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7 Essential Dog Training Commands for a Therapy Dog

A therapy dog is a well trained animal by professionals. It is trained to provide comfort, affection, and support for patients in many health facilities and schools. There are certain characteristics that the dog should possess, but the most important one is obedient.

dog training command

Image credit: pawmetto.com

In any condition, the animal must obey the handler’s order. The dog should be calm and it does not indicate any sign of aggression in any environment. The first step to test the animals’ obedience level is by giving order with some basic and essential dog training commands below.

1. Come

It is one of the most important dog training commands that all handlers should master. The “come” command is useful in many cases; regardless of the situations, an obedient dog will immediately leave anything and come near the handler anytime the order is given. A therapy dog usually visits health facilities or schools; in those environments, the animal will see many things and encounter new people. There are always possibilities that the dog will behave poorly due to the pressures of the new environment. Under any unfriendly situation, the “come” command will be very helpful. Many times, some patients may want to pet the dog; anytime the therapy session is done, the handler can simply order the animal to come.

2. Stay

A therapy dog is often working with doctors or healthcare professionals. Allowing the dog to wander around the facility is a bad idea; the animal may distract doctor’s concentration during health examination. When the professionals are doing the job, it is good to make the dog stay where it is.

How to Find a Good Therapy Dog Training

A therapy dog is often seen in many public facilities and institutions such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. The main job is to provide comfort for the people in such environments. The animal is well-trained, so even in strange situations it will remain calm, obedient, and never indicate any aggression.

therapy dog training

Image from overtherainbowdogs.com

All across America, there is at least one therapy dog training organization in each state (Maryland, Denver, Michigan, New Jersey, Chicago, Massachusetts and more). There are even some national and international organizations that provide the services in US and other countries as well.

Below you will find three easy ways to find a good training club.

1. Contact a local therapy dog training organization

As mentioned earlier, there is at least one in each state. American Kennel Club (AKC) is a nationally and internationally reputable organization in this specific field; there are more than 50 other therapy dog clubs from almost all states recognized by AKC. This organization is always a good place to start.

2. Check online

All approved organizations have websites. Simply visit a local organization’s website and figure out the requirements and certification procedures. Also, check the policies, registration fees, and training schedule as well.

3. Consult veterinarian

A veterinarian should know any of the good dog training group/class. Ask for the advice and suggestions. Veterinarian plays a very important role in the certification process; he/she provides the health evaluation and certification for therapy dog organizations, so a veterinarian should be aware of any animal training program in the area.