How Can I Train My Dog to Be a Therapy Dog?

Nothing compares to the satisfaction that comes from helping others, and teaching your dog to be a therapy dog is a fantastic way to give back to your community. As trained therapy dogs, they may visit places like hospitals, libraries, assisted living homes, and even emergency disaster sites to aid those in demand provided they have the necessary temperament and training. For training, a countdown timer will be more helpful and convenient for providing effective training. Here, we will discuss some training requirements and steps to train as a therapy dog.

woman training dog

What is a Therapy Dog?

People in their communities get solace from therapy dogs, and the people they help have happier days. Studies have proven the value of pet therapy. There is a discernible and beneficial impact on people’s mental and emotional well-being when pet therapy teams visit people who are going through challenging circumstances. Despite the widespread confusion between the phrases “therapy dog” and “service dog,” they are not similar.

What kind of training do dogs need to become therapy dogs?

You may teach your dog to become an ESA through one of the many therapy dog training programs available. The alternative is to teach your dog yourself. You may anticipate spending 6 to 8 weeks on training with the help of a countdown timer, the training proves that you are committed and consistent everywhere.

Therapy dog requirements:

  • Having to be incredibly sociable and at ease with all kinds of people.
  • Keep your composure and act docilely at all times.
  • Tolerant to novel smells and sights in a medical environment.
  • They must adhere to strict rules of obedience and maintain impeccable personal hygiene.
  • Are not frightened by people’s abrupt or rapid moves
  • The capacity to endure getting touched or otherwise cared over patiently
  • They must be capable and task-focused.

How Do I Acquire My Dog a Therapy Dog Certification?

Family-trained household dogs don’t need any particular therapy dog training, certification, registration, or paperwork. Dogs must always be well-behaved and under the authority of their owners. Some dogs receive official instruction from training facilities, while further dogs benefit from their owners’ diligent home training. The procedure is as follows at the Alliance of Therapy Dogs:

Step 1:

A dog must be amiable to qualify as a therapy dog. Any mix or breed may get taught to offer consolation and affection to people in various contexts, including mental health facilities, airports, nursing homes, schools, and hospitals. A dog cannot work as a therapy dog until it is at least one year old.

Step 2:

You and your dog are said to be put to the test by a local observer/tester. This examination contains a handling component that evaluates your dog’s fundamental manners, demeanor, and handling abilities.

Step 3:

Following the handling component of the exam, you and your dog do three visits with patients at medical institutions while being observed by a tester/observer. You and your dog may get accepted as a Therapy Team after completing these visits- and submitting your application materials!

Where Can You Take a Therapy Dog?

A certified therapy dog in contrast to a service dog or ESA, is only permitted in locations where they use for their intended purpose, such as hospitals, nursing homes, mental health institutions, etc. Therapy dogs are treated as pets when they travel, search for homes, or enter commercial establishments and do not have access to the general population.

Furthermore, a therapy dog cannot enter a hospital or nursing home uninvited. The facility is often contacted in advance to make preparations, guaranteeing the safety and certification of the therapy dog. The institution also sets aside a specific window of time for visits from therapy dogs.

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