About the Exam


  1. CGC Exam is a pre-requisite; exam must have been taken when dog is at least 12 months old, official documentation required.
  2. An intermediate/advanced class such as Rally, CGC, Agility, Therapy dog class, AKC obedience etc. Class must be documented.
  3. All vaccinations must be up-to-date and dog must be in good health.  Vaccinations must be documented by official veterinarian paperwork.
  4. Minimum age for a dog to register is one year.


  1. Any aggression or reactivity.
  2. Resource guarding higher than a 4 on the scale.
  3. Any non-performance of any part of the exam.
  4. There are no corrections, treats, body blocks allowed.  Corrections = jerking, pulling, or putting your dog into place; verbal and/or noise corrections, physical manipulation of your dog to achieve the command (pushing on their rear to get a sit).  Body blocks = owner putting themselves between the dog and the object or another animal to stop forward movement or getting the object.
  5. The evaluator’s discretion.

Equipment used for visitation and the exam:

  1. Flat Buckle collar, a harness (not a no pull harness), a chainless martingale collar.
  2. Regular leash (four to six foot leash) no flexi leashes.


General Exam Information:

  • The K9to5 therapy dog exam is fluid.  The exam will take place at two different facilities, one of which must be a medical facility (nursing home, assisted living, hospice, hospital etc.)  The exam starts as soon as you arrive at the facility to fill out paperwork.
  • You will do a visit and be evaluated as a team.
  • Verbal praise and praise in the form of petting is allowed.
  • No treats or training aids are allowed during the exam.
  • All commands must be by voice and/or hand signals only.

In Brief, you will be evaluated on the following in two different medical locations:

  1. How your dog acts to behavior triggers.
  2. How your dog reacts to medical equipment.
  3. How your dog reacts to residents.
  4. How your dog interacts with the residents.
  5. How your dog reacts to another dog.
  6. How you interact with the residents.
  7. How you handle your dog throughout the visit.

In detail, you will be evaluated on the following:

Your dog:

Basic commands;

  • Wait/Stay (sit/stand/down); Wait/Stay = all forward motion is stopped
  • Down
  • Leave it
  • Move to the side (dog parallel to the wall and no more than 6 inches from the wall), the owner is in front of the dog close to wall as well
  • Stand (from sit, from down)
  • Loose leash walking.
  • Walking very slowly
  • Walking past another dog (no closer than 2 feet to each other)
Behavior/Body Handling (if a negative reaction that is an automatic failure)
  • Prolonged bear hugs
  • Prolonged eye contact
  • Ear tugs
  • Tail tugs
  • Paw handling
  • Looking in mouth, teeth etc
  • Rough head petting
  • Quick foot movements towards them
  • Collar grabs
  • Resource guarding
  • Startle effect:
  • Remaining calm as someone rushes by (from the front, back and the side)
  • Remaining calm when a crutch is knocked over close to them (within 10 feet)
  • Sudden body movements
Approaching the residents
  • A resident sitting
  • A resident walking
  • A resident in their bed
Your evaluation points
1. How you interact with the residents
  • Entering a room (you should always knock and mention you a have a dog)
  • Entering the facility (you should always stop at the front desk, let them know that you are a K9to5 Therapy Dog visiting today.
2. How you handle stress?
  • Do you recognize when and what stresses you?
  • What do you do about your stress?
  • Know what environment you do best in
3. How you handle your dog
  • Do you talk to your dog?
  • Do you recognize if your dog is stressed?
  • When your dog is stressed, what do you do?
  • Know what environment your dog works best in
4. Appearance:
  • Dress appropriately
  • Dog needs to be bathed and well groomed before visits