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Thank you for your interest in the Tails with Tales Canine Therapy Program.  If you are interested in volunteering for this Program after reviewing the information below, please request an application and return to Tails with Tales as soon as possible.  

You will be required to attend weekly classes for a 6 week session.  Should you be unable to attend the scheduled classes, your name will be held for the next session.  Evaluations are good for one year.

To participate in an evaluation your dog must meet the following criteria.  No exceptions will be granted:

  • Completion of a 6 week formal basic obedience course with you.  
  • Successful completion of the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen test.
  • Successful completion of the American Kennel Club’s Community Canine Good Citizen test.
  • Your dog must be registered with the City or County that you reside in.   
  • The dog must have been in your care and possession for at least 1 year.
  • The dog must be between the ages of 18 months and 10 years old at the time of evaluation.
  • The dog must not have ever received protection or aggression based training.

Scheduling for temperament evaluations are sent out a few weeks prior to the date of the evaluations.  The evaluations will not only test your dog’s temperament but it’s reactions to noise and other stimuli often encountered in the facilities we visit, along with your dog’s willingness to be touched, level of obedience skills and how you and your dog work together as a team. 

Not all dogs are suited to work in animal assisted therapy.  Tails with Tales evaluates each interested team to determine their suitability for this Program. 

Dogs that display any of the following traits will be dismissed from the program immediately:

  • Aggressive behavior, toward people or another dog, which includes excessive barking, growling, snarling lunging and/or biting.
  • Displays of extreme fear or physical dominance.
  • Submissive urination, marking behavior or defecation. 

To participate in the evaluation, the handler will be required to submit proof of vaccinations, any pertinent health information, and proof of successful completion of training courses and passed AKC tests outlined above.  Staff will review this information to ensure the dog is medically sound before beginning the evaluation.  The evaluation is done in two parts.

First, the evaluator will gauge how well the handler and dog work together as a team.  The level of obedience skills are also considered.  The dog is tested for reactions to sight and sound, as well as the dog’s willingness to be handled from head to tail.

The second part of the evaluation involves a similar routine, but with the handler out of sight of the dog.  This is done to determine the dog’s confidence level without the handler in the room.  The evaluation is designed to test the dog’s reactions in situations that can be stressful and uncomfortable.  

All handlers must be 18 years of age or older and willing to abide by the guidelines and rules established to provide a safe and happy experience for everyone involved.  All volunteers are required to complete and pass thorough background checks.  Handlers must agree to participate in 1 visit per month to retain “active” volunteer status. 


Should you have any other questions or to request an application, please contact us at 636.232.2338 or click here.



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