Elite

Therapy Dog Training


Top Therapy Dog Trainers in Durham and Chapel Hill, NC

Call to Schedule FREE In-Home Assessment

919-998-6772


Se habla español!

Request a Free Assessment

Contact Dog Training Elite of the NC Triangle

Or Call to Schedule FREE In-Home Assessment

919-998-6772


Se habla español!

What is a Therapy Dog?

A therapy dog is a dog that performs a service for other people. Typical therapy dog tasks are going to nursing homes or hospitals to cheer people up. For your dog to qualify, he/she must be friendly with strangers, and with training, be able to work around a high level of distraction and to understand personal boundaries, such as not jumping up, licking, mouthing, etc.

Research shows that therapy dogs can have a positive effect on a patient’s mood, stress, and pain levels during facility stays. Children, in particular, respond positively to therapy dogs. They are more motivated to participate in treatments, feel optimistic about the future, and experience an overall sense of calm when a certified therapy dog is present.

Therapy dogs can promote social interaction between individuals within communities that may not otherwise experience socialization typically. Therapy dogs offer unconditional love, non-judgmental interaction, reduce stress, anxiety, and loneliness and provide an overall positive distraction to ailments.

Goals for Your Therapy Companion


  • Socialization
  • Lower Pain Levels
  • Motivation
  • Provide Comfort
  • Decrease in Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
  • Promote Healing
  • Increase Overall Optimism
  • Ease Loneliness


Not all training packages may be available at our Dog Training Elite of the NC Triangle location, please reference our pricing page for complete information on services offered.


Therapy Dog

Therapy dog training is based on your dog's abilities. Purchase of additional equipment may be required.

$2,595

A therapy dog volunteers alongside you, where permitted, and provides comfort to others. Examples include cheering people up at nursing homes or hospitals.

A good therapy dog is naturally friendly with strangers, able to work around a high level of distraction (with training), and able to understand personal boundaries, such as not jumping up, licking, mouthing, etc (with training).

  • Puppy Selection advice
  • Private, one-on-one training sessions in your home and the community 9 Sessions
  • Group Training Classes 32 sessions
  • AKC Training
  • Therapy bandana, ID Card, and Certificate of Training
  • An exclusive directory of therapy events and locations for you to donate your time
  • Come
  • Sit, Down
  • Place
  • Heel
  • Quiet
  • Off, Wait
  • Leash Manners
  • People Manners
  • Load up in the car / kennel
  • Make a friend
  • Choose one personalized greeting (high five, shake, hug, etc.)
  • Top-notch off leash obedience
  • Distraction Training

Our Balanced Theory

We base our training around the "Classical Conditioning" model (a.k.a. "Pavlovian" or "respondent conditioning"). This includes developing conditioned or automatic reflexes to commands. In its simplest form (after proper conditioning), when the owner says "sit," the dog automatically sits without thinking about it. Our unique techniques ensure our program is a success no matter what behavior we encounter.


  • Empowering Owners
    We empower Owners to train so their dog knows who to obey at all times.
  • Personalized
    We deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.
  • Environment Specific
    We train wherever issues tend to arise (i.e. jogging, park, home).
  • Supportive
    We support Owners in the off-hours (when training is "not in session").
  • Involved
    We work with all members of the household.
  • Simplified & Customized
    We plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 20 min/day follow-up practice.
  • Continued Training
    Additional programs / group sessions offered after in-home training.
  • Lifetime Investment
    We follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.
  • Satisfaction Ratings
    Our high client satisfaction rating sets us apart from competitors.

We help your dog become a valued companion and beloved member of the family. Read what our customers have to say and then give us a call!

I was thoroughly excited with Cindy and her colleague to visit my baby dog Daisy may. They spent two hours listening to my story’s and wants of Daisy. They are a compassionate company from my observation. The only thing I would have liked is if they had more experience in time but I also understand a person can have desire and drive for perfection. So they brought their sweet dogs and showed me their lab. I have to say I was impressed none the less and because of our conversation and seeing a confident dog in action is why I decided to go with them. I’m looking forward to working with them and will write a review based off my experience after that is done. They left me feeling confident in their abilities as trainers that take their job seriously in like other. So I will update this review with images of the success and support that the company provides. Sincerely, Jonathan
— Jonathan Forman
Posted February 15th 2024
google
I am so grateful to have the privilege of working with Alexx to train my sweet and curious puppy to be the perfect service animal. Alexx is an amazing listener and draws in humans and animals alike with her empathy and genuine personality. She always patiently answered all of my questions and helped my dog through even his most stubborn phases. We can't thank Alexx enough for everything!
— Sarah Hardin Gustafson
Posted November 16th 2023
google
While I am just starting my journey with Dog Training Elite, I could not be more impressed. The owners are patient and kind and go above and beyond to answer any and all questions. They are very knowledgable and flexible and have gone above and beyond in the initial interviewing process. I will be training my service dog with them and can't be more excited!
— Rebecca Cook
Posted September 18th 2023
google
Alexx was awesome with training my daughter with her dog Xena. She was patient with them and gave my daughter the confidence to train and be consistent with Xena. Xena learned not only obedience but task to help my daughter function when anxious. Awesome job!!!
— Kisha Williams
Posted August 17th 2023
google
Alexx helped me train my 4-7 month old German Shepherd to be my psych service dog. He is so amazing thanks to our work together. Because of her amazing instruction I felt confident and supported in the process. She is kind, personable, and empathetic which I found very important when working with her to help my dog help me. I have really loved learning from her and feel that I gained a friend. Can’t imagine learning from anyone else. We love Alexx!
— Margaret Skillman
Posted May 12th 2023
google
Alexx has been a tremendous trainer. She is so patient, easy-going, and direct with her steps to train my dog. She equips me with the tools and knowledge to tackle on each week's focus. I would recommend Dog Training Elite to any friend, family, or stranger. They will come to your house and work with you and your dog.
— Janet Sanchez
Posted October 12th 2022
google
We could not be any happier with your company and the wonderful loving staff. Our dog Cody is a 130 pound German Shepard that was Mr Man, ruler of all things in our yard, next door, across the street, in the sky… ha. He chased and barked at everything. Thanks to you guys he now has manners. Everyone that visits can’t believe the difference. People that use to be afraid of him, now visit and compliment us on how sweet he is. He just needed some training and so did we. Thank you!!!! Pam, Tony snd Cody!!!!!!❤️
— Pam Godwin
Posted June 16th 2022
google
DTE is amazing! Though skeptical at first, I'm now convinced that they are the best and have an awesome dog to show for it! The team is great and I highly recommend!!!
— Paul Hearn
Posted June 16th 2022
google
I highly recommend Dog Training Elite! From their training methods to the care and respect they show towards the dogs and owners, you can’t go wrong!
— Cassie Frank
Posted June 16th 2022
google
Cindy and her team are so amazing to work with! I'd highly recommend them to anyone looking for the best dog trainer in the Durham/Chapel Hill area.
— Pablo Riboldi
Posted May 31st 2022
google
A little over a year ago we adopted two rescues from Saving Grace(amazing group). However one was so anxious and scared of everything, even his shadow, would upset him. We tried training with another company and were told he was untrainable since he wasn’t treat motivated. We were running short on options. Dog Training Elite has given us a way to communicate and bond with Henry and appreciate each other. Henry is a happier pup We are enthusiastic advocates for the e collar and Dog Training Elite. Within hours, we are walking Henry with ease and at a comfortable pace. All of our challenges have been overcome and outings with Henry are a great experience. Henry has moved from being very anxious and hard to walk to a pleasure and fun. Henry has progressed so well that we have been able to go to lowes where loud noises and commotion were triggers for Henry and he overcame and interacted in a friendly manner. We are very excited and so impressed with the program. Henry’s growth has been nothing but phenomenal. Dog Training Elite is outstanding! We are very excited and so impressed with the program.
— Bruce T
Posted May 28th 2022
google
Cindy's passion for business and for animals is unmatched. She is very personable yet professional and she truly cares about driving high quality results for dog training. She and her team will work their tails off to deliver the quality service you sign up for. She's also passionate about community involvement and giving back to the community especially through service dogs. She truly wants to strengthen the relationship you have with your dog. I wish I could give 10 stars, highly recommend!
— Kyle Christie
Posted May 17th 2022
google

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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite of the NC Triangle, we believe that Service Dogs save lives. It is our mission to make these life-saving companions available to our Veterans, First Responders, Women Survivors, and Children with Medical Needs. Whether it be for PTSD, Mobility Support, or Special Needs, Dog Training Elite of the NC Triangle works with the Malinois Foundation to heal and empower these individuals with a specialized service animal, a partner in life, and a new best friend.

Learn More