TDK Therapy Dogs


The American Kennel Club will not certify therapy dogs. Instead they have chosen a handful of dog certification organizations. The Dog Knowledge Therapy and Service is proud to have been selected as one of the therapy certification organizations. We are the only organization recognized in Charlotte, North Carolina and one of 85 organizations recognized across the nation. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.
Once The Dog Knowledge Therapy and Service has certified your dog for therapy, you must document with AKC 50 hours of community service. At that time your therapy dog will earn the AKC title.

A trained therapy dog needs to have a wonderful temperament and enjoy being around strangers, children and the elderly.


  • A potential Therapy Dog must stand, sit or lay down and wait under control within the reach of their owner, while the owner sits at counter or table and completes paperwork.
  • A potential Therapy Dog must lie quietly at their owners feet while the owner is sitting with another person (with or without a dog) during a casual meal or on a park bench.
  • A potential Therapy Dog  walks on a loose leash in a natural situation (not in a ring)-does not pull. Able to execute the following with a loose leash:
    • left and right turn
    • stop
    • fast and slow pace
  • A potential Therapy Dog  walks on a loose leash through a crowd. This item is tested in a real crowd, not in a ring.
  • A potential Therapy Dog walks past distraction dogs present; does not pull.
  • A potential Therapy Dog  must remain in a Sit-Stay in a small group (3 other people with dogs). Owners and dogs are in an informal group while owners have a conversation.
  • A potential Therapy Dog allows with little or no reaction an approaching person  carrying something large such as a box or package to approach and pet it. “May I pet your dog?” (Item is put on floor/ground before person pets dog)
  • “Leave it.” A potential Therapy Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, “Leave it.”
  • A potential Therapy Dog remains in a Down or sit stay (owner’s choice) at a distance.
  • A potential Therapy Dog must come when called with distractions. Handler goes out 20-ft. (off center) and calls dog. Dog comes past a distraction to return to handler.
  • A potential Therapy Dog enters/exits a doorway or narrow passageway (on leash, with owner) in a controlled manner.
  • A potential Therapy Dog must be environmentally sound and tested on high gloss floors, willingness to enter a revolving or sliding door and willing to enter an elevator.
  • Dogs must be tested on a plain buckle collar or a slip leash. Training collars, training harnesses, halties, or any other corrective training devices are not permitted during testing or visiting as a TDK-registered Therapy Dog.
  • Dogs must be a minimum of one year old to be tested or have consent from a TDK trainer.
  • Handlers under 18 years of age must have a parent/legal guardian present.
  • Greyhounds are not required to sit for TDK - Therapy Dog Testing.