While there are no official state or federal mandates regarding registration or certification of canine partners in therapy work, we have found that many practitioners and their agencies are looking for more training and support to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved.
To promote best practices in this area, PTDC believes it is vital that a third party, neutral trainer evaluates the skills of dog-handler teams to determine their appropriateness for participation in AAT. PTDC celebrates the skills that the human and their furry co-therapist bring to their work. This relationship is really where all the magic begins! As such, we look for complimentary strengths in the human handler and the dog, and a good match between the team and their unique work and setting. Above all, we expect that the dog is reliable and predictable, and that the handler can ensure the safety of all involved. We love working with teams of all shapes and sizes- all breeds are welcome!
We also believe strongly in positive reinforcement-based training, and it is expected that all PTDC teams use this approach in working with their canine co-therapists. In our experience, being a proactive handler is absolutely key!
To support the success of handler-dog teams, PTDC is committed to educating, testing, and registering practitioners who are interested in bringing AAT to their practice.
Dedicated to the enhancement of animal assisted therapy.