Therapy Dog Test & Certification

Test & Certification Fee

  • $45 paid at time of registration (*see our refund policy below); AND
  • $35 due for first-year TDV membership after successful completion of all certification requirements.

These fees cover up to two handlers in the same household and ONE dog. Contact TDV for fees for more than two household handlers.

Passing the test and the evaluation process is necessary in order to become a therapy dog team with Therapy Dogs of Vermont. Tests are offered throughout the year, in some counties on a monthly basis. Once certification is achieved, a team can make therapy dog visits to facilities in their community (as volunteers). Certification provides many benefits, including the support of an established, experienced, highly regarded local organization, and the legitimacy and community connections that comes with it (click here for additional benefits). Certification remains current for as long as the team member renews their annual membership.

The entire process of TDV certification involves three basic steps (please note that your tester and/or evaluator may also provide you with additional instructions for each phase of the certification).

STEP 1 – Register for a test (*see our test refund policy below)

  • Review the Minimum Requirements
  • Complete the registration with a first and second choice of your test date, location, and payment.

STEP 2 – Prepare for Your Test

  • Download, read, and fill out the forms in the Certification Packet
  • Review the testing guidelines and all policies within the packet to ensure that you understand all requirements.
  • Prepare for your test by reading Test Preparation.
  • Bring these items to the test:
    • Certification Packet
    • Proof of rabies vaccination

Your tester will communicate any additional information needed for the test and/or directions to the testing location by email in advance of the test date.

STEP 3 – Prepare for your Evaluations

Before your first evaluation, please carefully review these three documents (click the links to download the documents):

  • TDV’s policies and requirements (these were in the Certification Packet you brought to the test).
  • Our Guide to Working with your Therapy Dog for important concepts you will need to know and that will be discussed at your first evaluation.
  • Preparing for your First Evaluation for what to expect at your first evaluation and what to bring (such as the mandatory four-foot leash!).

Your evaluator will communicate any additional information needed for the evaluation and/or directions to the testing location by email in advance of your first evaluation.

Testing Fee – $45

*Please note our TDV policy regarding test fee refunds:

  • If you cancel your appointment less than 48 hours prior to your test, do not appear at your test, or fail the test; your fee will NOT be refunded. If you still wish to be certified, you would need re-apply and pay the testing fee again.
  • If you choose not to be certified and want to withdraw your application, the fee is not refundable. (Please be sure that you understand the requirements for certification before you apply!) If you have any questions about the process, how long it takes, and where you must travel to be tested and evaluated, e-mail us!).
  • If you cancel your test three times, TDV reserves the right to cancel your application (and the test fee will be retained by TDV)
  • Applications will automatically expire within SIX MONTHS of your application date and your fee will not be refunded. You may re-apply.