Therapy-Dog (Re)Certification

Therapy Dog (Re)Certification Day

This course allows graduates to refresh and recap on their skills after graduation, re-certify an existing dog, certify a second (or subsequent) dog, or certify an Advanced MultiDog Group.

(Re)Certification is an intensive and activity packed day running participants through all of the obedience, manners, application skills and scenarios that form the Therapy Dog and handler team competency assessments.

If you are experiencing travel restrictions as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic, you may be eligible to attend via Zoom. Online participants will be asked to supply additional video evidence and a statutory declaration as to their dog’s ongoing competence. NEW dogs (a Certified Handler’s second or subsequent dog), may not be certified solely online, as we need to assess handling and scenarios face to face.

Visiting Therapy Dog and Handler Team (Re)Certification - Foundation

The Re-certification Day allows graduate teams at the foundation level to refresh their skills, and to recertify once their original Certification has expired (usually after 1 year). The assessment criteria used are the same as that in the Foundation course, with most tasks to be competed on-lead and halter.

Suitable for:

  • Handlers who have previously completed Visiting Therapy Dog and Handler Team Certification at the foundation level, with this or another dog
  • Dogs who meet the suitability criteria for the Visiting Therapy Dog and Handler Team Certification, as described here try to link directly, including the Visiting Therapy Dog Suitability Checklist and an up to date Visiting Therapy Dog Brief Health Screen
  • Dogs who have been trained to a level where they can complete the required assessments, including obedience and human-animal interactions, on lead.
Advanced Therapy Dog and Handler Team (Re)Certification

Advanced Re-certification allows graduate teams to refresh their skills and recertify once Advanced Certification expires (usually after 1 year). The assessment criteria used are the same as that in the Advanced Certification course, with all activities (except heeling) completed off lead, and an Advanced (complex) role-play scenario.

Note: Dogs not passing the Advanced assessment may be granted Foundation (on-lead) ReCertification if appropriate.

Suitable for:

  • Handlers who have previously completed the Advanced Therapy Dog and Handler Team Certification with this or another dog
  • Dogs with current, up to date Certification as a Visiting Therapy Dog, who meet the suitability requirements for Advanced training described here
Advanced MultiDog Group and Handler Certification

It is not uncommon for experienced handlers to work with more than one dog at a time, allowing clients to take advantage of additional interactions and group dynamics. Advanced Multi-Dog Group and Handler Certification ensures that this occurs safely and effectively.

Assessment occurs at a (Re)Certification Day. The dogs assessed do not necessarily have to have completed the Advanced Certification, but the handler must feel confident that each dog is working at an advanced standard, completing the vast majority of tasks off lead. The handler must attend with the dogs they wish to certify, and the handler and dogs will be certified as a working group. The dogs must complete all of the assessments simultaneously, including off lead manners, step aways, and work under distraction. The only obedience assessed one at a time is the ‘heel’ command. Dogs will also be assessed for separation confidence from the handler, and from each other. Role-play scenarios will be at the Advanced (complex) standard. If the handler cannot manage one or other of the dogs, or the dogs do not work well together, they cannot be certified as a group.

Only dogs assessed together are part of the certified group, however all dogs passing the assessment will also be able to work independently.

Note: Dogs not passing the Advanced assessment may be granted Foundation (on-lead) ReCertification if appropriate.

Suitable for:

  • Handlers who have previously completed the Advanced Therapy Dog and Handler Team Certification with this or another dog
  • Dogs with current, up to date Certification as a Visiting Therapy Dog, who meet the suitability requirements for Advanced training described here
  • Each dog in the group must work well with the others, not showing signs of competition or antisocial interactions

Venue

Lead The Way Institute Training Centre, Unit 5/91 Dorset Road, Ferntree Gully, Vic. 3156, Australia

Dates and Times

Each course runs 9am to 5pm. All upcoming course dates can be found on the Application Form.

Cost: $375 inc GST

 

Available for purchase on the day: 

  • Therapy Dog Identification Coats $55
  • Lead & Halter/collar sets $50
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Training Dog

Benefits of Re-Certification

Re-certification may be beneficial for those who wish to;

  • Re-Certify to provide reassurance to insurers or employers of ongoing competence
  • Upgrade competence (e.g. for eligibility to proceed to Advanced Certification)
  • Refresh skills and knowledge, and network with other graduates
  • Certify a second or subsequent dog
  • Certify multiple dogs to work in an Advanced Multi-Dog Group
  • Remain listed on the Lead the Way Directory page

Certification Standards

The Foundation and the Advanced assessment protocols are equivalent to what you have completed during your practical course to obtain your original certification. MultiDog Groups are expected to work together and simultaneously at the Advanced level.

At the Foundation level, Visiting Therapy Dogs will be assessed on-lead and training collar/halter, unless specified otherwise. Advanced Therapy Dogs (and Advanced Multi-Dog Groups) are expected to work through all of the assessments off-lead. Competence is assessed and graduating teams are provided with a Statement of Competence.

Certification remains current for one year for adult & adolescent dogs (aged 1+years), and 6 months for puppies (aged 8 months – 12 months). Certification may be removed at any stage if your dog fails to meet the Suitability requirements. Graduate teams with current certification are eligible for listing on the Lead the Way Directory page.

Certification standards are regularly updated in line with ISAAT (International Society of Animal-Assisted Therapy) and IAHAIO (International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organisations) guidelines.

(Re)Certification Day Course Outline

The day is largely practical, with some group discussions;

Morning

Assessment of handling & training skills

  • Obedience including, sit, drop, step-aways & heeling
  • Socialisation with toys, food, equipment and animals
  • Separation confidence
Afternoon

Applications, scenarios and human-animal interactions

  • Simulated interactions/role plays demonstrating obedience commands, control and handling whilst simultaneously facilitating engagement
  • Temperament testing (e.g. handling, crowding, response to challenging people)
  • Visiting with diverse populations