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Will My Dog Make a Good Therapy Dog?

If you are reading this section, you certainly have the heart and desire to bring kindness and joy to others with your furry best friend. Now you must ask..."Does my dog have the right temperament and personality to do this kind of work?"

Perhaps one of the best ways to answer this question is via a link to an article published in....


Psychology Today (September 12, 2022)

If you have any follow up questions or areas you may wish to discuss, please reach out to us via the Contact Us Page.

How Do I Choose The Right Therapy Organization?

Before joining any Therapy Dog program or organization, we recommend you speak to the people you will be working with and determine the answers to a few meaningful questions. These include:

  1. Does it just feel right for me? You can tell a great deal by talking to the people with whom you will be BOTH training and volunteering. Do you get the right "vibes?" Is there a genuine sense of kindness and an orientation to where you will be visiting-- Or, is it more of an organization that wants to package and sell various training and obedience certificates under the disguise of being a "therapy dog" group?

  2. Has the organization EVER charged a fee, asked for or accepted donations for therapy dog visits? This is unconscionable, and violates everything that volunteering with your therapy dog stands for. Ask the people who manage the organization if they EVER accept or ask for donations for visits. If the answer is "YES," then the organization is no more than a business for the managers to selfishly make money off of your kind hearted volunteering. ASK THIS BEFORE YOU SELECT A GROUP TO JOIN.

  3. Is running a therapy dog organization their full-time commitment or a part-time sideline to make money?

  4. Does the organization include ALL AKC CGC, CGCA and CGCU CERTIFICATIONS AS PART OF THEIR THERAPY DOG PROGRAMor are they also offered ala carte?

  5. Is the organization AKC (American Kennel Club) recommended? For how long?

  6. Does the organization provide an ABUNDANCE AND VARIETY of placement and volunteer opportunities that match the type of activities you prefer to become involved in? THIS IS CRITICAL! THIS IS WHY YOU ARE DOING THIS.

  7. Does the organization offer or even hint at SERVICE DOG "CERTIFICATION?". THIS IS A SCAM. 

  8. Does the group provide insurance both during training sessions and when you participate in group sponsored visits? If no insurance is provided, you may be personally liable for accidents. Does the insurance cover both liability to others as well as any accidents to yourself?

  9. Does the organization provide substantial training and safety protocol guidance; or is it more of a registry that offers principally pass/fail evaluations? Comprehensive training within the context of safety is a must for a legitimate AKC recommended Therapy Dog Organization.

  10. What is the initial evaluation process?

  11. If you don't do too well the first time, what are the options? What are their costs, if any? Do they offer the opportunity to repeat classes at no additional cost?

  12. Does anyone involved in the organization sell animals? This one basically answers itself. If someone or an organization is involved in the sale of animals and/or animal products, therapy dog training and volunteerism may not be their primary focus.

  13. How much does the full training program cost? Are there ANY extra fees? What is included?

You absolutely must feel good about the answers to all of these questions before selecting the Certified Therapy Dog (Inc.) program that is right for you and your dog!

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