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
- Lower Pain Levels
- Provide Comfort
- Decrease in Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
- Promote Healing
- Increase Overall Optimism
- Ease Loneliness
For full package details (with disclaimers) please reference our pricing page.
Therapy dog training is based on your dog's abilities.
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 8 Sessions
- Group Training Classes 32 sessions
- Lifetime support via text/email and in-person support sessions to be scheduled at trainer’s discretion. (No more than once per month, after completing initial program.)
- AKC Training
- Therapy bandana, ID Card, and Certificate of Training
- An exclusive directory of therapy events and locations for you to donate your time
- Sit, Down
- 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 OwnersWe empower Owners to train so their dog knows who to obey at all times.
PersonalizedWe deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.
Environment SpecificWe train wherever issues tend to arise (i.e. jogging, park, home).
SupportiveWe support Owners in the off-hours (when training is "not in session").
InvolvedWe work with all members of the household.
Simplified & CustomizedWe plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 20 min/day follow-up practice.
Continued TrainingAdditional programs / group sessions offered after in-home training.
Lifetime InvestmentWe follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.
Satisfaction RatingsOur high client satisfaction rating sets us apart from competitors.
A learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired; a response that is at first elicited by the second stimulus and is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone.
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.