Therapy dogs must have outstanding temperaments, tolerance of other animals, a calm friendly demeanor, and like to visit with people!
To train a therapy dog, one must use gentle, positive reinforcement to teach basic commands, such as sit, stay and down. Therapy dogs must allow strangers to approach them, letting anyone touch or stroke them. They cannot be allowed to jump up on people, bark or growl. Training for and passing the AKC Canine Good Citizen test is very helpful.
The dogs need to be certified by a National Therapy group. Therapy Dog Incorporated, Delta Society or Therapy Dog International.