Therapy Dog Certification in Northern Virginia

What Makes A Good Therapy Dog?

At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we recently had 8 out of 8 of our trained dogs pass the therapy dog certification with Therapy Dog International.

While there are certain people who like the idea of using their dog in one of the registered therapy programs, not every dog is a suitable candidate to be a therapy dog. Dogs come in many temperaments, just as people do. In order to be a good therapy dog, the animal must adore people, all types of people. A dog who only loves its master, or really isn’t all that interested in any people is not appropriate to take into a situation where many new people are going to be trying to interact with the pet. Here are some other characteristics that are important.

The dog must be a fairly calm and laid back animal. Obviously, a dog who consistently jumps up on people to greet them is not suitable in a nursing home or hospital. Many people do not want to be licked by a pet or even nudged over-enthusiastically. Often a dog with more maturity will handle this aspect better than a two year old pet.

Some animals do better with children and others work well with seniors. It’s important not to force the animal into contact with people that make him or her anxious. Dogs who are easily startled or frightened by new situation would not be good in a hospital where there are loudspeakers, rolling carts and other noises result in chaos. You must be able to be assured of your dog’s non-reactive nature.

A therapy dog must be clean and in good health. Visiting children that are immune compromised with an animal carrying germs from outdoors could be a disaster. Dogs who serve as therapy dogs must undergo bathing and stringent health checks on a regular basis. Germs can be spread from dogs to people, but illnesses can also travel in the other direction.

Some dogs seem to have a special awareness of their role and how important they are to the people they meet. They don’t seem to mind preparing for an upcoming visit by bathing and dental care. They are the dogs that will head for the person most in need of an emotional connection and form that bond with no input from the dog owner.

If you are interested in getting your dog therapy certified, contact us at Off Leash K9 Training, LLC and look at our therapy dog development course. This is an 8 week course that is designed specifically to help you and your dog pass the therapy dog certification.

About Off Leash K9 Training

My name is Nick White, I am the owner of Off-Leash K9 Training. I am a former US Marine Iraq War Veteran, and former US Secret Service, also, I currently have 12 locations in the United States. We specialize in basic obedience, advanced obedience, personal protection, and drug detection. About us: As you will see, our client list includes: NBA Star John Wall, UFC World Champion Jon "Bones" Jones, World Champion Boxer Roy Jones Jr, UFC Announcer Bruce Buffer, film star Ron Jeremy, 3x UFC Champion Rich "Ace" Franklin, WWF World Champion Iron Sheik, Kane Hodder ("Jason" from the Friday the 13th movies), the staff from the hit show "Operation Repo," and Elliot's dog from Elliot in the Morning on DC 101! See them in our highlight video here: We also had yahoo do a special on us, as well! As you will see on our website, we are getting a lot of publicity and it's continually growing! We've had American Legion, US Military Veterans, NoVa Dog Magazine, Military Times Magazine, Smart CEO Magazine, and The Virginia and Maryland Dog Magazine do stories on us (just to name a few). You can see all of these articles if you go to our "About Us" page of website and scroll to the bottom. We are also the official trainers for ABC's "The Pet Show with Dr. Katy Nelson." Recently, we were named one of the top trainers in the world by the Dogington Post! There are over 400 videos of dogs we have trained on YouTube so you can see the amazing results we get verse us just tell you about it, so we would highly encourage you to check out our Youtube Channel and was some of the stuff we do! Thank you for your interest in our amazing training. -Nick

Leave a Reply