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Become a Team

Help and support your community!

The AAP Therapy Dog program includes two paths:

Through our partnerships, licensing, and insurance, we provide well-prepared and exceptionally qualified teams for animal assisted interventions.  We are full members of Animal Assisted Intervention International (the only organization in Iowa with this designation) and adhere to their standards as well as have established our own policies and procedures. Our program has been created through our combined years of experience, countless hours of active therapy animal training and volunteering, continuous and rigorous education and research, and a strong commitment to professionalization of animal assisted intervention services.

Are you a professional looking for certification?
You need the AAI for Professionals Certification Program
or
Are you wanting to become a volunteer therapy dog team?

AAP offers therapy dog training classes to prepare teams specifically for volunteering in a variety of settings with the area of Animal Assisted Activities (AAA). Through our AAA for Volunteers program, registered therapy animal teams visit individuals in long term care communities, residential care facilities, hospice, schools, libraries, rehabilitation facilities and more.

Start by registering for the next session of Therapy Dog Class (Level 1) and attend the required orientation.  Click the icon below to sign-up for the next session of classes.

Many groups inaccurately call their therapy dog teams "Certified" when they are not! Know the difference!

Registration

  • The Handler, Dog and Team, working together, have completed internal criteria.

  • No education or profession is required

  • Therapy Dog Class may or may not be required (AAP requires it!)

  • Evaluation is not overseen by a third party audit or board (AAP does use a third party board!)

  • Requires general dog health and handling skills. Includes a test demonstrating these skills (similar to the AKC Canine Good Citizen test).

  • Provides facilities, such as schools or long-term care communities, with proof of a team having completed training related to handling their dog for general purpose, usually volunteer, activities.

  • Best suited for individuals looking to take their dogs out into the community and volunteer.

Certification

  • The Handler and Dog, working together, meet prerequisite requirements, similar to Registration.

  • Evaluation of formal education / training.

  • Independent Third Party review of the certification requirements and its applicants.

  • Education and training that includes (but is not limited to) animal welfare, implementation of AAI, animal behavior and communication, and learning theory.

  • For Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)

    • A handler and dog train together at a professional level. Education and training is taught by someone who has up to date knowledge & experience in both human services, therapeutic intervention, animal training & behavior for that professional level of work.

    • Assessment of professional knowledge in integrating AAI as a complementary treatment modality within an existing scope of practice.

  • Certified professionals can provide animal assisted interventions at any level for which they are credentialed (AAA, AAE, AAT, etc).