A therapy dog provides affection and comfort to people in facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted-living, hospice, shelters, schools, libraries, and physical therapy centers. Through the unique animal-to-human bond, visitation from a therapy dog can brighten a person’s day, lift spirits, reduce anxiety or stress and help motivate people through treatments. A therapy dog visiting a facility is always accompanied by their handler. Therefore, our therapy dog class is as much for the handler to learn proper handling etiquette as it is for the dog to learn manners.
A Therapy Dog must:
• have a calm and even-tempered disposition.
• have no history of aggression or reactivity towards people or animals
• be well socialized (exposed to many environments, people and other dogs)
• have basic obedience training (prerequisite to taking the Therapy Dog class is completing MuttSchool’s Foundations class)
• like to be petted, hugged and touched by strangers
• must love to cheer others up!
The therapy dog preparation group class meets for 8 weeks in a row. In addition to preparing you for your team certification, we will be work toward the AKC Canine Good Citizen certificates with the dogs.
Therapy dogs are not to be confused with service dogs or emotional support dogs. Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities and are considered working animals, not pets. Emotional Support Dogs are prescribed by licensed mental health professionals to provide therapeutic support to persons with mental illnesses.