USA Therapy Dogs is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. After the dogs/owners pass a pre-screening, the dogs and their owners attend classes for 12 weeks. The first 7 weeks are focused on obtaining the necessary skills to pass the A.K.C.-C.G.C.A (Advanced Canine Good Citizen). Week 8 is “Hazards of the Hospital” class and CPR for dogs. Weeks 9 through 12 is field work; Therapy Dogs in training and their owners visit various facilities, this gives the handlers an idea of where they may be most comfortable visiting with their therapy dog. Week 13 is graduation and certification as a Therapy Dog team.
Dogs entering the USA Therapy Dog Certification program, must be able to demonstrate the following: sit, stay, come on command and be able to walk on a loose leash. New teams are required to go through the USA Therapy Dogs classes with the team of USA TD assistant trainers and Lead Trainer at USA TD training arena. Dogs and their owners will be observed throughout the entire 12 week program to ensure all aspects of training are covered. Our training team will witness firsthand how the Handlers and dogs interact with each other, other people and in different situations.
Potential therapy dogs and their owners are trained in Metamora, MI at Hadley Acres Obedience and Care. The building is 5500 square feet and is designed to train dogs, it is air-conditioned during the summer months and heated during the winter. There are several therapy dog teams that have trained in Michigan and moved to other states keeping their therapy dog status with USA TD.
Therapy Dogs are now being recognized for their healing benefits in the world of traditional medicine. USA TD Handlers have witnessed firsthand how therapy dogs have helped children overcome speech impediments and reading difficulties. Therapy Dogs have eased the discomfort of abused or neglected children by helping them rebuild trust in people and grow confidence within themselves. Therapy Dogs have encouraged handicapped individuals to move their limbs to be able to interact with a dog that was visiting. They comfort the grieving and they love unconditionally. In general USA Therapy Dogs improve the overall well-being of those who need support whether it is mentally, emotionally or physically.
WHY IS USA THERAPY DOGS, INC. SO WELL RECOGNIZED IN THE THERAPY DOG WORLD:
- USA THERAPY DOGS, INC. is accepted by the AKC as a reputable therapy dog organization.
- 12 EXTENSIVE WEEKS OF TRAINING that includes field work in hospitals, nursing homes, children’s centers, assisted living homes or other locations that are in need of therapy dogs.
- USA Therapy Dogs designates one training session to be aware of the “HAZARDS OF THE HOSPITAL” and CPR on canines.
- USA Therapy Dogs students/dogs will have MORE THAN ONE ASSISTANT TRAINER along with the lead trainer in each class focusing on each team to ensure all aspects and concerns of training are addressed specific to therapy dog work.
If you would like to become a handler/therapy dog team, please click the arrow below to get started!
“You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, `My God, you’re RIGHT! I NEVER would’ve thought of that!'” – Dave Barry