PDT THERAPAW Program Training

PDT Therapy Dog Logo

A therapy dog is a pet that has been trained, tested, registered, and insured to accompany his owner to visit patients and residents of facilities like hospitals and nursing homes to cheer up the people living there. A therapy dog is legally a pet. It is not permitted to go anywhere that pets aren't without permission from the facility owner. The objective of registration is to show facility managers that this dog is well behaved, safe around people, and insured against liability. It is not a license to walk into a hospital or nursing home without permission. Dogs who provide AAT (Animal Assisted Activities) training and testing are therapy dogs.

So what makes a good AAT therapy dog? I start with providing the training to prepare your dog to pass the tests and feel comfortable to be in public places. Passing the State and Federal Guidelines to get certified helps for liability purposes (getting insurance in case, gasp, something happens). These would be places like hospitals and places with lawyers on staff. On the other hand, nursing homes where many residents are lonely, have fewer requirements for people to bring their dogs, but none the less should be liable for any surprises with their dog and a person with Alzheimer’s or mental illness. The thing about nursing homes is often residents can act unpredictably so you just want to be mindful of how they react to all the novel sounds, scents, surfaces (slippery floors!), etc.

In hospitals dogs must be freshly cleaned and brushed for dander to be as clean as possible and you would be limited to areas of the hospital where infection control is not an issue. It's very exhausting for dogs, so visits should be kept to under 45 minutes. There are dogs who may not like being in places like nursing homes or hospitals, that might otherwise be great dogs in other areas. Even if the dog is calmly lying on a patient's bed or next to a wheelchair and seems to be doing a lot of nothing, that can be exhausting. Think how you are when you have to be super well behaved, especially when you're young.

PDT (Purrfect Dog Training) believes that animals make an invaluable contribution to human health and mental well-being. PDT's overall mission is to foster the therapy dog movement in the community.

Certification is not required in the USA because many states lack programs willing to certify dogs that did not go through a program’s training course. However, even though it doesn't require certification, you are still required to have proof of training and testing by a professional trainer.

First training course will take place at a Community Education program following a AKC CGC testing at the end of the course. Once completed, a scheduled time to have your dog perform in public places and tested for the AAT (Animal Assisted Activities) State and Federal Requirement.

Upon successful completion of the PDT THERAPAW program, dogs and their owners will be certified as a team.

We’d like you to become part of our team.

Therapy dogs who wish to record a PDT THERAPAW Title must be registered to meet the requirements to introduce your dog in eligible places.

  • • To sign up please watch for Classes at Community Education in Rhinelander
  • • State and Federal testing/training sessions will be scheduled to test in public places.
  • • You are required to fill out the application provided during orientation
  • • Dogs must have a Microchip number

What you get when you are registered and certified in the THERAPAW program:

  • • Training test preparation sessions
  • • Testing
  • • Vests
  • • ID cards
  • • Patches
  • • Certificate
  • • Proof of Registration Packet
  • • Continued Support for any questions or Training Guidence