The logo for Durfeys Dogs

Call Now!


Homestead Dogs logo

Call Now!


National K-9 Dog Trainer and AKC Canine Good Citizen logo
Four dogs sitting obediently on a porch

Therapy Dog Training

If you have ever considered forming a Therapy Dog Team with your pet, call Homestead Dogs. Amy and her staff can provide the specialized training needed to participate in this rewarding endeavor. Therapy Dog Training is a great way to spend quality time with your pet and gives you the instructions to provide a valuable and memorable community service.

The Homestead Dogs Therapy Dog Training is available in 3 and 4 week sessions and for day camp and overnight camp.

Many institutions now recognize the value a dog’s companionship can have in patient recovery efforts in hospitals, nursing homes, disaster relief centers and many others. While there are events where you can bring your pet for social interaction, many institutions require the therapy dog to have passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test before entering a more structured environment. The dog must also be well-groomed and maintain current immunizations. Read more about the Therapy Dog Training requirements…

What is a Therapy Dog?

A therapy dog usually teams with it’s owner and visits facilities where friendly faces can be a welcome reprieve from the steady stream of doctors, nurses and procedures. Many owners currently, or have a desire to, donate their time to the less fortunate. Bringing the dog along seems like a natural enhancement to the experience.

Scientists and health professionals are increasingly encouraged with the benefits this program aids in patient recovery. Dogs are believed to lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce patient anxiety while increasing endorphins and oxytocin, which minimizes discomfort while enhancing feelings of euphoria and well-being. As a non-scientific, non-health professional, the smile on a patient’s face, young, old or quad-pedaled, is doing something good.

And it can also be equally rewarding for the dog. Most dogs crave human interaction and enjoy performing feats they have been confidently trained to do. A recent study seems to confirm what the wagging tails suggest, an afternoon of lavish attention builds their endorphins as well.

Humans and dogs have developed a pretty symbiotic relationship over the years and relatively few negative incidents occur. A little training, for dog and human, greatly minimizes even these incidents and enhances the therapy dog experience.

Overcoming Instinct

If you’ve ever watched a wolf on a nature show, instinctively, any new object they encounter is considered a threat and approached cautiously. But how will they respond in a new building with new people when the fire alarm goes off during a thunderstorm while the carpet is being vacuumed and a crayon-wielding toddler bearing down on them at warp speed. That can be intimidating for some humans.

Nearly every dog can become a therapy dog, but some are better at it than others. And, good intentions aside, not every dog or human is a slam dunk for every therapy dog environment. Some dogs (and people) don’t respond well with kids. Some are apprehensive around human males, other dogs and even hats and beards.

Likewise, while most dogs crave human interaction, some are a little more indifferent. He or she is probably a spectacular pet, just not as needy of human attention. These aren’t dis-qualifiers, it just means you might need to be a little selective in your choice of institutions.

Start Training Them Young

While it is a common requirement for the dog be at least a year old before embarking on a therapy career, puppy training can be an excellent first step toward developing your pet’s therapy training.

An important aspect of puppy training is the simple act of participating in something outside the den or house. As the puppy is increasingly exposed to new people, dogs, objects and environments, they become more confident, which improves their reactions to new experiences later in life.

If you think your dog has what it takes to bring a smile to someone’s face, call Homestead Dogs and enroll in the Therapy Dog Training program.

Some of the material for this article was gathered from How To Train a Therapy Dog
by Jen Karetnick available here… and Therapy dogs love their jobs. Is your pup cut out for it? by Nicole Audrey available here.

Icons for The National Dog Trainers Association; AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator; and Best Delaware Dog Trainer in 2018.

Homestead Therapy Dogs

A Catahoula Leopard Dog sitting obediently on a gravel drive and looking at the camera

Coco is a Catahoula Leopard Dog from Delaware, Ohio. She graduated our Therapy Dog training and is already working for Delaware County to provide therapy to Delaware’s own first responders. Read all about it on the Delaware Gazette website.

Learn more about Coco on her web page.

A labrador retriever sitting obediently during training

Gracie is a Labrador Retriever and another Delaware, Ohio Therapy Dog training graduate.

Learn more about Gracie on her web page.

Close up of the face of an Australian Shepherd

Zara is an Australian Shepherd and yet another Delaware, Ohio Therapy Dog training graduate.

Learn more about Zara on her web page.

A Labrador Retriever laying on the floor looking at the camera during therapy dog training

Aspen is a Labrador Retriever from Westlake, Ohio and a Therapy Dog training graduate.

Learn more about Aspen on her web page.

National K-9 Trainers Association logo

National K-9 Dog Trainers Association (NK9DTA)

Amy Durfey is a member of good standing of the National K-9 Dog Trainers Association (NK9DTA). NK9DTA is located in Columbus, Ohio and dedicated to promoting and maintaining the highest ethical and business standards in the care and training of dogs and their owners. NK9DTA advocates for responsible dog ownership and the benefits of canine health care, training, humane treatment and ethical breeding.

You can follow this link to visit the Homestead Dogs listing on the NK9DTA site.

See how your bud’s doing. Visit their page to see uploaded pictures and videos. Send some online encouragement or just join the conversation at The Watering Bowl.

AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator logo

AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

Amy Durfey is an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. Founded in 1884, the AKC actively advocates for responsible dog ownership and is dedicated to advancing dog sports. The American Kennel Club and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership.

The Homestead Dogs listing can be found with this link to the AKC website.

Where can I find great therapy dog training near me?

Close up of central Ohio counties and cities over top illustration of Ohio

Homestead Dogs, of course! We’re conveniently located between Columbus and Delaware between High Street (Rt 23) and Highway 42.

Copyright © 2020 Homestead Dogs™.
All rights reserved. Homestead Dogs is a registered trademark.

Serving the Central Ohio area, including:
Delaware • Dublin • Powell • Lewis Center • Westerville • Hilliard • Worthington • Columbus • Franklin County • Delaware County • Plain City • Marysville • Marion • Sunbury • New Albany