Team Development Program

SCCV Southwest Canine Corps of Volunteers offers a comprehensive three-level Team Development program. We provide instruction and supervised practice in the essentials of pet therapy: protect your dog and yourself, protect the people you serve, and make the experience as joyful and beneficial as possible.

Entry Level Evaluation

All incoming teams must pass an evaluation at which both handler and dog demonstrate good grooming, friendly temperament, and tolerance in close proximity to strangers and other dogs.

Basic obedience is required. The dog must be under the handler’s control at all times and respond immediately to the following commands: heel, sit, down, stay, and come.

Please note: Any display of aggression such as staring at another dog, persistent barking, lunging, or growling at other dogs or people, will result in immediate disqualification.

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Team Development Level 1

After passing entry level evaluation, you and your dog will attend two mandatory Team Development classes, each approximately three hours long, which are held on consecutive Saturday or Sunday afternoons at two medical facilities.

At these sessions you will have opportunities to visit patients under close supervision. Safety of patients, dogs and handlers is extremely important. You and your dog will be observed carefully during these sessions, and you will be given as much guidance and assistance as you need to assure your visits are safe and successful.

Team Development Level 2

After successfully passing Team Development Level 1, teams begin a program of five supervised visits at a variety of local health care facilities. The trainers are there to introduce you to the facilities and help you develop the techniques that will make you a confident and safe pet therapy team.

Upon successful completion of these visits, you and your dog will become registered with SCCV as a pet therapy team. You will receive a Visiting Opportunities List (VOL) of the numerous facilities and opportunities available to SCCV members.

Graduation ceremonies cap off the training, and you and your dog are ready to go visiting on your own!