The Purpose of This Program

The purpose of this program is to recognize AKC dogs and their owners who have given their time and helped people by volunteering as a therapy dog and owner team.

The AKC Therapy Dog™ program awards an official AKC title awarded to dogs who have worked to improve the lives of the people they have visited.

The AKC Therapy Dog title (THD) can be earned by dogs who have been certified by AKC recognized therapy dog organizations and have performed 50 or more community visits.

AKC does not certify therapy dogs; the certification and training is done by qualified therapy dog organizations. The certification organizations are the experts in this area and their efforts should be acknowledged and appreciated.

Why Did AKC Start A Therapy Dog Title?
AKC has received frequent, ongoing requests from dog owners who participate in therapy work to "acknowledge the great work our dogs are doing." Many of our constituents are understandably proud of their dogs.

Earning an AKC Therapy Dog title builds on the skills taught in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy® and Canine Good Citizen® programs which creates a sound and friendly temperament needed by a successful therapy dog.