Therapy Dog Requirements





Dogs must test in a flat buckle collar or non-corrective harness, using a six foot leash. You may not use any corrective training collars, corrective harnesses or corrective head haltes.


A dog that has bitten a human cannot be tested. Any dog that already is certified with Dogs With A Purpose and bites a human must be reported to Dogs With A Purpose.


Dogs and handlers must appear well groomed and in good health to test and conduct visits.

Any dog judged by the evaluator to have a poor temperament, bites or growls at a human or other dogs, soils, females in season, excessive barking or whining will not be tested or allowed to finish the test, and will be an immediate fail.


Only dogs one year of age or older will be certified.


Dogs With A Purpose Therapy Dogs will not test or certify dogs that are registered as a Service Dog. A handler with a Service Dog may test a pet dog. The service dog has to test alongside the pet dog.

No treats or treat bags are allowed in the testing area.  You may use treats to work with your dog prior to the test, but not in the testing area.

In order to test you must provide current Rabies Vaccination paperwork. Tags are not acceptable. A copy of your Vet bill will be accepted. Please bring a copy as we will need to keep this on file.


The following will be required to maintain certification:

1. Annual check- up with a licensed Veterinarian

2. Rabies Vaccination   No titters will be accepted

3. Yearly Fecal Exam with negative results

4. Dogs on Heartworm medication must be tested at least every two years. Dogs not on Heartworm medication must be tested annually.

5. Vaccinations for the following must be up to date: Distemper, Hepatitis, and Parvo virus. 


Any handler (guest /family members) who behaves or presents themselves in an unruly, disruptive, or an unprofessional manner will not be allowed to complete the test.

All dogs that test must have passed the AKC CGC Canine Good Citizens Exam.


All dogs must pass the pretest before final testing. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS.


In order to maintain your certification, you must complete two volunteer visits per year.


You must register your membership packet paperwork with team photo within two months of passing your test.


For your first Therapy dog, you must complete a visit within the first six months. This is not required for subsequent dogs.


A Junior Therapy Dog Handler is any person under eighteen years of age, they must have a parent or guardian present at the Therapy Dog test. Parent or guardian cannot be involved in the testing. All registration forms must be signed by the parent or guardian. The Junior Handler must be accompanied by an adult during all Therapy Dog visits.


Two dogs that will work together must first pass the test independently. Then they must test and pass as a team.