Certifying Your Therapy Dog

Before preparing to do therapy work with your Shih Tzu, be sure he is suited to it. Everyone assumes that a therapy dog should be obedient and well trained. But he should also be calm, love to interact with people, and be willing to tolerate occasional physical discomfort and mental stress.

If so, your first step should be to teach your dog basic obedience commands, or enroll in an obedience class. You should also check with the various organizations that certify therapy dogs so you know what they will require your dog to do. A list of AKC-approved national, regional, and local therapy dog registration/certification organizations and links that enable you to contact them directly can be found at http://www.akc.org/events/title-recognition-program/therapy/organizations/