A therapy dog should be even-tempered, good-natured, and enjoy being handled by other people.
The therapy dog
The vast majority of therapy pets are dogs. Therapy dogs can be any size, color, shape, gender or breed (other than coyote & wolf hybrids). Primarily, they must enjoy being around people!
To be a therapy dog, your dog:
- will need to have been evaluated by a veterinarian in the past year.
- must be able to ride in a car well; so that s/he isn’t stressed when arriving at a visit.
- must be well house trained; no accidents.
- must wear a 4-ft leash, harness or leader at all times while on a visit. Smaller dogs may be leashed or harnessed and transported in a stroller or basket.
- must be comfortable around all breeds of dogs. Being calm around cats and rabbits is a bonus!
- most importantly, must love people. A skittish or overly excitable dog can be unpredictable, which means therapy work may not be the right fit for him/her.