Therapy Dog Institute at Copper Pines Boarding & Training Center


Our Therapy Dog Institute is designed to guide a dog owner from the initial idea of owning a therapy dog, through training and registration, even into setting up a new therapy dog program at their place of employment.

Training a therapy dog is an ongoing endeavor, with multiple levels of training spanning a year or more to reach registration. Continuing education after registration is an important component. Our Therapy Dog Career Training Plan is below.

Email us today to ask about registering, or where your dog starts in the process! Don’t have a dog yet? Email us about picking the right future therapy dog!

Therapy Dog Basics & Considerations Course – 2-3 Hours – $50.00

  • Anyone Interested in Therapy Dogs or Training a Therapy Dog (dogs do not attend this class)
  • Our Therapy Dog Basics & Considerations Course is an in-person or online class designed to give an overview of therapy dogs, and what you need to be aware of and consider if you want to own, train, or have visits from therapy dogs.
  • This class takes place in person at our facility, or online via Zoom. Recordings of our classes are also available.
  • This class is required for anyone interested in therapy dog classes through our facility.

Puppy Fundamentals 1 Course – 6 Weeks – $240.00 Puppies Under 6 Months of Age

Fundamentals 1 is a socialization course that meets once per week for 6 weeks. Each session will build on the prior week’s course, giving puppies and owners a wealth of information and skills related to leadership, puppy behavior, obedience, confidence building, wellness/first aid and of course, socialization with other puppies and humans in group play! Q&A time will end each session. This class meets the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy requirements!

Temperament and Aptitude Testing – 1 Visit – $25.00

This testing is based on observed behavior during a 30 to 60 minute class session. The results of the testing will help us determine if your dog would enjoy and excel at a career in therapy dog work! It also helps identify any areas of your dog’s behavior that need special attention. This one-time fee includes ongoing testing throughout the training process.

Puppy Fundamentals 2 Course – 6 Weeks – $240.00
Dogs and Puppies Over 6 Months of Age

During the 6-week course we will teach you how to work with your dog on more advanced obedience. This consists of loose leash walking and walking past people and other dogs. We practice longer stays in the sit, down and place, with more distractions. Puppies learn to come when called from further distances, and work on longer waits while you are out-of-sight. We also work on door and food manners, taking treats softly, greeting strangers and overall impulse control. We address behavior concerns as they appear, answer questions, and provide insight to your puppy’s behavior. This class is an AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen) preparation course, and the CGC is administered on the final night of class. NOTE: Some therapy dog teams may need to repeat this class one or more times to obtain the CGC.

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Test – 1 session – up to $15.00

The AKC’s CGC test is a requirement for nearly all therapy dog organizations. If you take the CGC as part of the Fundamentals 2 class, there is no charge to administer the test. If you take the CGC test independently of the Fundamentals 2 class, there is a $15.00 charge. The AKC charges approximately $20 to file the official form (this is paid directly to the AKC).

Clinical Therapy Dog Considerations – 2-3 hour class – TBD

This Clinical Therapy Dog Considerations Class is designed specifically for therapy dog teams that wish to work in a clinical therapy setting with their dog. This may include physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, or mental health professionals for the purpose of speech therapy, occupational therapy/motor skills, memory care, trauma therapy, or counseling.

Therapy Skills Classes – as needed – TBD

Therapy Dogs That Have Passed All Prior Levels of Training The Therapy Skills Classes are taken on an as-needed basis to ensure teams are prepared to visit facilities and pass registration requirements with the organization of their choice. Therapy Visit/Evaluation Prep Course – 6 weeks – TBD Therapy Dogs That Have Passed All Prior Levels of Training This course is supervised visits to training locations that are or mimic real-world therapy sessions for the dogs and handlers attending. Through local relationships, we’re able to offer a variety of organizations to visit. Trainers will offer advice on training for these real-world scenarios and supervise each session.

Evaluation with Preferred Therapy Dog Organization – No Cost

The final step of the Therapy Dog Career Training Plan is the evaluation with a therapy dog organization of the handler’s choosing. There is no charge for a Copper Pines team member to provide the evaluation. Therapy organizations charge their own application/member fees, which vary.

Ready to Sign Up?