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 private lessons are 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!
MuttSchool offers therapy dog preparation through individualized private lessons. You and your instructor will meet for 10 weeks in a row preparing you and your dog for your team registration tests. In addition to the cost of the private lessons, there may other costs including an online course, team testing and insurance that you and your dog will need to complete to become a registered therapy dog.
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.