How to Get Started


Your pet must:

  • Have a friendly personality (you too!)
  • Have all current vaccines 
  • Be at least one year old (see our Puppy Training page for younger dogs)
  • Be under the handler’s control
  • Follow the guidelines below

Your dog must be able to pass:

  1. The Love on a Leash Behavioral Evaluation: (this is similar to the CGC test)
    1. Or: a certification from another therapy dog organization. 
  2. Ten supervised visits:
    1. If your are new to Comfort Creatures you MUST go on your first two visits with an approved Team Captain.
    2. Five of the 10 visits MUST be under the same person.
      1. That person can be:
        1. An approved Team Captain
        2. A non-Comfort Creatures professional who has been pre-approved by the applicant through Love on a Leash AND observes your entire visit. (see
      2. The remaining 5 visits can be by anyone who is:
        1. An approved Team Captain
        2. A non-Comfort Creatures professional who has been pre-approved by the applicant through Love on a Leash AND observes your entire visit.(see
      3. You can do all the visits under the same person. (but 5 must be done by a person other than the person who signed off on the Behavioral Evaluation.
    3. Pass the Visit Evaluation: 
      1. Th Visit Evaluation must be signed off on by the person who observed 5 entire visits.
      2. The person who signs the Visit Evaluation CANNOT be the same person who signed off on the initial Behavioral Evaluation.

You must:

  • Complete our People Training Test (You can do this at any time prior to your certification. You can start today!)
  • Handle your dog in all of the tests and visits
  • Complete all of your paperwork

Detailed Instructions-

We highly encourage you first go with us on a therapy visit without your pet. Then you can decide if this is something you really want to do. We will be happy to connect you with a visiting team.

  1. If you have a dog and are new to therapy dog work, your dog must be able to earn his CGC title (Canine Good Citizen) or hold a higher obedience title. (You can find training classes at most reputable pet stores. It is up to you to train your dog in basic obedience.
  2. When your dog is trained, we can do the CGC test at the same time as the Love on a Leash Behavioral Evaluation.
    1. About CGC: Any dog, purebred or mixed can earn this title.
    2. Test items: This is what your dog will need to do to pass the test.
  3. We usually use Love on a Leash as a parent, certifying organization. Please visit that web site to become familiar with their requirements. We will accept animals certified by many other national therapy pet organization.Before you can start visiting, your cat or dog must successfully complete a Love on a Leash Control Evaluation with one of our approved evaluators. This can be done at the same time as the CGC test. Veterinarians can do the evaluation for cats. 
  4. You must take your dog or cat on 10 successful visits (within one year) with an approved Comfort Creatures Supervisor; five visits must be with the same supervisor.

After you have passed 10 supervised visits, you will send your application to Love on a Leash (see their website for costs, about $35.00)

You will need to provide Comfort Creatures a copy of your credentials and join Comfort Creatures ($25.00 per year-scholarships available)

Things you should consider before you decide you want to do this. 

  • It can be emotionally draining on both you and your pet.
  • Your pet must be able to tolerate a wide variety of circumstances.
  • Your dog MUST have a bath within the 24 hours prior to your visits.
  • You will need to be responsible for organizing your own visits.  (We can make suggestions)
  • We are a small group and it is sometimes difficult to schedule with supervisors.

It just may be the most rewarding thing you have ever done in your life!

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