Elite

Therapy Dog Training


Top Therapy Dog Trainers in Richmond, VA

Call to Schedule FREE In-Home Demo

804-944-8500


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Contact Dog Training Elite Richmond

Or Call to Schedule FREE In-Home Evaluation & Demo

804-944-8500


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


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


Therapy Dog

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

$2,699

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 52 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!

Paul with DTE was absolutely wonderful to work with! We all feel lucky to have found him and incredibly pleased with our investment in our fur babies. You most certainly CAN teach an old dog new tricks! Patience and consistency are virtues you will need through this endeavor, but the satisfaction and pride you'll feel both for your own perseverance, as well as your pups, is so worth all of the time and hard work!! We're looking forward to group sessions and are excited to see what new adventures we'll enjoy as a family. Buster, Mae, and Goose fell "in love" and "in line" when Paul entered our home and we'll be forever grateful for his knowledge and expertise. Many people are quick to judge when discussing e-collars but we truly feel that if they took the time to go through even one training session with Paul, their perception WILL be shifted, especially after witnessing the power of redirection and repetition first hand. Dogs love structure and they love pleasing their humans, so if you're in need of some excellent training with the option to gain a lifetime friend, give Paul with DTE a call! ~M&M
— Megan O'Leary
Posted July 9th 2022
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We were at the end of our rope with our dog and were extremely frustrated with his misbehavior. Dog Training Elite changed our life and our relationship with our dog. Thank you for helping us save our dog!!!
— Christie Pitsinger
Posted June 24th 2022
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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
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I had just about lost hope for my overly excited but super loving pup. We had tried other training methods to no avail, but meeting Paul Hearn was a game changer! In just six weeks she went from excessive barking, bolting out doors, jumping, etc to super chill and well behaved. We appreciate you so much, Paul!
— Jen Ferguson
Posted June 13th 2022
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We got Paul to help us with our two year old lab so she would come and stay when we needed. He helped teach her a new command every visit so she could understand and we could understand what to do so she would be better behaved.
— Jon Dossie
Posted June 12th 2022
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Paul will undoubtedly take amazing care of your dog. Don’t hesitate to call him if you are in need. He’s a great guy and a great trainer!
— Nadia Summo
Posted June 3rd 2022
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I 100% recommend Dog training elite Richmond Paul has done wonders with my once rowdy German shepherd tremendous results in just a little bit of time! I really look forward to continue to use them for dog training! If you are looking for a dog trainer look no further!💗
— Shelby Taylor
Posted May 25th 2022
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Paul is a great guy! He is professional, punctual and committed to delivering results. Paul is very family forward with excellent customer service skills. He is passionate about giving back to the community and driving quality results. Highly recommend if you are looking to improve your relationship with your furry friend!
— Kyle Christie
Posted May 12th 2022
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Paul and Elite training has been a great help with my two year old westie. Being able to work in my own home on a one to one basis is a real plus. His explanations are easily understood by the dog and owner!
— Robert Fischer
Posted May 10th 2022
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Good training starts with understanding how dogs think and how to integrate their needs into a schedule. Consistency is key. We appreciated having help in our own home to make sure we got off on the right foot with our puppy. Service was professional and friendly!
— Fronkie L'Heureux
Posted May 9th 2022
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I’ve known Paul for 15+ years and know him to be an outstanding and honest person. I’m so happy for his new career. He’ll be great!
— Jacquelyn Canaday
Posted April 5th 2022
google
Paul is absolutely amazing. Very professional, answered our questions, reasonably priced. Highly recommend.
— Kathleen Dooley-Wolfe
Posted March 31st 2022
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All Reviews Set up a demo today!

Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite Richmond, 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 Richmond 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.

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Proud local partner with Chesterfield Gives Back Charity

Chesterfield Gives Back was established to provide a means for our community to give thanks to those who serve us, our First Responders. Dog Training Elite Richmond partners with Chesterfield Gives Back to accomplished this by taking charitable donations and funding events, such as the First Responder Appreciation Day, that are free to First Responders and their families. In addition, we facilitate many other means of recognition and thanks for those who serve our community and those in need."

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