How to train a therapy dog
If you’re wondering how to make your dog a therapy dog, the first step is to undergo a basic dog training program.
“The world of animal assisted therapy has evolved throughout the years,” says Darris Cooper, CPDT-KA, FFCP, Petco’s Manager of Dog Training Education. “While Petco is a great place to set a foundation, therapy dog certification organizations provide education resources, field trainings, mentorship and screen both dogs and handlers.”
One of the first places to start with therapy dog certification is to have your dog take the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test, which is offered through Petco training programs.
“The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test is a test of basic training,” says Burch. “The CGC test covers the good manners that every dog should have, including coming when called, sit, down, stay and reacting appropriately to friendly strangers and other dogs.”
The Canine Good Citizen test is nationally recognized as a high standard of dog behavior and the stepping stone to prepare for therapy dog training.