Therapy Dog Skills

The therapy dog skills class requires prior instructor approval.  Priority enrollment is given to members of the GLKC.  

Target dog and age range:
For dogs 1 year of age or older.  Prior instructor approval is required if the dog is under 1 year old.  Reactive, aggressive, or shy dogs are not suitable candidates for therapy dog work.


  • Help develop and practice proactive handler/dog team skills to visit people safely, effectively and in a professional manner in a therapeutic setting
  • Help prepare handler/dog teams for therapy dog certification, skills covered in the class include those that are part of Therapy Dog International and/or Pet Partners test requirements
  • Enhance the understanding of what a therapy dog is and how this differs from service and working dogs

Prerequisite skills:
Dog should know how to walk on a loose leash, sit, lie down, stay, come on command, be comfortable being touched and be able to stay quiet. Successful completion of a basic skills class and/or instructor approval is required.

Skills covered in class: 

Promotion requirements:
Not applicable

Class size and duration:

  • Maximum 8 dog/handler teams
  • 7 weeks
  • 1 hour per week
  • Do not bring dogs to the first class

Equipment provided by the handler:

  • Collar (buckle or snap-in)
  • Leash (4-6ft fabric or leather)
  • Variety of soft, bite-sized treats
  • 20ft lead

Equipment provided by GLKC:

  • Table and chairs
  • Wheelchair, walkers, rollator, canes, crutches
  • Miscellaneous items used for distractions and mock scenario

Instructor Pam Schendel or Education Committee Chair for more information