Facility and Therapy Dogs

People use the words therapy dog or facility dog. What do those terms mean? Does this mean I can take my dog anywhere?

Here is a link to our podcast about this subject.

Facility Dogs

Facility dogs work in a place of business. They know how to handle themselves in many different environments and with all kinds of people. They are trained for a purpose whether it is to greet people, help them relax, or for many different reasons. They can be greeters at a hotel, they can work at a dental office, or be in a retirement community.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs are more like part time working dogs. They do not go everywhere with their person, the handler is not dependent on them for life or death situations. Some of the things they can do to help people are help them relax, be a friend to listen to, snuggle with, or take daily walks with. People who can benefit from this level of training are people who suffer from  ADHD, people who are on the autism spectrum, or someone who has a brain disorder. These dogs are sometimes trained to visit nursing facilities and schools.

Here at Ashford Manor Labradoodles we have three levels of qualifications for our Australian Labradoodle puppies. We have companion level, therapy qualified, and service qualified. These three are different from each other. Some of the questions we receive are:

  • Does this dog have to do therapy work?

    • No, this means that this dog is smarter and has less fears to overcome than a companion dog. They would be happy living in the city with all the noises or being an active member of the family.
  • Can I teach my dog to be a therapy dog on my own?

    • This is possible. It will take much longer than if you send them somewhere like Ultimate Canine where professionals do this daily. Dog training is something that must be done daily and for years to come, not just until they learn a few commands.
  • Can I train a companion dog to be a therapy dog?

    • Generally yes, although it will take much longer and not sure that they will be able to accomplish what you want to do with your dog. Keep in mind that not every dog is cut out for every lifestyle. We strongly suggest you have dog training done by a professional if you would like a therapy dog.
  • Why does it cost more for a therapy qualified dog?

    • This is a much smarter dog who is able to handle more stress. This is not an average puppy. Our puppies are worked with daily multiple times a day. They are not just handed food, they need to work for food and treats.
  •  Does this mean my puppy will be calmer?

    • No, this is not what this means.


Cheryl Sabens

Ashford Manor Labradoodles

Australian Labradoodle Breeder in Indiana