Southern Wisconsin Canine Therapy Dog Association is the only American Kennel Club Recognized Therapy Dog Organization in the state of Wisconsin!
Our Certification Process

Our Certification Process

Southern Wisconsin Dog Training Academy

Southern Wisconsin Canine Therapy Dog Assoication offers a comprehensive therapy dog education and training program to ensure safety, confidence and enjoyment. We require the handler and their dog to complete a four phases of education and hands-on training program to become a trained, licensed and insured therapy dog team.

Phase 1
In eight weeks you and your K-9 companion will learn many dog related terms and practices. You will learn how to complete a health check, how to correctly hold a lead, and correct terminology when talking about dogs. We will teach your dog to sit, heel, down, and recall.

Phase 2
In the next eight weeks you and your canine will be tested in several environments. We will conduct classes in retail settings, movie theaters, schools, shopping malls, and a sporting goods store. The goal after the eight weeks is that you and your dog are more comfortable working in different environments.

Phase 3
The third phase is the Canine Good Citizen certification. Canine Good Citizen tests the dog in ten tests. Those tests range from meeting a strange dog, standing, and sitting. A health check is performed by a stranger. There is an obedience portion, as well as a recall, and verbal sit and down. Your dog will be tested in loud noises, and lastly supervised separation. 

Phase 4
In the last eight weeks you will visit a variety of places with your dog, where you will interact with residents in assisted living centers, inmates, dementia patients, hospitals, and several others. We want to give you a variety of different environments in which to work your dog. By this part in the training, we have hopefully worked out the behavior issues, if the dog has any, and instilled in you the confidence that you need to be a successful therapy dog team. Along the way you will meet many new friends, handlers, and go places that you may have never attended before. Enjoying your experience is rule number one.