What is a Therapy Dog?
A Therapy Dog is a dog certified to visit hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions whose patients or resident would benefit from a therapy dog. Therapy Dogs increase emotional well-being, promote healing and improve the lives of those visited. A dog needs to be social and friendly with other dogs and people. A Therapy Dog must know basic obedience commands and be under control at all times while visiting.
How can my dog and I prepare to become a Therapy Dog team through the Misty Pines Pet Company Training Program?
We provide several ways for you and your dog to learn, work towards and pass the Therapy Dog Test. Feel free to call or email us for any additional information. We are here to help you and your dog achieve your goals.
Option 1: Attend an Orientation followed by group training classes – This is the most recommended option as our class syllabus prepares dogs and handlers to achieve their Therapy Dog (TD) certification.
Option 2: Attend a Private Dog Training Lesson, coupled with private training lessons or group training classes, which concentrates on training you as the handler and also specific behaviors with your dog.
Option 3: Attend our TD Prep Classes. By attending Misty Pines TD Prep Classes you and your dog will go through each exercise that is on the test. You will know exactly what you will need to practice in order to pass the test. Cost for the class is $30. See Calendar or Specialty Classes page for availability.
Option 4: Dog Boot Camp – concentrates on training specific behaviors with your dog.
Option 5: Daycare Training – concentrates on training specific behaviors with your dog.
Additional Requirements for the test: Dogs must wear a well fitted Buckle collars made of leather, fabric or chain. Owners should bring their dog’s brush or comb to testing. Handlers may encouragement and praise throughout the test. Food treats and toys of any kind are not permitted. Reasons for immediate dismissal from the test include; defecating or urinating during testing, growling, snapping, biting, or any such attempts.
Misty Pines offers the TDI test several times per year.
Therapy Dog International Overview
Founded in 1976 in New Jersey, by Elaine Smith, Therapy Dogs International, Inc (TDI) is a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and anywhere else that would benefit from therapy dog visits.
TDI registers mixed breeds and purebreds alike. All dogs are tested and evaluated by a Certified TDI Evaluator. Dogs must be a minimum of one (1) year of age and have a sound temperament. Each dog must pass a temperament evaluation for suitability to become a Therapy Dog, which includes the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC). The test will also include the evaluation of the dog’s behavior around people with the use of some type of service equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.). Also required is an Annual Health Record Form, completed and signed by a licensed veterinarian after passing the TDI test.