Therapy Dogs

The moment a volunteer with a therapy dog walks into a room, you can instantly feel a change in mood. All eyes focus on them, as smiles spread across everyone’s faces.  From working with a child who is learning to read to visiting a senior in assisted living, therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to improve the lives of other people.

The Therapy Dog Training is based on the 60 Days To A Well Behaved Pet.  But we tweak it to focus on those skills important to Therapy Dogs.  If you are seeking training for your dog to become a Therapy / Facility Dog, we will teach the dog the following skills in public and/or stimulating environments (*some skills may not be applicable depending on the size of the dog). If you have a specific organization in mind for certification, you are encouraged to ask them what their requirements are before we finalize training so you can ensure all skills required are covered.

– Various temperament test items
– Accepting a friendly stranger
– Sitting politely for petting
– Appearance and grooming (including nail clipping)
– Heel and loose-leash walking with distractions (with flat collar or harness with no metal links)
– Recall – “Come” command around distractions
– Reaction to loud noises (may have a reaction, but must recover quickly and remain under control.
– Familiarity with medical equipment they may encounter in a facility setting
– Supervised separation – how your dog reacts when you walk away
– “Sit” and “Down” on different surfaces without needing to be lured
– Reactions to another a dog while on leash
– “Leave It” command (with treat being dropped in front of them and being able to walk past it)
– “Stay” or “Wait” command
– * “Lap” command – Dog will place its paws on your lap
– * “Visit” command – Dog will place its head on your lap from either side and allow you to pet their head
– * “Up” command – Dog will place paws on indicated object (i.e. wall, table, store counter)
– * “Jump On” command – Dog will move its entire body onto an indicated object
– Allows brushing by stranger
– Taking treats nicely
– American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification