and dog. Thank you for considering training your dog for this important work.  Before pursuing your goals, please review the “Profile of a Therapy Dog Training Candidate” to learn more about what types of characteristics we look for in a future therapy dog team.

Therapy dog candidates are enrolled in the School for Professional Canine Partners to learn the skills necessary to fulfill their job role.  The career training module for Therapy Dogs includes positioning for petting near special equipment, working with high risk populations, and desensitization to medical equipment.  The partnership will have the opportunity to learn and practice their skills at a facility of their choice before the final certification exam.

Do you work in a school?

If you are an education professional interested in training a dog to participate in your school setting,

you may also be interested in School Therapy Dogs.