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“Professionally trained volunteers and pets, and a professionally managed program is what makes Pet Prescription Team stand above other animal therapy programs.” 

—  Lois Sheridan, PPT Volunteer Certified 2016

So you want to train your dog to be a Certified Therapy dog

We have compiled comprehensive information to help answer some of the questions and myths on requirements and procedures to get your dog certified through the Pet Prescription Team.


It’s important to first state that not all dogs are good candidates to be therapy dogs.Therapy dogs should be naturally calm as well as affectionate and friendly to strangers. They need to be obedient in addition to having regular wellness check-ups and also be well-groomed for each visit.

We believe the process should be easy and fun for both the dog and the owner.

Preparing your dog

There are many things your dog will need to know prior to entering therapy dog training. Preparing your dog in advance will make both you and your dog successful once enrolled in a therapy training class. Prior to training a dog to be a therapy dog, you will need to work on the following behaviors with your dog:


  • Socialize your dog to new people, places and things. 


  • Complete obedience training with commands like sit, down, stay, come, watch me, loose leash walking and leave it. In addition, your dog will need to have control in the area of not jumping on people, licking or pawing at those they come in contact with.


Ready for Therapy Training

So you and your dog have mastered all the prerequisite in Pre-training and you are ready to enroll in a therapy dog training class with the Pet Prescription Team.


Here is what you and your dog will experience through our classes.


Pet Prescription Team Therapy dog training classes are held within an actual healthcare/assisted care facility. We have discovered that nothing prepares a dog more thoroughly than to train and experience the actual environment that they will be serving. Through this type of method we have found it prepares the dog and volunteer with hands on training giving them a lifetime career within this work.


The process in training

Class structure will teach and cover the following: 


  • Meeting and greeting exercises

  • Familiarization with hospital equipment (Walkers, Wheelchairs, Oxogen tanks, IV push carts, Bed visitations.

  • Hospital environment visitation policies & procedures

  • Instruction and coaching on safe dog-handling in health care facilities

  • Confined area workspace techniques

  • Confidence building techniques for both the volunteer & dog for the facilities they will be assigned to once certified



Pet Prescription Team classes are 8 weeks but may go longer depending on how the team is progressing. Classes are  held in two locations:


Los Angeles County

San Diego County


Classes are held weekly on various days and times during the week.

8 week training class is $175.00


When you have completed the class and passed all evaluations there is a $85.00 fee for certification, first year PPT membership and therapy vest. 


Upon class completion the Pet Prescription Team will certify, insure and assign the dog and handler to various facilities within the geographical area they reside. The Pet Prescription Team volunteers are the strength of the Pet Prescription Team organization thus without each volunteer we certify we would not be able to facilitate all the facilities we visit weekly. Your success is paramount to meeting the needs of the community we serve.


That’s why once a volunteer and dog become certified, we assign a Pet Prescription Team leader to each volunteer to help support and encourage them at the facilities they are assigned to visit. During the training process we discuss the various facilities they might be assigned to once they are certified giving us the opportunity to help them select the places they would like to visit. Our Pet Prescription Team leaders always accompany new volunteers and many relationships have been formed because of the support that they are given.



Hopefully you will find the information helpful and informative as to the process. If you have further questions or would like to join our team please contact us and we will be more than happy to help you further.

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