Therapy Dog Prerequisites

  • Dogs must be reliably potty trained

  • Dogs must be leash trained and on a leash at all times

  • Dogs must be healthy in order to be evaluated and to visit.

  • Dogs must have a current rabies vaccination

  • Dogs must have basic obedience, including sit, down, stay, drop it, leave it and walk on a loose leash

  • Dogs must have no history of aggression towards other companion animals or people

  • Adult dogs that are new to your family must be in your household for a minimum of 4 months before you can start your training with CDN K9

What makes a great therapy dog?​

  • The dog is comfortable being in a group of people

  • The dog is comfortable with small crowded rooms

  • The dog will initiate contact, make eye contact with strangers and allow their attention to be redirected

  • The dog is able to handle stressful situations

  • The dog is able to meet new people without becoming excited and jumping up on them

  • The dog is able to be in a group of animals without becoming excited or wanting to play over their job of visiting

  • The dog is comfortable with being touched, sometimes awkwardly, all over their body

  • The dog is able to disregard food on trays, or responds to the commands ‘leave it’ and ‘drop it

Training Your Dog

All dogs in our owner assisted program must attend puppy classes and puppy outings with our other therapy dogs in training. 

There is no guarantee that your dog will have a suitable temperament to qualify as a Therapy Dog. If you and your dog do not complete the training process, you must return all materials given to you by CDN K9.



When your dog is fully trained, over one year of age, and meets all of our temperament and health requirements, you and your dog will be ready to take the next step. We recommend you take the ST. JOHNS AMBULANCE EXAM.  Our program will help you pass this exam. 


Just take the evaluation and get some pointers before you take the St Johns Exam:


Long Distance Owner Assisted Training Program

CDN K9 offers online courses for therapy dog teams. We assist you every step of the way and set up a private facebook page where we can send video's.


Let our classes guide you through the process and support you through building your therapy dog team through private and group text-based online classes.

Classes provide expert instruction on training all stages of life, from puppy socialization to foundation behaviors, proofing, generalizing and teaching therapy dog tasks.

You can access the material as soon as you register.

To learn more about our online therapy dog training program please contact us today!



Common examples of Assistance Dogs include:

     Hearing dogs, or signal dogs, help the deaf and hard of hearing.



Keep in mind that any Assistance Dog can be trained for any task that mitigates their disabled handler’s disability. Many Assistance Dogs are cross trained or trained for multiple purposes.

EXAMPLES of Tasks:

  • Retrieving Dropped Items

  • Retrieving Named Items (Phone, Keys, Leash)

  • Opening Doors

  • Closing Doors

  • Holding Doors Open So Handler Can Pass Through

  • Opening Door to Allow EMS Entry to Home

  • Opening Cabinets

  • Closing Cabinets

  • Opening Drawers

  • Closing Drawers

  • Opening Fridge

  • Closing Fridge

  • Tugging Clothing to Help With Removal (Outerwear, Socks)

  • Turning Lights On

  • Turning Lights Off

  • Deposit Garbage Into Can

  • Carry Mail From Mailbox to House

  • Drop Recycling Into Bin

  • Put Items Onto Counter top

Medical Alert and Response Dogs

Medical Alert and Response tasks can take many forms. Medical Assistance Dogs, Medical Response Dogs, and Medical Alert Dogs serve people with all kinds of disabilities. Their disabilities may affect their mobility or ability to remain safe in their every day environment. Their dog responds to specific commands, events, or triggers from the handler or in the environment by performing a specific, trained series of behaviors. 

  • Laying Across the Chest of a Seizing Handler to Help Reduce Duration of Seizure

  • Nuzzling or Licking a Seizing Handler to Provide Tactile Interruption of a Seizure

  • Alerting Handler to Repetitive Motions 

  • Retrieving Glucose Kit From Fridge

  • Retrieving Medication From Designated Spot

  • Fetch a Beverage or Snack From Designated Spot

  • Bring Phone to Handler

  • Unload Groceries From Sacks

  • Put Laundry Into Washer or Dryer or Basket

  • Remove Laundry from Washer or Dryer or Basket

  • Pulling Wheelchair

  • Momentum Assistance

  • Dragging Walker or Chair or Assistance Device to Handler

  • Dragging Baskets or Bags of Laundry via Tug Strap

  • Carrying Books or Supplies in a Backpack

  • Alerting Caretaker to Unconsciousness

  • Alerting Caretaker to Lack of Breathing

  • Alerting Caretaker to Alarms from Medical Equipment

  • Calling 911 or Designated Emergency Person via K9 Safety Phone

  • Draping Along Body of Handler to Assist With Temperature Regulation

  • Alerting Handler to Low Blood Sugar

  • Alerting Handler to High Blood Sugar

  • Alerting Handler or Caretaker to Presence of Deadly Allergen

  • Delivering Messages From Handler to Someone Else

  • Alerting to Metabolic Deterioration

  • Get Items off Grocery Shelf

  • Place Items into Cart

  • Carry Items in a Bucket

  • Carry Bags in From Store

  • Pay For Items in a Store

  • Deliver Receipt From Cashier to Handler

  • Pull a Cord to Open Curtains

Psychiatric and Autism Assistance Dogs 

Psychiatric Assistance Dogs assist handlers who have a mental illness or psychiatric disability. Psychiatric Assistance Dogs are often cross trained for other specialties, too.

  • Provide Medication Reminders

  • Lay Across Handler to Provide Deep Pressure Therapy During Panic Attacks

  • Provide Tactile Grounding Via Nuzzling or Licking

  • Apply Gentle Teeth Pressure to Forearm to Interrupt Dissociation Episode

  • Alert Handler to Episodes of Rage or Strong Emotion

  • Interrupt Repetitive Self Harm

  • Retrieve Self Care Kit

  • Wake Up Handler Having Nightmares

  • Interrupt Flashbacks

  • Search House

  • Provide “Reality Check” so Handler Can Verify Hallucinations Aren’t Present

  • Stabilize Handler’s Routine

  • Body Block a Dissociated Handler From Going Through Doors

  • Help Provide a Physical Anchor via the Help of an Adult For a Child With Autism

  • Provide Blocking

  • Carrying Leashes or Bags 

CDN K9 Phone: 306-529-9962  Email:

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