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 therapy dog training program.
“There are specific organizations that have training available, as well as private trainers,” says Lina Eklöf, manager, pet services, dog training education at Petco. “It is important to keep in mind when going with a private trainer, that they have the knowledge and skills to provide therapy-work training.”
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.