Alliance of Therapy Dogs is an international registry of certified therapy dog teams. Obtaining therapy dog certification involves passing our therapy dog certification process and following our rules and regulations at therapy dog visits. When there has been a lapse in visits, ATD members will need to complete a retest in order to maintain insurance coverage.

Learn about our retesting process and how to maintain your Alliance of Therapy Dogs membership. 

Therapy Dog Retesting: What You Need To Know

When you become an Alliance of Therapy Dogs member, not only do you help to share smiles and joy, but you are also covered by ATD’s liability insurance. Insurance coverage is maintained by following our organization’s rules and regulations. You can find information about therapy dog visits in the ATD Member Handbook and on our website. We ask that members complete and log in to our Member Portal at least one therapy dog visit every three months. The insurance policy protects you from third-party claims for injury, illness, or property damage sustained during therapeutic visits.

We want to ensure registered therapy dog teams continue to practice good manners and social skills needed for therapy dog visits In dog training and obedience, routines and repetition are essential. If a therapy dog team is not visiting regularly, they may lose some of their social understanding of how to interact with those they visit and how to behave around other dogs. Likewise, their handler may forget the ATD or facility rules.

At Alliance of Therapy Dogs, if a team has not had a visit in three months a Handling Assessment and one observation is required before resuming visits. At six months from the date of your last therapy dog visit, there is no insurance in place, and a full retest with a Handling Assessment and three (or four) observations is necessary to reinstate insurance. This is not a quarterly requirement; it is calculated from visit to visit.

Example 1: If you logged a therapy dog visit on March 30th, you would need to complete another therapy dog visit before June 30th.

Example 2: If you do not visit between March 30th and September 30th, you will need the Handling Assessment and three to four observations. If there are no Testers/Observers near your home, contact our ATD office for further guidance.

Both members and Testers/Observers will need to fill out the required paperwork and submit it to the ATD office within seven days of the last observation. Therapy dog handlers can resume visits once it’s confirmed by our office. 

If you forget when you made your last therapy dog visit, check your Member Portal to see the date of your last logged-in visit. Members must remember to log their visits in the Member Portal.

For further information, watch our YouTube webinar to learn about the therapy dog certification retesting process, or contact us.

The many benefits therapy dogs have to offer can make an enormous impact on someone’s day and being a therapy dog volunteer is a wonderful way to give back to your community. Keep making a positive impact, with your certified therapy dog, by maintaining your Alliance of Therapy Dogs membership!