Puppy Certifications

Puppy Peggy visiting for the first time. Peggy is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Puppy Peggy visiting for the first time. Peggy is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Overview

Who doesn't like puppies? When done right, visiting with a puppy can be rewarding for everyone. Our puppy certification allows skilled handlers to visit with their exceptional puppies starting when puppies are 5 months old. We offer two types of puppy certifications:

  • Certifications for individual handlers to become a therapy team with their puppy.
  • Certifications for breeders and professional puppy raisers.

How do I know if my puppy is ready to do therapy dog visits?

Please note: Most puppies are not ready to do therapy visits, but that doesn't mean your puppy won't grow up to be a wonderful therapy dog, (the average age of a therapy dog is 4 - 6 years old). Being a therapy puppy requires a puppy with outstanding bite inhibition, an exceptionally calm temperament, good obedience skills, and a highly skilled handler. Click here to find out if your puppy is ready to do therapy dog visits.

If your puppy isn't ready now, spend this special time bonding, training, learning to communicate, and playing. And come back to see us when your dog has matured.


Therapy puppy Orla interacts with kids. Orla is a Golden Retriever.

Therapy puppy Orla interacts with kids. Orla is a Golden Retriever.

I'm an Individual Handler

Individual handlers of puppies also go through a 4-step certification process, except that we tailor our evaluation and exam to focus on puppy specific issues.

  • Puppies are eligible for certification at 5 months of age.
  • Teams must do a "behavioral check-in" at 9 months to monitor puppy's development and to confirm that they are still able to handle therapy dog visits.
  • Puppies must certify as adults at 1 year of age. The adult certification lasts for 2 years.
 

Sutter Bay Goldens and their breeder Tracy Calhoun are Project Canine Certified Puppy Partners.

Sutter Bay Goldens and their breeder Tracy Calhoun are Project Canine Certified Puppy Partners.

I'm a Breeder or Puppy Raiser

Project Canine's Puppy Partner logo. Breeders and puppy raisers displaying this symbol are certified to visit with puppies in their care.

If you are a breeder, we offer a Puppy Partnership Program to certify you to visit with any of the puppies in your care until they are 5 months of age. We are very choosy about our Puppy Partners and will ask you to provide documentation and videos illustrating your puppy raising philosophy and environment. Please fill out the request form for more information on our Puppy Partnership Program.