Home
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
New Recognition for Therapy Dogs
AKC titling program acknowledges pups in the community
Nemo at the children's reading program at our local library.

This week, the American Kennel Club started a new program to acknowledge therapy dogs. Now pups and their handlers can earn their AKC Therapy Dog title by documenting 50 visits to facilities such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes. The recognition is open to all AKC registered dogs, both pure and mixed breed.

To be clear, the AKC program doesn't certify therapy dogs, teams must be certified through one of 46 AKC-recognized therapy dog organizations. If you're interested in getting involved with your pup, you can contact one of these groups to find out more information. These therapy organizations screen potential teams and provide liability insurance for facility visits.

I hope that this program will encourage more people to certify their dogs and volunteer. With the AKC's Junior Handler program, there's also the potential for more young people to get involved with therapy work as well. The AKC Therapy Dog title is a great compliment to the STAR Puppy and Canine Good Citizen programs.

When Nemo and I are visiting the hospital or the library, it's so rewarding to see the joy the dogs bring to people's faces. But therapy work is not only beneficial for the recipients. It's been a great way for me to further Nemo's training in different environments and to deepen our relationship as we work together.

Are you planning to work towards the AKC Therapy Dog title?

Print|Email
JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Andi Schreiber.

More From The Bark

More in JoAnna Lou:
Delta Adds Pet Tracking to Select Flights
Dog Saves Puppies in Forest Fire
Right to Post Negative Reviews
Social App for Dogs
Custom Cart for an Ailing Pup
Dog Training on the Streets
Simpsons Creative Force Donates Royalties to Charity
Amtrak to Welcome Dogs and Cats
Trigger for Bone Cancer Identified
Pit Bull Service Dogs