Therapy dogs visit rest homes, hospitals, schools, and youth centers providing comfort to everyone they visit. A therapy dog is calm, gentle, and enjoys seeking affection from strangers.
Therapy dogs visit establishments regularly, occasionally or can be on-call with crisis relief units. You may choose to visit your nearest facility regularly or offer special visits to alternate facilities.
Types of visits vary in level of difficulty for both handler and dog. We recommend visits lasting no more than one hour. Visits are rewarding and provide the people in greatest need with comfort and love.
Therapy dogs naturally seek and comfort people. They are calm and receiving of people of all ethnicities and ages. They can tolerate sudden movements, nervous children, loud noises, medical equipment, other dogs and unexpected situations.
Situations we have encountered on routine visits have been barking dogs, resident cats, loud wailing, rough patting, oxygen tanks, beeping medical equipment, mechanical beds moving up and down, flashing lights, loudspeaker announcements, TV stations blaring, and power wheelchairs. Without specialized training, the average dog would be startled by these events, unable to conduct a visit.
It may seem overwhelming to prepare your dog to demonstrate calm, confident behavior in rest homes, hospitals, schools, and youth centers on therapy visits.
Our program is designed to help you evaluate your dog's desire to work as a therapy dog and their potential to advance in training to successfully pass their therapy dog certification.
If you decide your dog is not a great fit for therapy dog visits, you can request to volunteer with one of our trained therapy dogs and give back to your local community.
Therapy Dog Handler Program
Our unique Therapy Dog Handler program is available through Private Training. This program prepares you and your dog to become a working Therapy Dog Team.
Therapy Dog training requires the completion of On Leash training through Private Training or Board and Train to ensure basic handling skills for a safe visit.
In this program you will learn the rules and responsibilities of the handler, practice conducting a visit, and learn how to prepare for certification testing. You may even shadow a Therapy Dog visit to learn from a senior Therapy Dog Handler!
Preparing under the guidance of our experienced trainers will give you the confidence to become a volunteer with your dog.
Facility Dogs for Schools & Organizations
A Facility Dog is a full time therapy dog who works in a dedicated field such as a local law enforcement agency or child services agency. Facility dogs are commonly found in long term care facilities as well.
Facility dogs are trained to live on-site or go to work each day, providing love and support to all residents. A dedicated "facilitator" is required to provide all of the dogs essential care, including its handling, oversight and financial care. While all costs of a facility dog may be paid in abundance with fundraising, we do require a dedicated facilitator to ensure the dogs is properly cared for.
We provide only adult, fully trained dogs. The breeds selected are family-friendly companion dogs such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador retrievers and Doodles. Facility dogs have highly skilled training to ensure on leash and off leash control at all times. Facility dogs receive extensive training in an environment that provides them with the experience they will need to be an amazing facility dog for years to come. Our dogs are a reflection of our hard work and commitment to ensuring a lifelong partnership with you and your community! Training begins with selecting puppies from stock with excellent temperament and heath clearances. Training includes yummy treats, handling, socializing, field trips, obedience training, puppy play and so much more. They are not raised by volunteers, they live with with our experienced trainers from start to finish. Our puppies stay with us until training is complete, up to 2 years! If you feel you do have the perfect dog to become a facility dog, please contact us for an evaluation.
We are absolutely equal-opportunity in selecting our applicants, however, the nature of the Facilitator's role does require hearing, vision, cognitive awareness, workplace commitment and financial stability to ensure the safe and effective handling of the facility dog for life.
If you are interested in applying for one of our trained facility dogs, please contact us for further information and pricing.
Call or text to chat with a trainer today!
Address (by appointment): 9485 Boylston Hwy Mills river NC 28759