Therapy Dog Classes Near Springfield, MO

 Therapy Dog Training

Dogs With a Job

This is a 4-week session with classes lasting approximately 1 1/2 hours each week.

During this course, we will use the skills you learned in our Therapy Prep course while visiting Compasses facilities. You will have trainers coaching you every step of the way.

**Therapy Prep is a prerequisite.

Give us a call to see what would be the best place for you to begin with Precious K9s Therapy.

Precious K9s Therapy Teams

Mission Statement
Precious K9s Therapy is a company that is focused on the well-being of our four-legged family members while visiting people that can benefit from the therapeutic effect dogs can have on us.

This is a group of individuals dedicated to making a difference with their best friend by their side. We visit a variety of places such as, but not limited to, hospice facilities, retirement homes, youth outreach centers, hospitals, courtrooms, victim advocacy centers, schools, and workplaces.

Each team has different specialties; therefore, each has different services to offer. These include, but are not limited to, animal-assisted activities and animal-assisted therapy. We will strive to help all involved in our visits to be comfortable and help them to enjoy the rest of their day with a smile.

Precious K9s Therapy Teams Vision Statement
We are K9 Therapy Teams that learn from each other and stand by each other while creating a positive and comfortable environment for handlers, dogs, and the people that are impacted by us and our four-legged family members.
What are Animal-Assisted Interventions?

Animal-assisted interventions are goal-oriented and structured interventions that intentionally incorporate animals in health, education, and human service for the purpose of therapeutic gains and improved health and wellness.

Animal-assisted interventions provide opportunities for motivational, educational, and recreational benefits to enhance quality of life.  These activities are delivered in a variety of environments by a specially trained professional, paraprofessional and/or volunteer in association with animals that meet specific criteria.

It can also be a more formal process:

  1. If overseen by a health and human service provider as part of his or her profession. This person might be a physician, occupational therapist, physical therapist, certified therapeutic recreation specialist, teacher, nurse, social worker, speech therapist, or mental health professional.
  2. If the professional must incorporate the animal as part of his or her own specialty; for example, a social worker must incorporate the animal in the context of social work.
  3. If it is goal-directed and there’s a specific end in mind, such as improvement in social skills or range of motion.
  4. If it is documented.  Each session is documented in the client’s record, with the activity and progress noted by the professional.
Benefits of Membership With Precious K9s Therapy Teams.

Benefits of a Certification With Precious K9s Therapy Teams:

  • Access to Carrie Galvan, CBCC-KA, for basic therapy questions and mentorship after your class is completed.
  • Information about places that have been visited by Precious K9s Therapy Teams and visit opportunities that are available.
  • Advice on entering a new facility to establish a rapport with the Activities Director and/or contact person.
  • Documentation showing certification as a Precious K9s Therapy Team.
  • Opportunities to participate with Precious K9s at group public events.
  • Guest speaker events (to attend or be a speaker).
  • Discounted rate when repeating the “Dogs With a Job” course.
  • A support system that can help you move forward in your goals as a therapy team. 
  • Each member receives:
  • Team ID badge (member pays for replacement if lost).
  • Precious K9s dog ID tag.
  • Secret Therapy Facebook group

Precious K9s in Your Facility

“Research shows that positive interactions with animals increase endorphins, oxytocin, prolactin, and dopamine. These are the hormones associated with blood pressure regulation, pain relief, stress relief, and joy.  Visits from therapy animal teams can normalize stays away from home for hospital patients, improve motivation to participate in treatment protocols, and lessen worry, anxiety, unhappiness, and pain.” (Pet Partners 2019)

Know the answer to the following questions and then contact us to find the Therapy Team for you!
  1. Why do you want to have therapy teams visit your facility?
  2. Do you have specific goals in mind?
  3. Who is the person in charge of your new program?
  4. Do you have scheduled times lined out where the contact person can supervise the visits?
  5. What are your guidelines for each team that visits?
  6. What are your requirements for teams visiting your facility?
  7. Do you have any unique needs in your facility?
  8. Is there a designated area for the dogs to use the restroom or take breaks if needed?
  9. Are there any residents in your facility that would prefer the teams not visit them?


Notes About Therapy Teams

  1. Each Precious K9s Team has passed an eight-week course in which the dog’s behavior has been observed in many different situations. There is a four-week handling and dog behavior section and a four-week on-site section of the class.
  2. The handling and dog behavior section gives the teams the chance to work toward better dog handling skills and understand their dog’s comfort level. This teaches them to always be an advocate for their dog and gives them the know-how to keep their dog happy and safe at all times. 
  3. The on-site portion of the class has allowed teams to learn positive and professional ways to handle many new situations. Each application is reviewed, and the dog and the handler have to pass all sections to be approved as a Precious K9s Therapy Team.  Teams must always have clear identification so there is no confusion why they are in your facility.

Find out more about becoming a Precious K9s Therapy Team.

Beginner Dogs:

If you haven’t done any training with your dog, you will start with one of the following classes. These classes will start you with basic training, teach you handling skills, and build teamwork between you and your pup.

All Paws In: This is a 6-week course for puppies, adolescents, and adult dogs. The course focuses on basic K9 behaviors, self control, building self confidence, handling skills, dog language and socialization. To ensure that each student gets enough individualized attention, we allow no more than 8 dogs per course. We will also separate into two groups if puppies need extra instruction. The first week is orientation, so leave your dog at home! Also, make sure to bring a list of questions you have for our trainers. Your puppy will need to be up to date on shots by Week 2!

Intermediate Dogs:

Most dogs that have taken one or two classes at another training company will still want to take one of the beginner classes listed above. This will help you get familiar with our trainers and our style of training. It also lets us get to know your dog’s temperament and what we need to focus on in training to get you to your Therapy goals. Some dogs will even come to us with their Canine Good Citizen Title, take the beginner class, and learn many new things. Much of our curriculum teaches your dog to think on it’s own and with our unique curriculums, you will start to see a big difference in weeks. If your dog has 50% loose leash walking skills, knows how to target items, and can stay for 30 seconds with distractions outside of your house, you could be ready for our Teamwork Through Games class. We always urge students interested in becoming a Precious K9s Therapy Team to settle in, get ready for the long hall, and take ALL the classes you can. You will get skills that can be applied to real life out of every class. Contact us if you are not sure where to start. [email protected]

Teamwork Through Games: This is a second level class for students that have taken beginner classes or private lessons. In this 6-week games class we will build on the behaviors you have already learned. It will help you move the training you know into real-time while raising the distraction levels. Animals learn better through games. Humans are healthier when they laugh. Teamwork Through Games is the perfect combination of both!

Recommended class options to take while preparing for the
Therapy Prep and Dogs With a Job courses:

Trick Dogs
Dogs About Town
Beginning Rally Obedience

**If these links do not take you to a class, it just means there is not one currently on the schedule. For descriptions of the classes CLICK HERE.

Therapy Courses:

Therapy Prep: This is a 4-week session with classes lasting approximately 1 1/2 hours each week. During this course we will teach you valuable behaviors that are used in Animal-Assisted Therapy and talk about the different directions you could go with your therapy team. This course is a prerequisite to our on-site Therapy class Dogs With a Job.

Dogs With a Job: This is a 4-week session with classes lasting approximately 1 1/2 hours each week. During this course, we will use the skills you learned in our Therapy Prep course while visiting Compasses facilities. You will have trainers coaching you every step of the way. **Therapy Prep is a prerequisite.

Becoming a Precious K9s Therapy Team:

There is an application process to become a Certified Precious K9s Therapy Team. We require both the Therapy Prep and Dogs With a Job classes before you can apply. As you go through the courses with Lisa and Carrie they will guide you through the process. Keep in mind that it takes dogs with a certain temperament and skill set to become a therapy dog, so we may also guide you to the best type of therapy, sport, or training that your dog will do best with. Not all dogs want to be a therapy dog, no matter how much we want them to be. Having a dog that can handle stressful situations well, work as a team with you while they greet people, and enjoy their work is very special. Training to be a Therapy Team should not be a quick and easy process. At PK9s we believe you are the best advocate for your dog and we want you to know how to understand and protect your dog with the utmost skill.

Common questions we will answer in your Therapy courses.

  • How do I know where to go when I am a Certified Team?
  • What other therapy company options are there, other than PK9s?
  • Should I have my own insurance as a Therapy Team?
  • Is my dog right for therapy?
  • Can I take my therapy dog everywhere?
  • How do I prepare my dog for therapy visits?
  • What is therapy visit etiquette?
  • How do I understand dog body language?