"Making a Difference, One Paw at a Time"TM
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Does your dog have what it takes to become a therapy dog?
        Having a therapy dog is a privilege, not a right.
Not all dogs are "called" for therapy work.

Your job is to discover if your dog has the temperament and obedience skills necessary to become a successful therapy dog.

Do you have a strong bond with your dog? 

Does your dog focus on you? 
Is your dog consistently obedient even in stressful situations?

Here are a few situations our dog and handler teams may encounter.  Think about how your dog will would deal with...

  • Having his hair or ears pulled, being poked, prodded and hugged firmly
  • Having her paws or tail rolled over with a variety of medical equipment
  • Screaming, moaning, thrashing and crying patients
  • Sudden loud noises and beeping of medical equipment
  • Pungent odors
  • Food lying on low tables and on the floor
  • Working in cramped, tight quarters. Squeezing between people or under tables and walkers to reach patients
  • Interacting with large groups of elderly people or very young children
  • Working side-by-side with other dog therapy teams
Interested in becoming a member of Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club?

There are several steps to becoming a registered Therapy Dog and Handler Team with the FVTDC. They include a visitation period, observations of therapy work, mentoring experiences, and an evaluation test followed by supervised first visits. Requirements also include annual medical requirements for you and your dog.  

This information can also be found in the Steps to Evaluation Test Pamphlet

  1. Come and meet us by attending one of our Saturday practice session without your dog
    • The Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club recognizes the importance of continued education and training. Club members gather on a bi-monthly basis accompanied by their dogs to learn advanced therapy skills, practice obedience training, attend educational seminars and listen to guest speakers. These meetings also provide support for members and a forum to discuss therapy visits and our interactions with students, patients, relatives and facility administration. Our meetings also include fun games and training challenges designed to further develop our dog handling skills. Once a quarter, club business meetings are held without dogs. 
    • Any person attending a FVTDC practice session must first sign a Waiver of liability form
  2. Provide the following documentation to the Membership Coordinator in preparation to attend practice:
    • Evidence of achievement of basic obedience skills by one of the following:
      • A passing score on the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. Dog and handler teams are expected to obtain the necessary training and CGC certification outside the Club’s practice and training sessions.
      • A therapy dog registration with a nationally recognized organization such as Therapy Dogs International TDI, or Delta Society
      • A canine performance title awarded by the AKC or similar organization
      *Dogs under 1 year of age are exempt from this requirement*
    • Current medical information on your dog including:
      • Proof of a current rabies vaccination
      • Negative fecal exam within 1 year
      • Proof of annual exam within 1 year
      New members are requested to use the FVTDC’s Annual Health Record form to summarize this information. Please submit to your veterinarian, have your medical information recorded and certified, then mail or fax to the Club Membership Coordinator. If you provide a stamped, addressed envelope, your veterinarian’s office can mail the form directly to the Club Membership Coordinator                                                                                                                                  
  3. Meet your Mentor.   An experienced club member will be assigned to be your Mentor. He/she will introduce you to other club members and provide guidance and support on your journey to becoming a registered therapy team.
  4. Join the FVTDC become a member by completing the Membership Application form and pay annual dues of $20.00.
  5. Attend a Saturday practice session with your dog.        
    1. Club Meeting Calendar  Introduce your canine partner to other club members, participate in obedience and skill work sessions and have some fun.
    2. The Club reserves the right to ask a handler or dog to leave if they become disruptive or display aggression.
    3. Come to as many practices as you want to maximize your skills and prepare for therapy certification. At least 2 practice sessions must be attended prior to taking the FVTDC Evaluation Test.  
  6. Observe an experienced handler on a club sanctioned therapy visit at one of our visit sites.
    • Accompany an experienced handler from the Approved Supervisors list on a visit. One visit is required, but we strongly encourage new members to observe different teams in a variety of settings. There are always new skills to learn.
  7. Apply to become a registered team by submitting the Evaluation Test Application
  8. Pass the FVTDC’s Evaluation Test
  9. Provide evidence of a Negative Tuberculosis test for the handler within the last 12 months
    • Many of the facilities we visit require volunteers to have an annual TB test.
  10. Complete 3 supervised therapy visits with your dog
    • An Approved Supervisor will accompany you on your first 3 therapy visits. The supervisor will provide support, guidance and feedback.
    • You will visit 3 different types of facilities with 3 different Approved Supervisors.
    • The club member who is supervising will attend without a dog so he/she will be able to devote all attention to you as you experience your first 3 visits.     Supervised Visit Form 
  11. Obtain Board approval as a Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club Registered Team