Can you train my dog to be a therapy dog?
- We do not offer obedience training at Hand in Paw. We are happy to assist you after you complete training to prepare for the final evaluation for Hand in Paw certification.
If my dog is a Hand in Paw dog, can he go everywhere with me, fly on airplanes, etc.?
- No. A therapy dog can serve on assigned Hand in Paw animal-assisted therapy visits only. Otherwise your dog can go in any public places any dog can. Hand in Paw credentials should not be used as the guise of a service dog for admittance on airplanes, hotels or anywhere else that service dogs only are allowed.
Can my dog go to work with me once she is a Hand in Paw therapy dog?
- This is up to you, however, she may not be misrepresented as a therapy dog while accompanying you to work. She is only a therapy dog when participating in a Hand in Paw assigned therapy visit.
Does Hand in Paw provide service animals?
- No, Hand in Paw is a human service organization that provides training and evaluations for therapy animals and their handlers; we do not have any association with service animals. For a guide to different service animal organizations, please click here.
I have a wonderful pet that I would love to give or loan to your organization so that you can take him to places in the community. How does that work?
- Our Therapy Teams are just that – teams. Pets and their handlers work together to improve the health and well-being of the community. If your pet is part of our organization, you would be, too!
What are the pre-requisites to being a Hand in Paw Therapy Team?
- Your pet must be at least 18 months old. You must have owned your pet for at least six months. If volunteering with your dog, you and your dog must have completed a basic group obedience class.
My dog is already well-behaved and knows obedience commands – I taught him. Is that good enough to serve as a formal basic obedience class, one of your pre-requisites for training?
- Hand in Paw requires a certificate of completion of a basic group obedience class (for dogs) prior to beginning our training sessions. Working with your dog as a team, as well as obedience, is a major part of the evaluation process!
Where should I take my dog for basic obedience?
- Anywhere you’d like! Hand in Paw does not endorse any particular trainers, we only ask that your dog be trained for general obedience: sit, down, stay, come, walk politely on a loose leash, even in a crowded environment with other animals. Visit our “Volunteers” section where you can view both the Hand in Paw Therapy Team Screening and Evaluation. These will show you exactly what you and your dog will do during both the Screening and Evaluation.
What other animals can be Therapy Animals?
- Hand in Paw registers dogs and cats as well as other domesticated animals such as rabbits, miniature horses, llamas, birds, etc.
How old does someone have to be to volunteer?
- Hand in Paw volunteers are required to be at least 10 years old.