How Can I Become a Therapy Dog Handler?

If you’re looking to become a therapy dog handler, you’ve come to the right place! Becoming a therapy dog handler is a rewarding journey that takes time, patience, and dedication.

To get started, research and follow the training and certification process established by a reputable therapy dog organization. This will help you ensure that you’re properly trained and that your certification remains up-to-date. Make sure to equip yourself with the necessary supplies and understand the type of training that is required for your therapy dog. With these steps, you will be well on your way to becoming the best therapy dog handler you can be!


Research is a necessary and important step in the process to become a Therapy Dog Handler. It is essential that you understand the responsibilities and qualifications of a certified handler, and the process for becoming certified.

Start by visiting reputable therapy dog organizations – the American Kennel Club, Delta Society, Pet Partners, or Therapy Dogs International – to learn their requirements and certifications. Make sure to read up on the rules and regulations that apply to Therapy Dog Handlers in your region. You should familiarize yourself with the different kinds of therapy dog activities, such as visiting hospitals and nursing homes, participating in educational programs, or providing emotional support.

Most importantly, be sure to research the breeds and types of dogs that are best suited for therapy work. This will help you find the right-fit for you and your potential therapy dog.

What organizations offer Therapy Dog Handler certification?

When it comes to therapy dog handler certification, there are many organizations out there that offer it. Before you sign up with one of them, make sure you do your research.

Check out the qualifications that each organization requires, the fees associated with training, and any other information that will help you make an informed decision. Look for organizations that offer a comprehensive and detailed training program, as well as support and guidance after certification. Ask around in your local area to see if anyone has had experience working with a particular organization.

These personal accounts can be invaluable in helping you decide which organization is right for you. Make sure to fully understand the certification process before signing up, so you can be sure you’re ready to take on the challenge.


In order to become a successful therapy dog handler, it’s important to provide your dog with the proper training. Your dog should be obedient and able to follow commands, as well as comfortable around other people and animals.

They should be able to remain calm and focused in any given environment. Take the time to invest in quality training sessions, as this will ensure that your dog is prepared for the certification process.

Having the right supplies is a key part of the therapy dog handler process. Make sure to have a well-stocked bag full of treats, a comfortable leash, and a few toys that your dog is familiar with. You’ll want to have a medical records book, as well as any other important documents related to your dog’s health. Being well prepared with these supplies will help ensure that you and your dog have a positive experience.

What types of training do Therapy Dogs need?

Therapy dogs require specialized training in order to become certified. This includes basic obedience training, socialization, and learning how to interact with people who may be in stressful or uncomfortable situations, such as those in hospice or rehabilitation centers. It’s important to start training your dog early, as most therapy dog organizations require that a dog be at least 1 year old before they can begin the certification process.

See also  What Is the Best Dog Flea Treatment in the UK?

You’ll want to ensure that your dog has the necessary vaccinations and is kept up to date with flea and heartworm prevention.

In addition to obedience training, therapy dogs must also learn how to stay calm in large crowds and around other animals. It’s also important to teach your dog how to greet people without jumping or getting too close.

This is why it’s important to socialize your dog as soon as possible. Take them to the dog park and introduce them to lots of different people, animals, and environments to make sure they are comfortable in all types of settings.

It’s important to make sure that your dog is comfortable in a variety of environments and can handle any type of situation. Be sure to take them with you to different places so that they can get used to different sounds, smells, and different types of people. This is essential for any therapy dog handler and will help them to be successful in their role.

What types of supplies do I need to become a Therapy Dog Handler?

You’ll need a few basic supplies to become a therapy dog handler. Make sure you have a collar, leash, and harness that are comfortable and secure, as well as a few treats and toys to reward your pup.

Don’t forget to invest in some mess-cleaning supplies: a few rags, a pet stain remover, and an enzyme cleaner. You’ll want to get a few dog-friendly grooming products like a brush and shampoo, as well as ear and eye wipes. You’ll also need to invest in the right safety equipment.

This includes ID tags with your contact information and your pup’s name, as well as a microchip in case of an emergency. Be sure to check your local PetSmart or PetCo for discounted supplies, and get advice from experienced handlers about what products are best for your pup.


If you want to become a Therapy Dog Handler, you’ll need to get certified by a reputable organization. Make sure to do your research and read up on the training and certification process they offer.

It’s important to follow the requirements they set, as this is essential for a successful certification. A few of the more popular organizations include Pet Partners, Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and Therapy Dogs International. Before taking the certification exam, it’s important to make sure that your therapy dog is properly trained.

Many organizations offer in-person or online training courses for this. In addition to the training, you’ll need to make sure that you have all the necessary supplies, such as a leash, collar, treats, and a toy. It’s also important to remember that you’ll need to renew your certification every year in order to stay up to date with any changes or requirements.

How often do I need to renew my Therapy Dog Handler certification?

It’s important to stay up-to-date with your Therapy Dog Handler certification to ensure your dog is able to continue providing therapy services to those in need. Renewal typically occurs every two years, but this varies by organization, so make sure to check their specific requirements. It’s also smart to sign up for email notifications to ensure you don’t forget to renew your certification and your dog can continue to provide therapy services uninterrupted.

For therapy dog handlers, the renewal process is a great time to review the training requirements and make sure your dog is still up-to-date and able to provide the best therapy services possible. Don’t forget to research the latest best practices and treatments, and take the opportunity to evaluate whether your dog is still suited for the job. Taking the time to do this will not only help you provide the best therapy services possible but also ensure that your dog is safe and healthy.