What is a Therapy Dog?
A Therapy Dog is a working dog trained to comfort the sick and infirm in hospitals, nursing homes, treatment centers, private residences, etc. They are also used in programs that help children with speech and/or learning disabilities. Therapy Dogs are invited by businesses to work in their facilities on a case-by-case basis. Handlers do not have any legal right to have a Therapy Dog with them in public places, or in housing or employment situations - they must always be invited. For more information about working dogs, see my blog post, "Service Dog, Therapy Dog, or Emotional Support Animal."
If you're interested in training your dog as a Therapy Dog, We'd be happy to help! First, you'll want to determine whether or not your dog is a good candidate for therapy work. Here are a few examples of qualities, behaviors, and traits necessary for a Therapy dog:
If you're not sure whether your dog is a good candidate, We'd be happy to provide a Temperament Test.
Therapy Dog Prep Program
Everything you need to get your dog prepped and ready to become a successful Therapy Dog, tailored to your needs. We'll help you polish the needed obedience skills, such as Sit, Down, Stay, Come, and greeting a stranger (among other things). We will also help with the necessary socialization skills and desensitization to handling. Upon successful completion, your dog will be able to pass Therapy Pets Unlimited's Certification Testing with flying colors! This program includes a Temperament Test and evaluation of the dog and 4 in-home personalized training sessions lasting 45-90 minutes each. Additional sessions are available as needed.
*Wanting to volunteer at the larger Intermountain Hospitals and Primary Children's Hospital? These hospitals only allow volunteers whose dogs are certified through either Utah Pet Partners (these guys are by far our top pick for therapy dog organization to certify though. We strongly recommend working towards testing and certifying through them!) or Intermountain Therapy Animals. If this is your ultimate goal, we can help you gain the necessary skills and prepare you to test through them.
Click here to learn more about pricing. A travel fee may apply.
Please note that I do not employ the use of e-collars, prong collars, or choke chains. The use of any of these devices will likely result in the failure or loss of certification from most Therapy Dog companies.