Therapy Prep I is a challenging class, perfect for students wanting to expand their pet’s obedience skills but also great preparation for those hoping to pursue therapy work with Hand In Paw, Alliance of Therapy Dogs, or Pet Partners.

This six-week course includes – but is not limited to – items on the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) exam, an obedience certification through the American Kennel Club, which examines how well owners handle their dogs in public. This exam is very similar to evaluations done by therapy dog organizations.

Therapy Prep I is the first in a series of courses designed to prepare dogs for therapy work. It includes things like getting comfortable with strangers touching them, not jumping up, distractions and distance work with come and stay, walking nicely through a crowd, and staying next to the owner when approaching people with dogs. Since therapy dogs must endure high-level distractions such as rolling wheelchairs and IV poles, “scary” balloons, and strangers wearing masks and medical gloves, we provide weekly opportunities for desensitization with unfamiliar objects and medical equipment. We want every dog to be successful, therefore, exposure is gradual and adjusted for the needs of each dog.

One week of class will be a “field trip” where teams will work in a public setting. Immediately following the course will be an opportunity to take the CGC exam. Students pursuing therapy certification through an organization will also want to attend Therapy Prep II: Out and About.

Prerequisite: Impulse Control or equivalent skills.

In order to minimize COVID risk, all human students are required to wear a mask when we train indoors, and we are also limiting attendance to two handlers per dog. Thank you for understanding. We want our students to learn and have fun in a way that is safe for everyone!

Upcoming Classes:

HomewoodStarting March 7th at 3:15 pm with Rebecca Mason CPDT-KA, CTDI at Wags ‘n Whiskers. (Class will not meet on Easter). Email to enroll!

Honey’s first day learning “faster” and “slower” and practicing turns and stops:

Working with Opal on desensitization to rolling walkers:

Titan heeling with pivots: