Interested in Certifying Your Animal as a Therapet?
We have outlined the steps for dogs below. Please contact us for more information on certification of cats and birds.
Step One: Obedience Training
The first step is for you and your dog to attend regular obedience classes at a facility of your choice. Although many dogs have good manners at home, it is necessary for your dog to learn to behave around distractions which are available in a class situation. You and your dog should attend a beginner, intermediate and advanced level class before testing. Each of these levels are usually offered in 6-8 week sessions. During this time, most facilities will offer you the opportunity to take the Canine Good Citizens Test (CGC). You are required to have passed this test before signing up for the Therapet Skills Class. Most training centers offer this test free of charge to their students after completion of an intermediate or advanced class.
Step 2: Therapet Skills Class
Therapet does not charge to test or certify your animal. However we do require each new person to take the Therapet Skills Class with their dog. This 7 week class is offered throughout the year and the cost is $125. This class is invaluable in teaching you and your dog the necessary skills to work in the variety of settings Therapet serves, and is designed to cover all the necessary skills your dog will need to begin volunteering. In addition, we will cover rules and regulations, volunteer opportunities, and at the end of the 7 weeks the instructor will be able to tell you whether or not your dog is ready to be tested.
This class will NOT cover obedience. Those skills should already be consistent before signing up for the class.
Step 3: Temperament Test
The trainers in the skills class can assess the participants and let them know if their dog is ready to be tested. Animals can only be tested twice so we want to ensure the dog is ready before setting an evaluation time. The veterinary screening and volunteer application must be completed and returned to the Therapet office before a test date can be set. The test is done in a hospital setting. Once passed, the new volunteer can begin volunteering with supervision at the facility of their choice.
Therapet requires a yearly skills check off to ensure that the dog and volunteer maintain their level of training. We also encourage you to take your dog through an obedience, rally or refresher skills class once a year to maintain their skills.
All of this is done to ensure that when you begin volunteering with your dog, you both have a safe and enjoyable experience!