Training / Volunteering

NYC DOE Certification

Program Description

Good Dog’s DOE Preparation & Certification course, custom-developed for the DOE Comfort Dog program, teaches a human handler and their dog how to be a team in a professional setting (a school), providing Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) for education and counseling purposes. Included in the course are:

Six hours of required training, consisting of 2-hour classes held once a week over a three week period during school hours. Missing a class is not permitted.

Post-session trainer notes, customized for you and your dog to practice between each training class.

A shadow visit / individualized practicum counsel via Zoom.

This DOE Preparation & Certifica-tion class does not automatically guarantee acceptance into the Comfort Dog Program. School environment and other factors must be considered, and Comfort Dog Teams are determined by the Comfort Dog Administrator, Office of Safety and Youth Development, NYC DOE. But, successful com-pletion of this program, or an equivalent preparation and certifi-cation course, is a prerequisite for Comfort Dog work.


Exercises Worked on In Good Dog’s DOE Preparation & Certification Include:

Managing the dog’s interactions with students and working with students who might be wary of dogs.

Desensitizing dogs to school-specific distractions and stressors.

Testing the dogs to ensure they will be able to comfortably and happily handle the unpredictability of
children in a school setting, and working to desensitize and counter-condition them when necessary.

Bonus Opportunity (No Additional Cost)
By taking this course, you and your dog can be designated a Certified Good Dog Volunteer Team. This lets you volunteer to help a wide variety of people: patients in hospitals, residents of long-term care facilities, at-risk youth, veterans with PTSD, kids in reading programs, etc. Good Dog schedules volunteer work per your avail-ability and location and provides liability insurance.

To Be a Candidate for this Program

Dogs must:

Have mastered basic obedience skills, including Sit, Stay, Down, and Leave It.

Walk politely on a loose leash on a flat collar or harness, and may not jump to greet people.

Be at least one year old and have lived with their current owner for at least 4 months.

The following behaviors will disqualify your dog from therapy work:
Aggression towards humans or dogs (including resource guarding)
Marked signs of fearfulness or shyness

Lack of house training skills

Uncontrollable hyperactivity (excessive barking, jumping, licking, pawing, etc.)

Medical concerns (advanced age, fatigue, stiffness, excessive panting, signs of discomfort, etc.)

Human handlers must not display any of the following:
Rough or abusive handling of their dog
Unwillingness to adhere to on-time, fully attentive attendance at Good Dog training classes or to complete homework or follow trainer instructions

Unwillingness to follow policies and procedures established by your school or by Good Dog’s partner facilities (if you are opting also to be a Good Dog volunteer)

Handlers must be legal owners or live with their dog.

Next Steps

Complete an online application. See below, but please review all information here before you apply.

Your application will be reviewed by a Good Dog trainer. If accepted, you and your dog will be invited for an in-person evaluation.

During the evaluation, the trainer will observe your dog’s obedience skills, temperament, sociability with humans and other dogs, as well as its relationship with you.

After the evaluation, our trainer will determine if you and your dog are appropriate candidates for our DOE Preparation & Certification course.


$ 0    Online application
$20   Pre-Class In-Person Evaluation
$475 Good Dog Certification Course and Practicum
$125 Annual Re-Evaluation and Re-Certification, with correctives, as needed

We welcome an application from you and your dog.