Welcome to Therapy Dogs of Boulder County, Colorado!
What We Do…
Thank you for visiting our website. We are the therapy dog teams who work in Boulder County, Colorado at hospitals, retirement communities, children’s libraries, schools and special community outreach programs such as the CU events library visits during finals week. A therapy dog team consists of a human handler and their dog who is their household pet. These teams go through intense testing procedures and various enrollment procedures which vary depending on the facility.
How is it done?
For more information about a specific program, click on a menu item from the main menu above. Each of our program pages have a signup/application form where you can apply to be a therapy dog team with your dog at that facility. All vetted facilities we visit require the teams be tested or registered with a national therapy dog association to assure consistency in behavior and for reliable insurance factors. In general, a therapy dog will have the following traits:
– A dog that is very calm.
– A dog that is obedient and looks to you for direction.
– A dog that loves to be petted: i.e., the first person to interact with the dog is as important and receives as much affection as the 10th.
Dogs should be at least 1 year of age minimum, but most do much better at 2 years of age. Hospitals require a 2 years of age minimum. Handlers must be a minimum of 18 years of age unless accompanied by a parent who is also tested and registered. Successful completion of a formal obedience program, while not required, is highly recommended. Therapy dogs must be able to walk calmly on a loose lead. It is essential that your dog know basic commands (sit, stay, come, down) and be “comfortably controlled” by you in a variety of settings (in class, in a room with a few people, in a crowd, walking with you in an unfamiliar environment, etc).
Registration is mandatory:
Note: All therapy dog programs within the TDBC family require that therapy dog teams be registered with a national therapy dog registration association. Registration provides liability insurance when you do volunteer work with your dog. Recognized registries for our programs include:
There are currently waiting lists for many facilities while others allow you to begin after testing and enrollment procedures are completed. Hospitals have their own class education program you must attend to help with learning how to properly visit in a hospital environment. You can also signup/apply to any of the other vetted facilities we work directly with by selecting a tab from the main menu. There are generally immediate openings available for therapy dog registered teams.
Are Therapy Dogs a good fit for your facility?
If you are representing a local hospital, retirement community, school, library or other large facility who would like to start a therapy dog visiting program, please use the “contact us” tab on the main menu above and send us your request. We would be happy to come visit with you to see if this is something that would be mutually beneficial. All of our work is VOLUNTEER work for the community in efforts to give back some of the doggy love we have been so fortunate to receive. During this meeting we will begin the vetting process with you to make sure some basic standards of protocol and safety are met which will lead to a successful program for all involved.
Would you like us to speak to your group?
We can be available to come speak to your organization about Therapy Dogs of Boulder County & the Boulder County Comfort Dogs. Use the “contact us” tab on the main menu for this request. Generally, we speak to large groups and our speakers are very knowledgeable on a wide range of topics including the puzzling questions about “what is the difference between a therapy dog and a service dog?” Many times we bring along a team or two to help demonstrate what we do while the speaker answers questions after a short discussion. We can also speak to large elementary school classes teaching children how to meet and greet a dog or when not to approach a dog.