Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between a Therapy Dog and a Service Dog?

Service Dogs are trained to perform tasks and to do work that eases their handlers’ disabilities. Working as part of a team with their disabled partners, service dogs help them attain safety and independence. Therapy dogs receive training but have a completely different type of job from service dogs. Their responsibilities are to provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals other than their handlers. Therapy dogs comfort clients via body contact and possess a calm temperament.

Where can I take my Certified Theapy Dog?

Certified Theapy Dogs volunteers teams are welcomed in medical facilities, schools, reading groups. extended care facilities, hospice, day cares, universities, businnesses, libraries, camps, the list is endless. We are also invited with our dogs to be entertainment at events. When you have a certified Therapy Dog, you will be welcomed because you are insured and trained.

What are the steps for my dog to become a Certified Therapy Dog?

All dogs have to pass the AKC CGC Canine Good Citizen test. If your dog is well trained you can take the practice test, at that test we will evaluate your dog to see how well he/she would do on passing the Certification Test. You need to pass the Pre Test to qualify for the Certification Test. If your dog has never had any formal training people normally take a Beginnner Class, then a Therapy Dog Class which gets you ready for any of the Therpay Dog Testing. Your success will depend totally on how much you work with your dog. You need to make your training a "Life Skills", practiced everyday. We work with you to be successful and become a bonded Theapy Dog Team.

What happens after my dog passes his Certification test?

You will receive a membership packet that willl have your dog's ID Tag, a picture of you and your dog ID, and additional informatio to be filled out. We send out a monthly newsletter keeping you updated on workshops, seminars, dog health updates, training tips and what is in the News concerning Theapy Dogs. As a member of Dogs With A Purpose you can join the "Members Only" page on the web site that lists facilities and their contact people. Therapy Dog teams will invite you to visit with them to help you get started on your volunteering. You can take a tricks class to join the Therapy Dog teams so that you can take part in entertainment events. You have easy access to us to answers your questions and to help you be successful as a team member.

Are their age requirments for Therapy Dog or handlers?

A Dogs in good health and temperment need to be at least 1yr of age to take the Therapy Dog Certification test. There is no age resctriction for taking the Practice Test or Therapy Dog Training Classes. A dog is never too old, we have dogs that have become Certified Therapy Dogs in their late teens. Young people will need to test on their own with their dog, parent or guardian must be present. They will need a parent or guardian to sign the membership papers and accompany them on their Therapy Dog visits. Some facilities have age restrictions for young people, so make sure you inquire about their rules and regulations before a visit.