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Therapy Dog Training in Grand Rapids


Dog Training Elite West Michigan Near You

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Or Call to Schedule FREE In-Home Evaluation & Demo

616-600-1393


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A therapy dog is a dog who visits places like schools, hospitals and nursing homes. Therapy dog training in Grand Rapids teaches dogs to provide comfort, support, and affection to the people they meet, particularly vulnerable people like children, seniors, patients in hospitals, and so on.

Therapy dogs are not service dogs. Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks to help a person who has a disability. This distinction is important because therapy dogs do not have the same access to public places like service dogs do. For example, service dogs can go into restaurants, but therapy dogs cannot. Therapy dogs still provide a valuable service and should receive therapy dog certification.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan provides therapy dog training in Grand Rapids to give people emotional support in all stages of life.

For full package details (with disclaimers) please reference our pricing page.


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Children can especially benefit from therapy animals - Dog Training Elite West Michigan is happy to help your family with these certifications.

Who Do Therapy Dogs Help?


Therapy dogs may be regular visitors to a variety of people and places, with hospitals and rehabilitation centers being among the most common. Children, in particular, respond positively to therapy dogs.

Seniors in assisted living or people with mental disabilities who live in facilities and experience feelings of isolation also see a lot of benefits from visiting with a therapy dog.

Besides providing valuable social opportunities and relieving anxiety, therapy dogs may even help lower blood pressure and heart rate in patients and the other people they visit.

Why Are Therapy Dogs Important?


Therapy dogs offer unconditional love, non-judgmental interaction, reduce stress, anxiety and loneliness, and provide an overall positive distraction to ailments. Research shows therapy dogs can have a positive effect on a patient’s mood, stress and pain levels during facility stays.

Young patients — children — seem to benefit most from working with 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.

For people who may have a hard time socializing due to mental disabilities or their living situation, therapy dogs can promote social interaction within their community and help them to connect.

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!

Working with Carrie has been absolutely fantastic. After the first lesson, our Samoyed Henry, was a doing so well. By the second lesson we were amazed and moved to tears at the transformation. Such a relief and joy to see Henry be able to run in the yard, off lease, without fear of him running off. He is one happy 6 month old. I cannot say enough about Carrie and this program. I’d give it 10 stars, if I could. 😊
— Mary Koenigsknecht
Posted November 5th 2022
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My experience with Carrie and DTE has been absolutely wonderful! My relationship with my puppy has completely changed. We are bonded in such an awesome way. I was at my wits end and ready to give up. Carrie truly cares about her clients! Thank you for teaching us how to train Willow to be the best possible dog she can be!! 💗
— Tonya Mannes
Posted September 20th 2022
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DTE has helped our family so much! They have turned our crazy 1 year old doodle into a well mannered polite little gentleman. These training sessions have made it so much more enjoyable being around our puppy and to take him out with us! Definitely recommend to anyone with a new puppy!
— Tessa Kervin
Posted August 23rd 2022
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Dog Training Elite West Michigan has been wonderful to work with. They have been professional, caring, and so responsive. Their heart is in the right place! Highly Recommend!
— Katie Matt
Posted August 10th 2022
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I have seen the effectiveness of DTE West Michigan's training methods and the positive transformation in the behavior of the dogs they train. Carrie and Jess want each owner to have the best possible relationship with their dog so that they can experience all the fun activities and joy that dogs bring to our lives. If you would like to make your dog a bigger part of your lifestyle, I encourage you to contact DTE West Michigan.
— Vince Conrad
Posted July 28th 2022
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I have never been more excited and happy after meeting Carrie and Jessica.. They are so good at what they do and my dog Macie 🐕 is learning so much and follows my command. It has taken so much stress off me she doesn't pull like she use to and walks right beside me and so much more.This happen within a few weeks. It was the best decision i made and highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about dog training. Well worth the money!!
— Barbara Botbyl
Posted July 20th 2022
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We were desperate to find a training program that would work for our 2 year old puppy. We could not control her barking constantly around friends & family. In fact we actually had considered giving the dog away. But before that happened we decided to give our dog another chance using Dog Training Elite. Carrie & Jessica are very professional & a pleasure to work with. They would praise both our dog & us when we did things correctly, and also corrected us when gave a command that might confuse our dog. With out a doubt this was the best money we ever spent!!! Jim
— Jim Kidd
Posted July 18th 2022
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My Son told us about Dog Training Elite and how it changed his dog. So we called them and Jessica Maxwell and Carrie McIntyre came to our house to discuss this training program. They were very friendly and excited about this program. I will say that it is expensive but the results are amazing. We were to the point of thinking about giving Charlotte away as we could not control her constant barking. Within the 1st week of training the barking stoped and she stopped jumping on people. She would also run away when we wanted to take her for a walk. Week two now she comes we we say come and we do not have to chase here all over the house. We have tried different training program but this by far the best. It has truly changed our dog and also the stress is gone for us trying to control her. Thank you again Dog Training Elite for helping us with our baby.
— Judy Kidd
Posted July 4th 2022
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Carrie and Jess are fantastic trainers. They are dedicated and truly passionate about improving the bond between dogs and their owners. I highly recommend them for all training needs!
— craig fizer
Posted June 14th 2022
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Carrie and Jess are such wonderful dog trainers. I've seen them work with care and professionalism. What a great team to have working with your dog!
— Valerie de Armas
Posted June 1st 2022
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Carrie is a dedicated trainer that is caring and passionate about helping others. Her energy and joy in what she does is evident and shows in her dog Sturgill.
— George Rehbein
Posted June 1st 2022
google
Carrie is such a great trainer and is so passionate about what she does!
— Kelley Rosequist
Posted May 24th 2022
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All Reviews Set up a demo today!

This cute pup is excited to learn and help provide support with his therapy training with Dog Training Elite West MichiganGrand Rapids.

How Does a Dog Become a Therapy Dog?


If you have felt the benefits of owning a dog, you may feel inspired to help more people feel the unconditional love, joy and support your dog provides. However, having a friendly, loving personality isn’t enough for a dog to qualify as a therapy dog. Some other qualifications to consider are:

  • The age of your dog. Puppies do not make good therapy animals.
  • How obedient your dog is. It’s important your dog listens to you and obeys basic commands. Dogs that go through obedience training with Dog Training Elite West Michigan have the perfect foundation to go onto therapy dog training, as long as they are old enough.
  • How social your dog is. Your dog may be affectionate with you — but are they affectionate with strangers? Do they like to receive attention from strangers, particularly petting?

Therapy Dog Handlers


As a dog owner, it’s important to reflect on whether you would like to become a therapy dog handler as well. If you enjoy connecting with people, becoming a therapy dog handler may be a great fit. You can also choose where to volunteer to better suit your interests — if you like kids, volunteer to visit schools or children’s hospitals. If you prefer to work with older people, then sign up to visit senior living centers.

Once you’ve determined that becoming a therapy dog handler and helping your dog become a therapy dog is the right move for the two of you, you’re ready to start therapy dog training. The trainers of Dog Training Elite West Michigan are experts in the behaviors needed in a therapy dog and will help you and your dog either brush up on or master behaviors such as “leave it,” “watch me,” loose-leash walking and not jumping on other people.

To help your dog become well socialized, you may consider also signing up for one of Dog Training Elite West Michigan’s group obedience classes. A group class environment is also beneficial because it helps your dog learn to be obedient when there are a lot of distractions around, a crucial skill for a therapy dog.

Once you’ve completed initial training, you’re ready to apply for therapy dog certification in Grand Rapids. However, it is important to note that this certification is not the end. It’s important to stay on top of your dog’s training and continue to help them be the best therapy dog they can be.

By working with Dog Training Elite West MichiganGrand Rapids, you will also be trained to be a therapy dog handler with your pup.

Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite West Michigan, 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 West Michigan work's 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

Dog Training Elite West Michigan - AKC STar Puppy Instructor
Dog Training Elite West Michigan - Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
Dog Training Elite West Michigan - AKC Community Canine
Dog Training Elite West Michigan - PRTA Pro
Dog Training Elite West Michigan - IACP Member
Dog Training Elite West Michigan - AKC Member

Why do Therapy Dog Training with Dog Training Elite West Michigan?


The Dog Training Elite West Michigan training method stands out because of its emphasis on positive reinforcement. Dogs are never punished for bad behavior, instead they are rewarded for good behavior. This kind of training makes a huge difference in your relationship with your dog, and will make a difference in how your dog interacts with other people.

The balanced training method of Dog Training Elite West Michigan fosters a dog’s naturally loving and obedient nature. Focusing on positive reinforcement and rewarding good behavior helps build a strong bond between dog and owner built on love and trust. This foundation in turn becomes a great foundation for dog and owner to become a fabulous therapy team providing an invaluable service to the community.

If you feel therapy dog certification is right for you and your dog, get started by contacting Dog Training Elite West Michigan. Request your free training demo and in-home evaluation today.

Contact Dog Training Elite West MichiganGrand Rapids if you feel this certification is right for you and your pup.

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