Therapy dog training is not nearly as complicated as it seems and serves a wonderful purpose. Therapy dogs provide comfort to all walks of people in hospitals and nursing homes across the planet. They also are a wonderful asset towards helping children and the disabled. Getting therapy dog training is not that hard but it does require a commitment from the trainer.
Here are the basics of therapy dog training:
Ensure Your Dog Can Pass Basic Obedience Courses
If your dog can’t pass the basics, they are probably not a good candidate for therapy dog training. Spend some time with them to get them up to speed on the basics before getting into the therapy program. That will help you to succeed and the dog to be more prepared for the things they will need to learn. Therapy dog training is not exceedingly difficult, but it does require the dog to be used to training and listening.
Register for Formal Training through a Recognized Organization
These organizations are located in virtually every state and can be easily accessed. Do a basic search under your city and state and you will find plenty of therapy dog training options to choose from. Getting formal training will make it much easier to complete the next few steps.
Attend Training Courses with Your Dog
The training courses are absolutely vital for your success and they are just as important to for you as they are for the dog. Training is all about the relationship between the owner and the dog, and should be taken very seriously. If you are not completely buying in, the dog will not take it seriously either. This training is what will allow you to bring these folks the happiness and joy they seek.
Register Your Dog to be Tested by Therapy Dogs International
Therapy Dogs International is the primary resource for therapy dogs and their training. This will allow you to be admitted to the various hospitals and locations as a therapy dog team. Register and they will walk you through the process of certification.
Complete Testing and Evaluation for Certification as an Official Therapy Dog
This final step is not particularly hard, but it does require that you and your dog are trained. Be sure to be prepared and to practice all the time in the days leading up to the testing session. Certification is your ultimate goal.
Therapy dog training is not a difficult process but it does require a serious commitment. Your dog will be bringing lots of comfort to a great many people. Therapy dogs are wonderful and they often can make the difference between getting better and giving up.
Photo Credit: Marvin Kuo