Therapy Dogs

Therapy Dog Training

The first step toward becoming a therapy dog team is to test and register with a therapy
dog registry. There are numerous national registries around the country but there seem to be three registries that are most active in this area. These national registries are:

  • Alliance of Therapy Dogs
  • Pet Partners
  • Therapy Dogs International

The purpose of a registry is to provide a mechanism for evaluating a team’s appropriateness, provide liability insurance for registered teams while they are visiting, publish best practice guidelines and policies and serve as a clearinghouse for visit requests.

Membership Requirements

Once you are enrolled with a registry you are considered a member. Besides
completing the registry’s test, there are some additional membership requirements:
• pay an annual renewal fee
complete a minimum number of visits per year
provide up to date annual health forms on their dogs
submit a list of facilities you have visited during the year

General Policies

Some policies are common among all registries.
1. Only the person who tested with the dog is covered by the insurance while
2. Teams must maintain a minimum distance, usually 3 ft to 4 ft, between dogs
while visiting
3. All registries provide a collar tag for dogs to wear while working along with an identification or membership card for the handler.
4. All registries whether national or local have specific requirements regarding collars, harnesses and other equipment.
Disregarding any of these policies may void the insurance.

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