Therapy Dog Training & Assessment Pathway

Once your dog has been accepted onto our therapy dog in training program thats where the fun begins!


The first stage of the therapy dog training program is the foundation mandatory training. This includes 5 hours of zoom classes as well as self guided learning, assignments and assessments through the virtual learning zone. This foundation training contains everything you need to know to become a sucessful therapy dog handler including:

  • canine emotions and how to respond

  • welfare

  • therapy dog handling skills

  • training techniques

  • health and safety

  • how to conduct a canine assisted therapy session

      and more!


The foundation mandatory training is the same for all therapy dog clients. The zoom training classes run in 5 weekly blocks with each therapy dog intake on wednesday evenings at 8pm. The foundation mandatory training costs £75 for therapy dogs in registered non profit organisations and £125 for therapy dogs working with private proffessionals/ for profit organisations. 


Once the therapy dog partnership have conpleted the mandatory training and are able to demonstrate good obedience (a list of behaviours they need to be able to do is provided) they have a foundation assessment which can either be done face to face in Nottingham/Derby or via live video link. Once this assessment has been passed the therapy dog is awarded their jacket and therapy dog in training lead sleeve and are able to start socialisation and training with the proffessional in their working environment with the work settings approval.


From here the therapy dog teams enter advanced stage of training, the specialist therapy program training. Here the therapy dog handler is able to select whichever therapy program they feel is most appropriate for their work and customers. The therapy dog must be trained to provide one of the six programs but can do as many as the therapy dog team wish. 


Each specialist therapy program training program consists of 6 hours of zoom training classes as well as self guided learning, assignments and assessments through the virtual learning zone. For each speicalist therapy program you're provided with session (lesson) plans, the programs aims and which aims each session meet and any additional paperwork resources required. Each specialist therapy program costs £60 per program. 


Once you've completed atleast one specialist therapy program on top of the mandatory training you are able to book your advanced assessment. This can be done face to face or via live video link. For the advanced assessment we will need to see your dog in their working environment and demonstrating one therapy session (this can be done with staff or volunteers, not actual clients if necessary). 

** 6 weeks is the average time taken however it can take longer if the therapy dog team are unable to complete the self guided part of the program within 6 weeks.