Get Involved

Does your dog have what it takes to become a therapy dog?

Steps to Becoming a FVTDC Registered Team

Attend one of our Practice Sessions Without your Dog

The Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club recognizes the importance of continued education and training. Club members gather on a bi-monthly basis accompanied by their dogs to learn advanced therapy skills, practice obedience training, attend educational seminars and listen to guest speakers. These meetings also provide support for members and a forum to discuss therapy visits and our interactions with students, patients, relatives and facility administration. Our meetings also include fun games and training challenges designed to further develop our dog handling skills. Once a quarter, club business meetings are held without dogs.

Any person attending a FVTDC practice session must first sign a  Waiver of Liability form.

Here are a few situations our dog and handler teams may encounter. Think about how your dog would deal with…

Provide the following documentation to the Membership Coordinator in preparation to attend practice:

Evidence of achievement of basic obedience skills by one of the following:

*Dogs under 1 year of age are exempt from this requirement*

A passing score on the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. Dog and handler teams are expected to obtain the necessary training and CGC certification outside the Club’s practice and training sessions.

A therapy dog registration with a nationally recognized organization such as Therapy Dogs International TDI, or Delta Society

A canine performance title awarded by the AKC or similar organization

Current medical information on your dog including:
  • New members are requested to use the FVTDC’s Annual Health Record form to summarize this information. Please submit to your veterinarian, have your medical information recorded and certified, then mail or fax to the Club Membership Coordinator. If you provide a stamped, addressed envelope, your veterinarian’s office can mail the form directly to the Club Membership Coordinator.
Join the FVTDC. Receive Confirmation e-mail.
  • Receive confirmation e-mail that all information has been received and that you are now eligible to attend practices with your dog.
Meet your Mentor.
  • The Prospect Coordinator will match you up with an experienced club member, who will be your Mentor. He/she will introduce you to other club members and provide guidance and support on your journey to becoming a Registered Team.

In order to be eligible to participate in the Evaluation Test, the following criteria needs be completed and documented on the Steps to Evaluation Test Pamphlet by 1-week prior to the Evaluation Test date.

Please submit completed Steps to Evaluation Test Pamphlet to the Prospect Coordinator Part A Attend at least 2 Saturday practice sessions with your dog (Please note – all Membership documentation as listed above, must be received by the Membership Coordinator prior to attending a practice with your dog)
Attending practice will allow you to see how your dog works around other dogs. You will get valuable tips from the experienced handlers in our club. Our practices are often focused on teaching our dogs new skills or polishing existing ones.
Before each Evaluation test, one practice will be dedicated to providing information on how to work on skills in preparation for the Evaluation test. You will be able to ask questions and practice some of the test items.
Please note – that in the interest of everyone’s safety and concern, FVTDC reserves the right at its sole discretion to ask any prospective dog/handler team to leave the premises and/or postpone further participation in FVTDC practices if the dog or handler is disruptive to Club activities, endangers the safety of other dogs or handlers, or behaves in a manner that would suggest additional obedience training is required.
Part B Observation Visit with an Approved Supervisor Your mentor will help you arrange a therapy visit with an experienced handler.
  • This is done without your dog and allows you to see the work we do. Although only one observation visit is required, we encourage you to observe different teams in a variety of therapy settings. There are always new skills to learn.
  • Although only one observation visit is required, we encourage you to observe different teams in a variety of therapy settings. There are always new skills to learn.

Part C Submit the Steps to Evaluation Pamphlet and test fee

This needs to be done 1 week prior to the Evaluation Test date.

  • All requirements are to be fulfilled by this time.
  • You will receive information e-mails about the process as each test date comes up.pawprint

Receive Confirmation E-mail

  • Receive confirmation that your application has been received and that you are eligible to participate in the Evaluation Test.

Successfully pass the Evaluation Test

  • Evaluation tests are offered three times per year. This schedule is subject to change.
  • If not successful the first time, a team may re-take the test 2 additional times for a total of 3 attempts during the calendar year.

In order to become a “Registered Team”, the following must be completed within 6-months of the Evaluation test date; otherwise you will be required to take the Evaluation Test again. This is done to ensure that all your skills are still up-to-date.

Get a TB Test

Submit the results of a negative TB test to the membership coordinator. This must be accomplished before beginning the supervised visits.

Complete 3 Supervised Visits with your dog

  • Visits must be completed at 3 different types of facilities accompanied by 3 different Approved Supervisors.
  • Visits must be completed within 6 months of passing the Evaluation Test.
  • Only 1 supervised visit is required if the team is already a FVTDC registered team in good standing with another dog.
  • Handlers under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

FVTDC Board Approval

  • The Board will review results of the supervised visits and notify you of your registration.
  • The Board may require the completion of additional visits if deemed necessary.

Registered Team status

After satisfactory completion of the FVTDC procedures: Evaluation Test, Supervised Visits, and Board approval, each new dog/handler team will receive:
  • A certificate evidencing satisfactory completion of requirements
  • A tag to be worn on the dog’s collar.
  • A badge identifying the dog/handler team, including pictures of both the dog and the handler.
  • A Record of Visits form to be used to track dates and location of visits.