Therapy Dog Training: Does Your Dog Have What it Takes?
- Desire to do volunteer pet therapy work
Have you ever wondered if your dog has what it takes to be a therapy dog?
You know, the dogs that go out and visit with patients in hospitals, the elderly in nursing homes, or have kids read to them at the library?
This course is all about helping you understand if pet therapy is a good volunteer opportunity for you and your dog.
Hi, my name is Debbie LaChusa, and I’ve been certified as a pet therapy volunteer since 2014. I’m currently certified with both of my dogs, Hope and Faith, through two different therapy dog organizations: Love on a Leash, and Alliance of Therapy Dogs. I'm a former Love on a Leash Visit Captain, responsible for supervising pet therapy teams-in-training, and doing training visit evaluations. I also spent three years as a member of the Love on a Leash national board of directors.
I’ve done more than 500 pet therapy visits in a wide variety of venues, including the VA Hospital, libraries, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, health and rehab centers, memory care units, special needs classrooms, high schools, universities and colleges, and even an addiction support group.
So, I have a lot of experience in the pet therapy world!
This course will help you understand:
What a Therapy Dog is, and does
How a Therapy Dog is different from a Service Animal and an Emotional Support Animal
What traits and characteristics a therapy dog needs to have
If pet therapy is a good fit for your dog
You’ll also learn:
The basic dog training commands necessary to become a certified pet therapy team through a nationally recognized pet therapy organization
Additional dog training commands and behaviors that, while not required for certification, are helpful while doing pet therapy, to keep your dog safe and make your pet therapy visits more enjoyable for you, and the people you’re visiting
What you can expect as a newly certified pet therapy volunteer
What cues to watch for in your dog once you begin doing volunteer pet therapy work
What to do if you discover your dog doesn’t like certain pet therapy visits
The answers to 16 Frequently Asked Questions about doing pet therapy
While this is NOT a dog training course, every behavior and command covered is DEMONSTRATED so you can see what the behavior or command is, and how it is successfully performed.
Volunteer pet therapy is one of the most rewarding activities you can do with your dog.
It’s a wonderful volunteer service to share with the people in your community. It takes your relationship with your dog to an entirely new level: you become partners and your bond deepens. You'll meet interesting people you might never otherwise meet. And, you'll experience the rewards and joy of watching the difference your dog can make, simply by spending time with those in need.
Pet Therapy Teams are In Demand
I’ve done pet therapy in both a large city on the West Coast, and a small town in the East, and in both cases certified therapy dog teams have been in high demand. There are always more facilities wanting to schedule therapy dog visits than there are qualified therapy dog teams to fill those requests. You and your dog can help fill that demand when you become a qualified therapy dog team.
Why this course is being offered for Free
I decided to make this course free because pet therapy is a volunteer activity and I did not want to charge people who simply want to find out if pet therapy is a good fit for them and their dog. I also wanted to pass along what I've learned from my years of experience doing pet therapy, in the hopes it can help others who are just getting started.
So, if you’ve been thinking about doing pet therapy, or even if you’re just interested in learning more about what pet therapy is, and what it entails, I encourage you to enroll.
It's the first step to getting your dog ready to go out and start spreading joy, love, and smiles, the way only a dog can!
- Dog owners who would like to do volunteer pet therapy
- Dog owners who want to know if their dog has what it takes to become a certified therapy dog
- Dog owners who want to learn more about what's required to become a certified pet therapy team
- Dog owners who want to learn more about pet therapy
- What is a Therapy Dog?
- Required Traits and Characteristics
- Training Your Dog to be a Therapy Dog
- Therapy Dog Organizations
- Certification or Registration Requirements
- Come. Sit. Down. Stay.
- Walking on a Loose Leash
- Tolerating Grooming & Physical Handling
- Greeting a Friendly Stranger with a Dog
- Sitting Politely for Petting
- Sitting Politely for Petting #2
- Maintaining Composure with an Erratic Stranger Approaching
- Reaction to Distractions
- Supervised Separation
- Useful Training and Behavior for Pet Therapy Visits
- Leave It
- Take and Drop
- Go See
- Paws Up
- Ignoring Other Dogs
- Ignoring Strangers
- Go Potty
- High Five
- Useful Tips for new Therapy Dog Teams
- Watch Your Dog For Cues
- Frequently Asked Questions: Part 1
- Frequently Asked Questions: Part 2
- Therapy Dog Resource List
- Let's Wrap Things Up!
Debbie LaChusa is an online teacher, author, and blogger. After a 30-year career in marketing, including successfully building and running her own business for 20 years, Debbie retired from her business in 2017 to focus on writing and teaching. She's a bestselling online teacher with more than 21,000 students in 165 countries. She's also the author of four books, including her latest, The Following Inspiration Experiment: Learning to let go and live in the flow.
A pet therapy volunteer since 2014, Debbie has done more than 500 pet therapy visits with her golden retrievers, Hope and Faith. She's also the creator of the Pet Therapy Stories blog.
In 2018, Debbie and her husband relocated from the hustle and bustle of Southern California to the mountains of Western North Carolina, where they currently live on a mountaintop in a home they've nicknamed The Treehouse. Debbie spends her time writing, creating online courses, and doing volunteer pet therapy.
Debbie teaches courses on a variety of topics, including Business, Marketing, Branding, Sales, Mindset, and Therapy Dog Training & Certification. All of her courses are based on real world experience.