Pet Partners Animal-Assisted Therapy
Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) Training Program
When companion animals visit public facilities like hospitals and libraries, they bring with them unconditional love and proven psychological and medical benefits. OHS offers an extensive training program that prepares individuals and their animals to become registered AAT teams with the national organization Pet Partners.
Please note: this program is not service dog training.
Service dogs are trained to perform tasks for one person with a specific disability. For information about service dogs, visit Canine Companions for Independence or Assistance Dogs International.
Become a Pet Partners Team with your Pet
- Make sure the program is a good fit.
- Review the Pet Partners program requirements.
- If you have questions, attend an informational session at OHS or book a $40 pre-interview to see if your pet is appropriate for the program.
- If you feel like your dog needs more training before they’re ready for the therapy program, consider attending our CGC Prep Class first.
- Complete the Pet Partners Handler’s Course (in person or online). OHS offers the Pet Partners all-day, in person, handler course and additional dog training classes to help you prepare for the Pet Partners Team Evaluation. View upcoming training opportunities »
- Take your pet to the vet. Animals need to be healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations.
- Pass the Team Evaluation. The team evaluation is a mock therapy animal visit conducted by one of our Pet Partners evaluators.
- Register with Pet Partners and start visiting with your pet!
Start your Training at OHS
Join us to learn the skills you need to provide caring, safe and professional visits with your pet!
- Your pet must be at least one year of age at the time of your evaluation.
- You must have owned your pet for at least six months.
- Pets should have no history of aggression towards people or other companion animals.
- Dogs should know basic cues – like sit, down, stay, come, leave it – and be able to walk on a loose leash.
- Review additional Pet Partners program requirements.
Pet Partners Handler’s Course – $130
Sunday, October 6, 2019 – Registration will open in late August.
The Pet Partners Handler’s Course offers extensive instruction about the practice of animal-assisted therapy and how to successfully volunteer in a variety of settings. Your fee includes the Pet Partners Training Manual. This class is for people only, please leave your pets at home.
Therapy Dog Training Class (optional) – $115
Sundays, October 20 – November 10, 2019, 3:30 – 4:30 pm – Registration will open in late August.
This optional class is for those who would like hands-on training with their dog prior to taking the Pet Partners Team Evaluation. You and your dog will work on the skills you need to be a successful therapy team. One class will involve a trip to the Portland International Airport for guided practice in the real world. Learn more. »
One-on-One Training Sessions (optional) – $40 or $80
Did you take the Pet Partner’s Handler’s Course but feel like you need extra coaching before evaluating? Schedule a one-on-one training session with us and we’ll help you prepare. This is also a great option for people who are renewing their registration. We cannot do a “mock” evaluation with you, so please pick two or three exercises to focus on during your session. Sessions are either 30 minutes or one hour (you choose).
Sunday, September 8, 2019 Sold out. Get on our waitlist!
Saturday, October 26, 2019 – Registration will open in late August.
You and your pet need to pass the Team Evaluation in order to complete your registration with Pet Partners. To be eligible to evaluate, you must have a certificate of completion from the Pet Partners Handler’s Course.
Interested in being notified when our next class or evaluation is scheduled? Let us know!
Proceeds from registration fees support the animals and programs at OHS. Thank you!