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Do you have a pup that just loves to love people? 
Have you thought, "they would be a great therapy dog"?
Well, you are probably right!

We welcome any breed or mixed breed of dog into our organization!*  A great therapy dog should be really happy to be around and engage with people.  They need to be comfortable in all environments.  Therapy dogs should be accustomed to and remain calm around walkers, canes, wheel chairs and medical equipment.  A therapy dog is well behaved, does not jump, does not vocalize and walks nicely on their leash.  

Obedience training and Therapy Dog prep classes are available for you and your dog to gain the skills and confidence you will need to start on this amazing journey.  Our teams (dog & handler) are called Champions and the following requirements will be met before registering for testing:

    • The dog handler must be at least 18 years of age
    • The dog must be at least 1 year of age
    • The dog must have earned their AKC Canine Good Citizen (We can help with this too!)
    • The dog will be up-to-date on all vaccinations
    • The dog must have a current municipality license
* Except canine hybrid crossbreeds

What are my next steps?  

Your dog's age and level of training will determine your path.  You probably have many questions and we are here to help!

Check out our AOAL Community page for training centers ready to get you on your way.

For more details or to chat with us, your Angel on a Leash© contacts for specific questions are:

Jo DeAngelis, President     Contact:

Evaluation Criteria

This is a brief overview of  the Angel on a Leash© Therapy Dog Evaluation/Test.

  1. Greeting: The testing check-In table will be your first stop where you and your dog are greeted.  We check for proper collar/harness.  Your dog will be pet by one of our champion team handlers. You will hand in your paper work while your dog sits quietly.
  2. Loose Leash Walking: Done both within the room and also entering/exiting a doorway.
  3. Walking through a Crowd:  This "crowd" will have people using crutches, wheelchairs, walkers and the like.  
  4. Facility Scenarios such as walking next to someone with a shopping bag/tote; a person walks by and drops something; a person runs past and is yelling. A loud noise will be made and your dog should be able to stay at your side calmly.
  5. Obedience: Sit/Stay; Down/Stay; and loose leash walking as a group.  Other items can be added as necessary.
  6. Leave-It: One of the most import skills for a therapy dog.  A: The dog and handler will walk past various food items and water bowls that are placed on the floor.  B: A person in a wheel chair will offer your dog food.  In both scenarios, the dog must leave the items and not eat them.
  7. Wheelchair Visit: Your dog will visit with someone in a wheelchair.  The person will reach to pet your dog.
  8. Meeting (other dogs): You will approach another dog/handler team, stop and greet , speak briefly and then move past one another.  The dogs will not have any contact with each other.
  9.  Recall: You will be asked to sit/down your dog, walk away from your dog, and the evaluator will ask you to call your dog to you. Your dog should be able to come directly to you.
  10. Separation: You will be asked to leave the room for 3 mins while our handlers stay with your dog. Your dog should be able to stay without barking or jumping, but remain call till your return.

Handlers are encouraged to communicate with their dogs and give verbal praise.  Use of any other form of rewards is prohibited.  

Ready to Register for our Evaluation/Test?

Go to our Find An Evaluation for dates and registration information.

Thank you for considering sharing your pup with those who need them.
It is a rewarding experience not only for your dog, but for you too!

Mission Statement

 Angel on a LeashTM, Inc. (AOAL), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides volunteer therapy dog handler teams (Champions) to visit with anyone that would benefit from the human-canine bond in enhancing human health and quality of life. All handler-dog teams (Champions) are tested, certified, and registered by AOAL.  Additionally, during scheduled visits, our Champion teams are insured by AOAL.  

Angel on a LeashTM

a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization     

13 Summit Square   #136   

Langhorne, PA 19047 


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