How Do You Certify a Therapy Dog?


Quick Answer

In order to certify a therapy dog, the handler must enroll the animal into the AKC's Canine Good Citizen Program as well as finding and enrolling in an organization that trains and certifies dog therapy teams. The therapy team must pass an evaluation to become certified.

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Full Answer

  1. Obtain the AKC's Canine Good Citizen's Program Certification

    Check with the AKC pet club or pet supermarkets in your area to find Canine Good Citizen Training Programs. Enroll in a program and pay any applicable fees. After completing the program, contact the AKC via their customer service number or website to find licensed Canine Good Citizen training evaluators in your area. Contact the chosen evaluator to schedule an evaluation for your dog.

  2. Complete Therapy Training

    Find local organizations that offer pet team therapy training classes in your area by searching the Internet. Provide your selected organization with proof of your dog's AKC Canine Good Citizen Training certification, and ensure that it meets all other preliminary requirements, such as a certification of health. Pay any applicable enrollment fees. Complete training courses with your dog.

  3. Obtain Therapy Team Certification

    After successfully completing pet team therapy training courses, arrange for your pet and handler team to be tested for certification as a pet therapy team by your training organization. Upon successful completion of the exam, you will receive a therapy dog certification for your pet and a handler's certification as well.

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