Therapy Dog Gold Certification

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What Is The Gold Certificate 

The Gold Certificate test builds your confidence that you can work as a Therapy Team in hospitals and facilities.


How Does My Dog Qualify For The Gold Certificate? 


Any team that has a Therapy Dog certification from Dogs With A Purpose, is eligible to take the Gold Certificate test. The Gold test is taken at the VA Hospital In Durham. The test is offered 3 times a year, the dates and times will be listed on the Dogs With A Purpose Calendar page. The Gold Certificate is limited to 4 dogs at each testing date.




The Gold Certificate testing is for therapy teams interested in working in a hospital type environment.  This test builds on the general therapy dog test and adds elements that determine whether the team is prepared for the conditions they may encounter in hospitals.


Pre-requisites for testing:

      Successful completion of Canine Good Citizen test.

      Successfully passing Dogs With A Purpose therapy dog team test.


Elements of Test:


      Comfort with entering a hospital facility

     Team must enter through automatic doors. Dog must be calm and at handler’s side.

     Team must use elevator with comfort and courtesy.  When doors open, dog must wait at handler’s side until given permission        to enter.  Handler must ask other people on elevator if they are comfortable with the dog            joining.      


      Good manners while walking through hospital corridors

      In the hospital, dogs will encounter open doors, nursing stations and many unusual smells.  

      The dog must stay by handler’s side without obstructing the corridor. The team may not enter rooms without permission.


      Tolerance of floor cleaning machines

      Handler team must walk within two feet of loud floor cleaning machine in hospital corridor 


       Comfort visiting with patient in hospital bed

       Dog must be petted either on the bed (with a sheet barrier) or standing beside the bed.


       Tolerance for a crowd in the room

       Some patients have visitors while the handler team is in the room.  Dog must show comfort being petted and hugged by                others in the room.


       Tolerance of loud alarms and announcements

       Alarms on medical equipment and emergency code announcements are commonplace in hospital.  

       Handler team must remain calm when these situations occur.  


       Ignoring food carts and trays

       Most hospitals leave food carts in hall and many patients have food on trays in their rooms.  Dogs must ignore all food.

Therapy Dog Gold Test