Perhaps you’ve heard about dogs who bring comfort to people in hospitals and nursing homes, or dogs that visit schools where they listen nonjudgmentally to young students reading to them. These are “Therapy Dogs,” and they are in great demand! Not to be confused with “Service” or “Assistance” Dogs, who are trained to aid their owners navigate daily life’s obstacles, Therapy Dogs are trained to give aid to others, by making visits to them when they are in need.
So, do you think your dog would make a wonderful Therapy Dog? The process is not long and arduous, and the rewards are overwhelming! Although taking a special class is not required before you and your dog take the Therapy Dogs International test, many owners like the preparation our mini-class offers, and many dogs benefit from being in a familiar setting when they are being evaluated.
In 2013, the Therapy Dogs International test changed dramatically. It has become much more stringent but also much more aligned with the specific situations you and your dog are likely to face when on a visit.
Click here for a list of the individual test items covered in the TDI evaluation.
The Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test can be administered at the same time as the TDI test; the TDI evaluator just needs a separate fee and paperwork for this test. You may choose to test for either one or both certifications, as long as you have pre-registered. Information will always appear on the Home Page, under “Upcoming Events.” Click here for more information on Canine Good Citizen. (Note: we will soon be offering the new, next level of the Canine Good Citizen designation, which evaluates the dog’s behavior out in the community.)
There are several certified TDI evaluators in the Hampton Roads area, and Playful Pups Training has one of them—Jean Nohle, owner of Perfect Paws Pet Training—comes to the training center at 404 Investors Place, suite 103, Virginia Beach, every two months or so to test prospective therapy dog teams. We schedule our Therapy Dog Prep classes to culminate with the test, typically administered on a Sunday afternoon. And after you and your dog become certified by Therapy Dogs International, we can help you connect with the places best suited to your specific interests and abilities.
NEXT TDI and CGC EVALUATIONS:
Nov. 5, 2017
Therapy Dog Prep Class: This class is a simulation of the TDI evaluation, which addresses the various situations faced when going on a therapy dog visit. You certainly may have your dog tested without taking the class; however, we offer it to help dogs polish the skills needed for the test in the place it will be administered. Basic Obedience skills are a pre-requisite. Your dog will learn to be able to sit on one command, lie down on one command, stay, come when called, and be calm around hospital equipment, strangers, and other dogs. (3 weeks, $70) START DATE: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Upcoming TEST DATE November 5 @ 1:00 pm. Pre-registration with TDI Evaluator required: write directly to Jean Nohle at firstname.lastname@example.org
…and here’s a newspaper article about one of our TDI graduates, Frodo!