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Therapy Dog Training

What is a Therapy Dog?

A Therapy Dog is a dog that is certified to visit hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions where the dog may be needed. A Therapy Dog can increase emotional well being, promote healing and improve the lives of the people being visited. A dog needs to be social and friendly with other dogs and people. A Therapy Dog must know basic obedience commands and be under control at all times while visiting.

How can my dog and I prepare to become a Therapy Dog team through the Misty Pines Pet Company Training Program?

We provide several ways for you and your dog to learn, work towards and pass the Therapy Dog International Test. Feel free to call or email us for any additional information. We are here to help you and your dog achieve your goals.

  • Option 1: Attend an Orientation followed by group training classes – This is the most recommended option to prepare the dog and handler for the test. Our class syllabus prepares dogs and handlers to achieve their Therapy Dog International (TDI) certification.

  • Option 2: Attend a Private Dog Training Lesson, continued by private training lessons or group training classes - concentrates on training you as the handler and specific behaviors with your dog.

  • Option 3: Dog Boot Camp – concentrates on training specific behaviors with your dog.

  • Option 4: Daycare Training - concentrates on training specific behaviors with your dog.

Requirements for the Therapy Dog International (TDI) Test.

Additional Requirements for the test: Dogs must wear a well fitted Buckle collars made of leather, fabric or chain. Owners should bring their dog’s brush or comb to testing. Encouragement and praise is permitted throughout the test. Food treats and toys of any kind are not permitted. Pet elimination during testing, growls, snaps, bites, or any attempts there of will be immediately dismissed.

Misty Pines offers the TDI test several times per year. The first and third Saturday of each month we offer TDI Prep Classes. By attending Misty Pines' TDI Prep Classes you and your dog will go through each exercise that is on the test. You will know exactly what you will need to practice in order to pass the test.

Misty Pines offers the TDI and CGC test and prep classes several times per year. Click here for upcoming prep class and test dates.

Therapy Dog International Overview

Therapy Dogs International, Inc. (TDI) is a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed. TDI was founded in 1976 in New Jersey, by Elaine Smith.

TDI registers mixed breeds and purebreds alike.  All dogs are tested and evaluated by a Certified TDI Evaluator.  Dogs must be a minimum of one (1) year of age and have a sound temperament. Each dog must pass a temperament evaluation for suitability to become a Therapy Dog, which includes the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC). The test will also include the evaluation of the dog's behavior around people with the use of some type of service equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.). Also required; is an Annual Health Record Form, completed and signed by a licensed veterinarian after passing the TDI test.


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