Is this right for me?

The most important factors in pet therapy are personality, demeanor, tolerance, and patience.


A therapy dog can be any size, color, shape, gender or breed (other than coyote & wolf hybrids). The most important factor is personality. A therapy dog should be even-tempered, good-natured, and able to accept handling by other people. Primarily, the ideal therapy pet should enjoy being around people! First, therapy dogs must master basic obedience skills. This means that they should be able to respond to the commands to sit, lie down, heel, remain in a down/stay for two minutes, and come.

Therapy dogs may have to do a variety of tasks for which additional training is needed, if for no other reason than to make sure accidents don’t happen. For example, therapy dogs learn to respond to the command “leave it” so that they don’t eat food or medicine that might be dropped on the floor of the facilities they visit.

Therapy dogs must be people dogs. This is achieved by exposing the dogs to all kinds of people – the elderly or frail, children and adults. Regular visits to various places such as parks and shopping centers will allow your dog to get used to all kinds of people. Encourage people to pet your dog and explain what you are going to do with him.
A therapy dog will come in contact with a variety of surfaces and it is important for her to know how to interact with them without injuring herself or the person she is visiting. Good foot grooming is essential. You need to teach your dog how to get up and down from a bed gracefully. Teach her to get up in a chair or on a bed only if invited up.


In addition to dogs, Love on a Leash® also welcomes cats and rabbits as therapy pets. Our cat and rabbit membership currently makes up a little less than 3% of our total active therapy pet membership. We would love to welcome more cats and rabbits to our ranks. Most owners of therapy cats and rabbits say the most important traits include a laid-back, steady, calm personality, and a tolerance for the unusual. A reactive pet (who reacts before thinking) is not a good therapy pet. Therapy pets must be able to tolerate sights and sounds that are unusual, petting that could be different or hard, or any number of other things that are out of the ordinary.

Cats and rabbits certified with Love on a Leash® are described as affectionate. Although the cat or rabbit doesn’t have to be as outwardly affectionate as a dog might be – purring, snuggling on a lap or on a bed, or other gestures of affection are important. As with our dog therapy members, cats and rabbits must be on a leash at all times when on a visit.


Love on a Leash® does not employ or certify its own trainers. To find a trainer in your area, look for a certified dog trainer. Don’t be afraid to ask to see their certification. If they are certified, they are usually proud to show it on their website or business cards. The Love on a Leash® Control Evaluation for dogs must be administered by a Certified Animal Behaviorist, Certified Dog Trainer, Certified Obedience Instructor, or AKC approved Evaluator.


Love on a Leash® carries two insurance policies that provide coverage for our members while attending
organized Love on a Leash® pet therapy events. Note: Love on a Leash® does not allow Wolf or Coyote
hybrids as our insurance does not cover them.
      ♥ Covers members during any organized pet therapy event during the policy period.
      ♥ Covers third parties only for property damage/bodily injury due to negligence. Does not cover Love on
a Leash® members for their own injuries.
      ♥ Pet owners are responsible for the actions of their pet at all times. In the highly unlikely event that a
claim is filed after an incident occurs during a Love on a Leash® visit, our insurance company’s
adjuster must assess the claim, and will be obligated to contact the pet owner’s insurance company.
How much the owner’s insurance company becomes involved will depend on the incident and the
nature of the claim. Regardless of the claim, Love on a Leash® insurance would represent the
member during such a claim. If a member does not have their own insurance (homeowners/renters
policy), Love on a Leash® would still represent the member in the event of a claim.
      ♥ Coverage does not apply if the pet is with the member at work or uses the pet as part of their work.
      ♥ Coverage of $2,000,000 aggregate and $1,000,000 per occurrence.
      ♥ CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE will be provided if an organization or event requests Love on a
Leash® show Proof of Insurance to attend an event. Contact Love on a Leash® National to request a
copy or access it in the Member Area online.
      ♥ ADDITIONAL INSURED ENDORSEMENT is optional when an organization requests they be named
as an additional insured on our policy. The cost is $50 and must be paid by the organization. The
endorsement will be good for the remainder of our policy term. An additional insured endorsement
and a certificate of insurance with the organization listed as a certificate holder will be issued. Please
allow 3-5 business days for processing.
      ♥ Provides accident insurance for our members while attending a sponsored event.
      ♥ Policy also covers travel directly and uninterruptedly to or from the event.
      ♥ Medical expenses are a maximum of $100,000.
      ♥ $10,000 accidental death and dismemberment benefit.
Insurance will be in effect if the following conditions have been met:
      ♥ Member and pet are current on dues at the time of the incident.
      ♥ Member is acting on behalf of, and within the scope of, our principal objectives as a pet therapy organization, and                abiding by all Love on a Leash® Guidelines.
      ♥ Members are attending an organized Love on a Leash® pet therapy event.
      ♥ Member’s pet is on a 4-foot leash (not tied or retractable) and in the member’s control at all times.
      ♥ All state required vaccinations are current at time of incident.
      ♥ Member is following all the rules and regulations of the facility/organization they are visiting.

In this section

Scroll to Top