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Therapy Dog Training


Top Therapy Dog Trainers in Houston, TX

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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 in Houston location, please reference our pricing page for complete information on services offered.


Therapy Dog Training

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

$3,195

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).

  • LIFETIME SUPPORT! Via in-person, text, email, virtual in-person support sessions to be scheduled at trainer's discretion, no more than once per month, after completing initial program. Text/email unlimited!
  • Private, one-on-one training sessions in your home and the community 8 Sessions
  • Group dog training in the community 1 Year of Park Training Sessions
  • Therapy bandanna, certification and ID Cards
  • An exclusive directory of therapy events and locations for you to donate your time
  • AKC Certification/Testing
  • Come
  • Walk with you (no more pulling)
  • Sit (next to you)
  • Sit (off leash, at a distance)
  • Down (next to you)
  • Down (off leash, at a distance)
  • Wait
  • Quiet (stop barking and whining)
  • Load up in the car or kennel
  • Place
  • Heel
  • No Jumping up (on people)
  • Specialty Commands below
  • Make a friend
  • One personalized greeting (high five, shake, hug, etc.)
  • Top-notch off leash obedience
  • Distraction training

Therapy Dog

Therapy dog training is based on your dog's abilities.

$3,195

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).

  • Lifelong support Monthly group sessions to be scheduled after the program is completed and at the discretion of the trainer.
  • Private one-on-one sessions 8 Sessions
  • 1 year group dog training in the community
  • Therapy bandanna, certification and ID Cards
  • An exclusive directory of therapy events and locations for you to donate your time
  • AKC Testing (Canine Good Citizen Test)
  • Come
  • Walk with you (no more pulling)
  • Sit (next to you)
  • Sit (off leash, at a distance)
  • Down (next to you)
  • Down (off leash, at a distance)
  • Wait
  • Quiet (stop barking and whining)
  • Load up in the car
  • Kennel
  • Place
  • Heel
  • No Jumping up (on people)
  • Make a friend
  • Choose one personalized greeting (high five, shake, hug, etc.)

Therapy Dog

Therapy dog training is based on your dog's abilities.

$3,195

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).

  • Lifelong support Monthly group sessions to be scheduled after the program is completed and at the discretion of the trainer.
  • Private one-on-one sessions 8 Sessions
  • 1 year group dog training in the community
  • Therapy bandanna, certification and ID Cards
  • An exclusive directory of therapy events and locations for you to donate your time
  • AKC Testing (Canine Good Citizen Test)
  • Come
  • Walk with you (no more pulling)
  • Sit (next to you)
  • Sit (off leash, at a distance)
  • Down (next to you)
  • Down (off leash, at a distance)
  • Wait
  • Quiet (stop barking and whining)
  • Load up in the car
  • Kennel
  • Place
  • Heel
  • No Jumping up (on people)
  • Make a friend
  • Choose one personalized greeting (high five, shake, hug, etc.)

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!

Dog Training Elite, with Alex and Talia, has worked wonders with my.dog Jack and myself. Talia has pushed, prodded and pulled Jack & I to where we are a pretty good team about to take our Public Access Test!!! Wish us luck. If you have a Jack in your family, this is the place for you! Terrific training, professional and friendly 🐶🐶
— pamela elliott
Posted April 16th 2024
google
Daniel and Rachel are truly exceptional. We’re delighted to have chosen them as our dog, Cooper’s, trainers. Thanks to their professionalism, Cooper transitioned from being a rescue to a service dog. They are focused on doing a great job and attentively addressed every concern we had, always ready to assist. They make us feel more like friends than just Cooper’s trainers. Thanks to their guidance, Cooper accompanies us everywhere. Even through life’s ups and downs, they are always there for Cooper and us. If you’re seeking dog trainers who are genuine and love dogs, Daniel and Rachel are the perfect team for you!
— j gonzalez
Posted March 25th 2024
google
I am thrilled to share my incredibly positive experience with Dog Training Elite services. After just three weeks of in-facility training, my beloved dog Freya has transformed into an outstanding service animal, exceeding all expectations. I couldn't be more delighted with the results, and I wholeheartedly give Dog Training Elite a well-deserved 5-star review. From the moment we enrolled Freya in their program, the professionalism and dedication of the team were evident. Talia tailored a comprehensive training plan specifically for Freya's needs, ensuring a personalized approach that addressed her unique qualities. Talia exhibited a genuine passion for her work, creating a positive and supportive environment that fostered Freya's development. One of the most remarkable aspects of Dog Training Elite is their ability to achieve results quickly without compromising the well-being of the animals. Freya's newfound skills, include nudging, cover, and 6 showcase the effectiveness of the training methods employed by Talia. Not only did Freya exhibit remarkable progress during the in-facility training, but she also successfully passed her service dog test with flying colors. This achievement is a testament to the expertise and commitment of the Dog Training Elite team. I am immensely grateful for the positive impact this has had on Freya's life and, consequently, on mine. Thanks to their exceptional services, Freya is now officially my service dog, providing invaluable support and companionship. The bond between us has deepened, and I credit Dog Training Elite for facilitating this transformation. In summary, if you are looking for top-notch dog training services that yield remarkable results, look no further than Dog Training Elite. Their commitment to excellence, personalized approach, and quick, effective results make them the go-to choice for anyone seeking professional dog training services. I wholeheartedly recommend Talia and Dog Training Elite and award them a well-deserved 5 stars!
— Samantha Christina
Posted January 11th 2024
google
My Doberman puppy and I have had great success with their training program. The instructors are professional dog trainers with an incredible amount of patience and experience with all types of dogs. My 8 month Doby is now 56lbs and I'm 5'1. Without their help I would not be able to walk my dog without being dragged by her, she's can already over power me, but she doesn't. Highly recommend their dog training services.
— Ivonne Tostado
Posted November 4th 2023
google
I was so overwhelmed trying to find a trainer for my Canne Corso puppy Lola. It didn't feel right to go to a "board and train" leaving my baby with strangers and letting them train her. I'm so glad I went with Dog Training Elite. Rachel and Daniel are the real dog whisperers! My puppy was totally OUT OF CONTROL. In no time Lola was more obedient and calm... I could actually have people over without having to put her away.. our walks stopped being stressful and EMBARRASSING like they were before ( Lola was basically walking ME!!) I highly recommend Rachel and Daniel at Dog Training Elite. They are patient, listened to my concerns, and were available for phone consultations between training sessions. They also had flexible training times that fit into my busy life. If I could give 10 stars I would!!
— Joy Childress
Posted October 20th 2023
google
Want to speak dog! These are the people to go to! Danniel and Rachel are very professional and know what they're doing with dog training. They have help us tremendously with our 6 month old Malinois in just the last 2 months. Couldn't have done it without them! Thank You so much and looking forward to continuing the training with Dog Training Elite!
— Buddha Beller
Posted October 13th 2023
google
Rachel and Daniel are awesome with our big babies. We had a problem pup and with a bit of training from Dog Training Elite they have both made a 360 with behavior.
— Elicia Thrasher
Posted October 11th 2023
google
Great to work with! We have 2 rescue dogs that didn't fit in the traditional puppy training classes and when we found Elite North East Houston Dog Training it was just what we needed. We have that individual focused training at home as well as group classes. Rachel and Daniel are fantastic trainers. All of our neighbors have noticed a difference and always ask us how we got the dogs trained so well. Highly recommend!
— Victoria Herman
Posted March 10th 2023
google
Rachel and Daniel are amazing, we are so happy they are the company we went with. They listened to and helped with every concern we had, always available to help. They are so sweet and definitely feel more like friends than just someone that helped us train Duke. We are able to take him with us anywhere and he behaves so well. If you are looking for someone that loves animals and cares about your wants and needs they are the right team!
— AlKatie Tofani
Posted October 11th 2023
google
I am thrilled to give Daniel and Rachel from Dog Training Elite a well-deserved 5-star review! Our 9-month-old golden retriever was causing us quite a bit of concern with his unruly behavior and aggression, making it challenging to have him around our kids. We were on the brink of considering a new home for him, but then we found Daniel and Rachel. Their patience and expertise were truly remarkable. Not only did they work diligently to train our dog, but they also guided us in establishing a calmer and more stress-free environment. Our dog's resource guarding and aggression issues are so much better thanks to their dedicated efforts. Through their guidance, our puppy has now mastered essential commands like "place," "sit," "down," "off," and "heel." He's like a completely transformed dog! Our friends and family can't believe the level of obedience he has achieved. No longer does he jump on guests or rush to the door; instead, he waits patiently until he's invited to greet them. Daniel and Rachel make an incredible team. Their commitment to improving our dog's behavior and our relationship with him is truly commendable. We are immensely grateful to have discovered their services, and we wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone seeking professional and effective dog training. Thank you, Daniel and Rachel, for turning our pup into a well-mannered and obedient companion!
— Patrick Thurman
Posted August 12th 2023
google
DTE has been an amazing help for our rescue dog. From the first at home visit, we knew that the trainer, Alex, would be great for helping our dog with aggression issues and socialization. The one on one, at home training sessions that occur before group training give a perfect foundation and ample time for practice before joining group training sessions. Alex brought one of his dogs, Delta, who is immaculately well trained, to our house for our last at-home session to help socialize our dog and practice being around other dogs in as low-stress an environment as possible. We have really enjoyed the sense of community with group training each week and have seen wonderful changes in our dog's temperament and socialization. After a stray dog attack shortly after we adopted him, we feared he would never be able to be near other dogs, but he has many friends now that he happily sniffs and interacts with. I cannot recommend DTE highly enough!
— Tyler Anderson
Posted August 11th 2023
google
I highly recommend Dog Training Elite North East! I had a 12 week old, stubborn dominant Dobie when Rachel entered our lives. We began with Puppy Training and had great results, in spite of my husband and myself. At that time I found out that they also did Service Dog Training, which is what I needed. Rachel has done wonders with my Stubborn baby. She has never let either of us give up especially when I didn’t think Zoe or myself were ever going to be able to finish this course. As I said before we were dealing with a very stubborn animal, Rachel is always kind but firm when it was necessary and genuinely loves “her” babies. I am so very pleased at what Zoe is able to do now, on command. I have no doubt that Zoe will be a certified service dog in the next few months. If you are the least bit interested in having your baby trained, at any level, I cannot recommend Rachel or her equally awesome husband Daniel highly enough.
— Donna Domingue
Posted August 4th 2023
google
The staff at Dog Training Elite is friendly and top notch when it comes to dealing with your pet, and instructions for the owner. I recommend Dog Training Elite to all my friends and family for their Training needs
— Hans Geiger
Posted July 25th 2023
google
My Dobby (Dobbs, Dobbykins, Dobbinator) used to be one of those dogs that when he visited a place, folks would be like, "Oh good Lord...." He would also dart out of the door whenever I opened it and shoot off down the neighborhood. The closer I got to him, the further he ran. He pretty much did whatever he wanted and I just took it. It frustrated me to no end. He was definitely the alpha in our relationship. BUT...... ALL that has changed! Thank God to DOG TRAINING ELITE of NORTH EAST HOUSTON (DTE of NEH). With their tailored approach and super knowledgeable insight on dog psyche and, to be frank, some human psyche, Dobby and I have made a complete turn-around. Where we were headed to a stressful relationship filled with bad feelings, we now are calm, happy to share space and even enjoy crowed public outings. He stays right by my side always! I never fail to hear at least 3 times, during those outings, what a well mannered dog I have. I ALWAYS, in turn, share exactly who changed our lives, DTE of NEH. I am so grateful. Sincerely, if you follow their instructions to the letter, it can make a difference in your life, too. I made the mistake, in the beginning, of not following the instructions, JUST ONE SIMPLE RULE. Work with your dog at least 15 min a day. It makes a difference in a successful outcome. Don't waste your money if you can't make that commitment. When I finally followed that rule, is when everything changed for me and Dobbs. He is no longer the Dobbinator of happy thoughts, but, in fact, my sweet cuddly Dobbykins. I know folks, super sappy stuff. But, I just love my dog so dang much. Thanks again DTE of NEH
— Ruthie Guajardo
Posted March 31st 2023
google
My Louis is a 3 y/o Frenchie with extreme level 10 anxiety, high risk of elopement, and is aggressive to all other dogs, no matter their size. I had tried other trainers with no success breaking his Extreme behaviors, but Rachel has turned him around! She was patient, informative and very knowledgeable with us! Louis has a list of behaviors that he has improved on, And I finally feel I can enjoy being out of the house with my little man 🐶 and be around other dogs too.
— Melissa Pleez
Posted March 10th 2023
google
I recommend Dog Training Elite North East Houston to anyone and everyone that will listen. They have been able to work with my 7yr old Yorkie that acts out and timid, and turn him into a very confident dog that loves to learn and be obedient! They are very kind and professional and make sure you get the adequate time you need for you and your pup! I’m super grateful for them and the time they have spent with us as I a whole new relationship with my dog. If you are looking they are the people to use! My only regret is not doing this sooner.
— Kyle Phillips
Posted March 10th 2023
google
Maxx says thank you! Thank you for always giving his handler great advice! Thank you for always being a phone call away! Thank you for the tools that you have provided!!! And I say thank you!!! I hate to say that I almost gave up in the beginning but Alex would not allow me to get trapped in my head with thoughts of defeat. He gave me the tools to take it step by step. Slow and steady paid off and now he alerts with nothing more than praise. Talia provided great guidance in one on one classes and in group classes and Alex provided me with the tools that I needed to work with my pup. As he grew he learned to trust me and he loves his job. He is only 10 months old and passed his public service test 2 months ago. He is always working, even when he is playing! He makes it a point to sniff me to make sure that my blood sugars are ok. He invades my person space often to check to see if he smells a high or a low blood sugar and when he does he is tapping my thigh to let me know that something is wrong. Then he does a great job of letting me know before if it is a high or a low blood sugar. Amazing what that little nose can do! He is always searching for me to make sure that he knows that I am ok and when I am not, he is quick to alert. He is the most behaved, well tempered dog that I have and I know it is because of the one on one training that we received. I am very appreciative and I highly recommend using dog training elite Houston.
— Shantrice Bush
Posted February 4th 2023
google
Daniel is very knowledgeable. I own a rescued German Shepard that has anxiety issues that prevented him from being socialized. With Daniel’s help, my dog Carver, has made a ton of progress towards overcoming his anxieties.
— Ross Rowney
Posted November 10th 2022
google
I highly recommend Dog Training Elite North East Houston for all of your training needs. Owner Daniel and Rachel Van de Mark are top experts in this field. The methods and tools used are effective, and the in-home training is interactive during training so you may continue conditioning your dog. I am thoroughly impressed with just the first two trainings with my playful German Shepherd puppy. He has a willingness to please and retains what has been learned. I am confident this has been the right choice for me and my dog!
— Di Mansfield
Posted November 6th 2022
google
Dan is amazing. He is always ready to answer questions and takes his time to understand what you are needing out of your pup. I couldn't have asked for better! Clifford, my Cane Corso, is on his way to being an exceptional therapy dog all because of Elite!
— Layton Gaskins
Posted September 23rd 2022
google

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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite in Houston, 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 in Houston 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