In the Spring and Fall of each year, LAPS offers a class for potential new therapy teams. This class is generally held in Napa, CA. A week or two after the class, LAPS holds an evaluation day. Teams not preparing for LAPS membership, but who want to register with Pet Partners® are allowed to participate on a space-available basis.
- Spend time reading up on Animal-Assisted Therapy. See our resources list.
- Socialize your dog. Make sure he or she is introduced to new places, people, things, noises, smells, etc. Please respect your pet’s behavior threshold and reduce distractions if your pet shows signs of stress.
- Attend obedience classes with your dog to develop solid foundation skills. Your dog should know sit, down, stay, come, wait, & leave it.
- Look into taking the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen test. These skills are the minimum required to pass the obedience portion of the LAPS Skills and Aptitude Team Evaluation.
- After completing the above, contact LAPS to enroll in the Animal-Assisted Therapy Team Handling Skills class.
Our 6-week team training class will help you and your pet develop the skills necessary for successful Animal-Assisted Therapy work. Your dog must be dog-friendly and possess solid basic obedience skills. You will:
- Learn about safety and healthcare issues
- Discover how to help your pet be a happy and effective partner
- Practice with healthcare equipment and many types of distractions
- Receive assessment for working with children, teens and elder populations
- Practice your team skills in the real world on a field trip