Training "Both Ends of the Leash"


"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."




Would you like to learn how to share the love of your furry friend or other animal with people in need?

If you feel that you and your furry friend may be interested in becoming a volunteer visiting team with Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends, the first step is to read about the requirements for this unique kind of volunteering.

Do you and your animal have - THE RIGHT STUFF - to become a therapy team ... this seminar identifies the desirable characteristics that make an animal/handler successful as a therapy team. If you are interested in giving back to your community and taking the beautiful bond you have with your animal to an entirely different level, you should come to the Introductory Seminar.

What makes a team suitable to be a MSTD volunteer

Introductory Seminar --- this is a human only event, please leave your furry friends at home
See firsthand why we believe that ... "NOT ALL MEDICINE COMES IN A BOTTLE"

Seminar Location:  Baptist Memorial Hospital - Collierville
1500 West Poplar Avenue Collierville, TN 38017

Fee: $30.00
Date: August 25, 2019
Contact us to be added to the list for the Introductory Seminar
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Introductory Seminar Registration Form

Print out the form and send it along with your fee to register for the seminar. We do not have online payment.
Seminar is required for membership in Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends and for attending the Therapy Team Training Workshop. Pre-register to reserve a seat!

THERAPY TEAM TRAINING WORKSHOPS Our therapy animals deserve a trained, skilled and devoted handler

The first step is for you to read thoroughly this entire document about the requirements and process to qualify for this very unique kind of volunteering.

Therapy Team Training Workshops ONE and TWO

Participating in animal-assisted interactions with your companion animal is a volunteer service with great potential satisfaction and reward, but it is not a casual undertaking and not suitable for everyone. It is a serious responsibility that involves health, safety, and extremes of emotion and behavior. Volunteers need to be able to deal appropriately with patient/clients during the most difficult and challenging times in their lives.
As such, it requires an initial investment and then ongoing education, training, and commitment.

The Team Training Workshops are designed for those teams that have been approved to move to the advance training which combines lecture, discussion and role playing. It covers the fundamental information needed to succeed as a Therapy Team.  Through this lecture, group discussion and role playing, you will discover how to interact effectively with clients and keep your animal safe in various environments.

TEAM TRAINING WORKSHOP ONE – $125 The first course is without your animal
Walk-through of the Competency-Based Team Evaluation – The test!

Important Information you will learn:

• How you and your animal companion can test and register as a volunteer team
• The difference between animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and animal-assisted activities (AAA)
• How to recognize signs of stress in your animal companion
• How to conduct an AAA/AAT visit and what to bring with you
• How to prepare your animal for an AAA/AAT visit
• The appropriate terminology and conversational approaches for various clients
• How to identify situations where animal visits are not appropriate
• Common concerns of health-care and human services professionals about AAA and AAT and how to address them
• How to get started in various kinds of facilities (hospitals, care centers, rehab centers and more)

TEAM TRAINING WORKSHOP TWO – $125 includes training manual, two training sessions at a facility, training proper elevator etiquette and the cost of the Competency-Based Team Evaluation (the test!)

This second Workshop consists of three separate courses - two with your animal
The third session is a complete paperwork review - no animal attends. We review your COMPLETE registration packet (written test, animal health screening from your vet and other critical sections)


Evaluations of person-animal teams are done by licensed ITA/MSTD Team Evaluators. Individual appointments will be scheduled for you and your animal as a team, to evaluate skills and aptitudes for visiting animal programs. Competency-Based Team Evaluation


Joining Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends – $25/ Two Years. Those who complete the workshop training and successfully pass the screening - CBTE - may then join ITA/MSTD. Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends membership includes liability insurance, ID tags, animal ID badge, scarf, car decal, orientation and mentoring, member bulletins, continuing education, and opportunity to participate in AAA/AAT programs at facilities served by MSTD.


There are several ways you can volunteer with Mid South Therapy Dogs & Friends if you do not have a companion animal with whom to team up for therapy visiting. You can become an escort for our visiting teams at numerous facilities.

The most frequent opportunity is volunteering to be a team testing assistant. We test potential teams about 8 times each year, on Sundays, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Collierville, and we need a sizeable “cast of characters” to help us conduct these competency- based team evaluations. This is also a great way to get to know others and to learn about the test and what is required if you and your animal are considering becoming a team yourselves.

Please Contact Us to inquire further about this and other opportunities to volunteer without an animal.

Team Training Workshop
Must be screened -- no charge for the prescreening assessment Contact Us
Workshop Dates: 2019 April 28, May 11 & June 8, 2019
Deadline: Full

Pre-Registration Required

Therapy Team Training Workshop Registration Form

Therapy Team Refresher/Renewal Class

Handlers who are due for renewal testing often feel anxious about going through the CBTE. Even teams who visit regularly can benefit from reminders of key handling skills. The handlers will also be updated on the latest policies and procedures and will receive their renewal packet.

In this course renewing teams will review how to build upon the skills they already have with their therapy animal and feel confident going into the Competency Based Team Evaluation. Walk through of the CBTE will be held at the end of the class. This is an optional class.

Location: Baptist Memorial Hospital Collierville
Class Date: TBD Time: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Members/Handlers Only NO DOGS
FEE: No Charge

If you plan on attending the class you will need to reserve a seat.
Please Contact Us

Obedience Class
In order to be eligible for Team Training Workshop, a dog should be mature and have a stable, friendly temperament; dogs that show any type of aggression will not be allowed into the class.

If you think your dog has the right stuff, but needs a little work first, contact a dog trainer. We recommend Donna Eddins. Be sure to ask about their experience in animal-assisted work. Be cautious about taking classes from someone who has never worked with therapy animals, and is not extremely familiar with therapy training and the specifics of what is required of not only your animal but of YOU - as the handler. Remember, this is not just about your dog. You are a Therapy Team!

Dog Woods Training Center
3041 N. Germantown Road
Bartlett, TN 38133
386- 9900

Competency-Based Team Evaluation