Therapy and Service Certifications
About ASCT
2019 Conference Classes
2019 Free Online Classes
Therapy and Service Certifications
Law Enforcement Certifications
Public Trainer Certification
London Hanover University
K9 Certifications
Legal Education
Articles: United States
Articles: Scandinavia
Articles: South America
K9 Training Referrals
Humane Society of the United States

Explanation and Requirements for Certification


Service and therapy animals are a popular flavor in the world. A piece of paper that states you are certified means absolutely nothing unless that document is backed by strong testing standards, evaluations from qualified trainers, and supported by an organization that will stand for the owner and animal. There are many organizations offering these special certifications who are honest and forthright. However, there are just as many who are looking to make a fee for a piece of paper.  
ASCT requires testing standards, documentation, and certification board approval for all service/therapy certifications so that they may be supported just as soundly as all our other working certifications, allowing us to fully support them in all aspects.
Service animals not only support...they help heal minds, bodies, and hearts.  These animals and their owners are essential.  We welcome any questions about the testing and certification process. 

THERAPY DOGS:  ASCT recognizes a therapy dog as: (1.) A canine that either posses a natural character and personality to offer emotional comfort and relief to an individual (or group), hereby allowing the person to live a more natural and productive life. (2.) A canine which has been trained to precipitate and enkindle that same effect.

SERVICE DOGS:  We recognizes service dogs as: A canine which has been trained to perform a service in which the canine makes physical and mental responses to situations that can effect the owners safety or ability to live a more natural life; i.e., daily functions, employment, and medical safety.


Canines are often certified as both Therapy and Service if the canine has a specific and demonstrated dual function; e.g., wounded warrior serving both as a physical assitant and an emotional comfort of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you feel your dog meets both certifictions, you do not need to apply twice.  The single application letter should simply represent qualities of both services.

ASCT therapy and service dog certifications are precise in definition of the exact service provided. In order to properly comply with federal, state, and local laws, it is of appreciable importance to assure that a certification specifically explains precise needs of service and provides the owner comfort in trusting that he avoids difficulties entering and operating throughout facilities of daily life; e.g., airports, stores, restaurants, Etc.
Step 1.  APPLY ONLINE The Owner (trainer may also apply; by proxy)
Step 2.  Submit a short letter explaning the nature of need and type of training you feel should be conducted or already has been conducted.
Step 3.  Once the training has been completed (applicant may combine steps 2 and 3 if training has completed at time of application) send training documentation to demostrate the type of training and education of the owner; i.e., logs, notes, manuals, plans of action, Etc. ASCT must receive and review a clear video of the dog specifically carrying out the intended tasks for which the certification application states; e.g., alerting siezure alert, opening door, alerting to phone ringing, retrieving devices, guiding owner, and in the case of therapy dogs; comforting support, movement, checking with owner, Etc.
(ASCT always recommends an onsite testing of performance. However, there are many occasions where that is arduous to the owner. Therefore, video is acceptable for therapy and service providing it is clear and demostrates precise actions.) 

APPLY NOW click here and send us your contact information and we will be in contact with you soon.

Need Therapy/Service Trainer Certification

Copyright ©1994 - 2019 American Society of Canine Trainers. All rights reserved.