Below are some common questions we receive. Can any dog become a therapy dog? Expand Therapy dogs come in all breeds, sizes, and ages. However, to be a certified pet therapy team with Canine Assisted Therapy (C.A.T.) the following pre-requisites must first be met: Dog must be at least 1 year of age Dog has to have been with you for at least 6 months (to form bond) Dog must enjoy seeking attention from strangers Dog must be dog friendly Dog has to have passed the Canine Good Citizen test (CGC) - American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC) Dog (and handler) must pass C.A.T.'s evaluation Interested handlers must first attend an orientation to learn more about the certification process and whether it’s right for your dog. See our Upcoming Events for future dates and registration. Are there any specific breeds that make good therapy dogs? Expand Canine Assisted Therapy welcomes all breeds and sizes of dogs! What does it cost to become a certified therapy dog/team with C.A.T.? Expand Membership – $50 annual membership fee per person includes one dog, insurance coverage as a volunteer under the C.A.T. blanket liability policy, one C.A.T. t-shirt and one dog bandana Additional Dogs – $25 annual fee per additional dog Background Screening – Ranges from $50-60 What’s the difference between a therapy dog, a service dog, and an emotional support dog? Expand The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that a Service Animal is any animal that has been individually trained to provide assistance or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a physical or mental disability. They are trained to perform certain actions in order to help ease their handler’s disabilities and should not be confused with therapy dogs. Therapy dogs serve a wide population of individuals that may or may not have a disability and do not provide support to a specific individual with a specific disability, like a service dog. A service dog must always give his/her handler 100% of their attention and, therefore, should not be approached or touched without prior consent from the handler. While a therapy dog provides comfort and love to whoever wants it! Emotional support dogs are not the same as therapy dogs. They provide companionship and emotional comfort directly to their handlers. They are specifically excluded from the Americans with Disabilities Act laws. Can you train my pet dog to be a therapy dog? Expand Canine Assisted Therapy (C.A.T.) does NOT train dogs. We are not certified dog trainers nor do we offer training classes. We evaluate and certify qualified pet therapy teams so they can volunteer in the community. We also provide one-on-one mentoring to new pet therapy teams so they feel comfortable out in the field on their own. If you are looking for a certified dog trainer, C.A.T. firmly believes in positive dog training methods and can provide you with some local recommendations. Simply contact us at (954) 990-5175. How long will it take for my dog to become a therapy dog? Expand The time it takes to become a certified pet therapy team can vary. If your dog has already passed the Canine Good Citizen test (CGC), it may only take two to four weeks to get certified with Canine Assisted Therapy (C.A.T.). If your dog has not passed the CGC test, the process could take longer. You may need to take several obedience classes prior to registering for the test, which could take several months. But even if you have not yet passed the CGC test, you are still welcome to attend our orientation to learn more about becoming a therapy team with C.A.T. Can my dog and I work with children? Expand Yes, but ONLY if you and your dog have gone through C.A.T.’s Advanced Evaluation to work with children. How long do therapy dogs work in the field? Expand This is completely dependent on the specific therapy team and the overall health of the dog. There are no known national averages. Some therapy teams have been volunteering with C.A.T. for 10 years, while others may only be with us for a few years. As dogs age, they may begin to exhibit signs they are no longer enjoying therapy work, at which time C.A.T. staff will help you determine if your dog is ready to retire. How is Canine Assisted Therapy, Inc., funded? Expand As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Canine Assisted Therapy (C.A.T.) is funded by individuals contributions; gifts from businesses and community organizations; grants from corporations and foundations; and ongoing fundraising activities such as special events and online activities. PAGES HomeAbout Mission & Story Staff & Leadership Partners & Supporters Testimonials FAQsServices Programs Mental Health and Trauma Response Corporate Stress-Relief TeleDog Facilities We Serve Request Our ServicesVolunteer As a Pet Therapy Team As a TeleDog Team As a C.A.T. 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