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Another thread got me thinking. An organization that I work with at times is looking to find volunteers with “appropriately trained” dogs. The dogs would be made available to children testifying in court once those appearances become live again. I am wondering if anyone has training ideas. Our new pup isn’t home yet and I have no idea if he will be suited for the job but it would be nice to try.
 

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I know there are therapy dogs that have children read to them. It would seem to involve many of the same dog skills, namely being unflappable around children. Perhaps you could contact local trainers who train therapy dogs. I believe there are two main organizations, Therapy Dog International and Delta, but I upon googling I see that AKC now offers a title as well. Perhaps others here will know more.
 

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I don't think you want to train for ESA, in my opinion that really is just for the individual and I don't think they are necessarily trained well. I think you want "therapy dog" for this and you can train and get your dog certified.
 

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Those are therapy dogs. Therapy dogs are specially trained to provide comfort to a person outside of the family. ESA’s are not trained, but provide companionship and comfort to a family member struggling with mental illness or mental distress just by being a pet. Service dogs are individually trained to do work, or provide assistance to a person with a disability.

Therapy dogs and ESA’s are pets. Service dogs are medical equipment. Therapy dogs and ESA’s are limited in the places they are allowed to go. ESA’s are recognized on airplanes and no where else. Therapy dogs might be invited to visit a care home, hospital, library or court room. Key word, invited. Service dog handlers have civil rights to be accompanied by their trained dog in any place the general public can go.

These terms get confused and used interchangeably, when they are different. If you want to train your next dog as a therapy dog, ask a local dog trainer about how to go about it. But use the right term: therapy dog.
 

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Another group for therapy dog training to look into is Therapy Dogs Incorporated. Some therapy dog evaluators i know much prefer it to the others. And I agree with Click that what you want to train for if you want to do this is therapy dog training. It can be pretty demanding as far as the requirements are concerned.
 
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