Therapy Dogs

Information presented by: Patricia Esposito – Chicago Dog Trainer

Can Your Dog be Trained to be a Therapy Dog?

First I would evaluate the temperament of your dog. Is he even tempered, not skittish, not shy, does he enjoy the attention of other people; can he stay calm and obedient while visiting patients; does he enjoy the attention of other people? Most breeds can be trained as therapy dogs as long as they can stay calm and obedient while visiting patients. If you have a dog with these qualities, you also need to teach your dog basic obedience commands.

All dogs must pass a test before they can be certified as therapy dogs, and basic obedience is among the required skills. Praise and treat as a reward when the dog follows a command properly.

Training takes time, but it is very rewarding in more ways than one.

I have added some photos of my dog Cowboy and some other Therapy dogs below, not all dogs will be as well trained as Cowboy, but the main requirement is a calm dog with basic obedience skills.

A therapy dog is often presented with physically or mentally handicapped patients who might frighten a dog that hasn't been exposed to a variety of situations. never force your dog to participate in anything he is not comfortable with.

Some dogs may be able to handle the elderly, but not children, other dogs may be fine with both. I also remember being told never go over an hour, no matter how well a dog is trained any dog might start to get stressed, learn to read your dogs body language, and remove your dog if you see a change in behavior.

Not all dogs will be trained this good, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could enter a nursing home with your dog & just relax?

Halloween at the nursing home.

Chicago dog trainer dog Cowboy and Doberman friend entertain the elderly at Halloween.

Christmas at the nursing home.

Chicago dog trainer dog Cowboy with 3 dog friends visiting nursing home at Christmas.