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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 questions. These include:

  1. Does it just feel right for me? You can tell a great deal by talking to the people you will be working with as to whether or not you get the right "vibes." Is there a genuine sense of kindness and orientation to where you will be visiting, or is it more of an organization that wants to merely provide various training and obedience programs or certificates under the guise of being a "therapy dog" group?

  2. Is the organization AKC (American Kennel Club) recommended? For how long? This is a tremendous validation of credibility.

  3. Does the organization offer all AKC CGC, CGCA and CGCU certifications as part of their therapy dog program or are they offered ala carte? Refer back to #1. 

  4. 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?

  5. Does the organization provide substantial training and safety protocol guidance; or is it more 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.

  6. What is the initial evaluation process?

  7. 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 least once at no additional cost?

  8. Does the organization provide an abundance of placement and volunteer opportunities that match the type of activities you prefer to become involved in? Ask and you may be surprised by major differences.

  9. 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.

  10. How much does the 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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