Pets and People does not offer a training class for animal assisted therapy (pet therapy). However, we do have a variety of recommendations, and occasionally offer informational sessions. Check the schedule on the sidebar to the right.

Therapy Dog Work: Is This the Job for Your Dog?

For dogs, a basic obedience class is a good foundation for any animal assisted therapy team. Beyond basic obedience, we highly recommend training for and taking the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test . There are many animal training classes specifically around the CGC test. Check with any local training center.

The Canine Good Citizen will show that your dog can handle being with other people and other dogs. However, animal assisted therapy often involves many other potential situations. Is the animal spooky in strange situations? Is the animal noise sensitive? Does the animal seem under control? Does the animal like to be touched? Does the animal like to interact with people?

The main focus of the Pets and People Foundation certification process is to see if the human and animal are a team. Is the dog responsive to the human when commands are given, and more importantly, is the human watching the dog and understanding the dog’s needs and personality.

The other aspects of animal assisted therapy are often related to the human understanding what animal assisted therapy involves, and the many different facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc.) that can be visited.

Pets and People Foundation is located in Eastern Massachusetts. Here are some links to various training classes in Eastern Massachusetts (Please send any additions, or errors to webmaster(at)petsandpeoplefoundation(dot)org)
Basic Obedience and CGC Classes

This list is updated regularly – Massachusetts Training Clubs and Classes

Acton, MA – Dog Start Activity Center
Waltham, MA – Charles River Dog Training Club
Cambridge, MA – New England Dog Training Club
Franklin, MA – MasterPeace Dog Training
Acton, Canton, Medway, Newton, Sudbury, Wayland, Westborough Especially for Pets



Animal Assisted Therapy Classes (Please check the below links for updated schedules)

Acton, MA – DogStar Activity Center
Franklin, MA – MasterPeace Dog Training
D.O.G. Bones – Workshops

Other Therapy Dog Organizations in New England

Therapy Dogs of Vermont