For an overview of our Testing Requirements, and what each dog/handler team is tested for, please view our TDI Testing Requirements Brochure.
The test must be conducted by a TDI CERTIFIED EVALUATOR. To find a TDI Evaluator in your area, please refer to the Upcoming Tests area of the website, or use the Evaluator Search Tool on our Evaluators page.
The following policies apply for dog/handler teams interested in taking the TDI Test:
-Dogs must be a minimum of one year old to be tested.
-The dog must be healthy. (Please see our Registration Requirements Page for our Health Requirements)
-The handler must be of good character.
-There is NO minimum age for handlers who pass the TDI Test without help. Condition: Handlers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult on visitations and the Registration Form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
-TDI Associate Members and their dog(s) may not visit, be registered by, or be active under the auspices of another Therapy Dog-related visitation program, organization, or group other than TDI.
-TDI cannot register service dogs.*
-The Evaluation begins as soon as the Evaluator is able to observe you and your dog, not only when you are going through the test requirements as a dog/handler team.
-Potential applicants are NOT required to take any Therapy Dog classes. At the present time, TDI does not offer or sanction any Therapy Dog classes. Even though we do not require formal obedience classes, we recommend at least basic and intermediate obedience classes plus prep classes to expose the dog to working in various types of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc.
-If a handler wants to visit with more than one dog at a time, all dogs visiting together must be tested at the same time (TDI allows a maximum of 2 dogs to visit together). The team must go through the entire test and work as one unit. All dogs tested together in a multiple dog test must have passed the TDI Test individually first.
*People with disabilities requiring a service dog cannot use the service dog as a therapy dog. However, they can be tested with another dog which is not a service dog. The service dog and the pet dog must go through the testing procedures at the same time.
Rules and Regulations for testing blind handlers with their dogs
A sighted handler accompanying a blind person on visitations with a TDI certiﬁed and registered therapy dog must ﬁrst be tested and registered with the
blind handler's dog.
All dog handler teams where the handler is blind must at all times while conducting TDI therapy dog visits or while working with their certiﬁed, registered
dog or while using the skills of the therapy dog be paired with the same sighted handler who had passed the TDI test as a team with the blind handler and
the blind handler's dog.
Anyone handling a TDI registered therapy dog on a visit must be eligible to be covered by TDI's insurance by meeting all of TDI's requirements.
Testing a blind person and being accompanied by the sighted handler of record:
The blind person must be able to pass each step of the TDI test. There are some differences as to how the dog has to work while performing the obedience
A blind person must at all times be able to feel the dog at least at an arm's length away while the dog is heeling on a loose leash or is riding in a small
carriage. This goes for the sit exercise as well. The down exercise can be performed so that the dog touches the handler's feet. The sighted handler at all
times should be ready to assist when warranted.
Medium to large dogs should heel close to the handler's leg or knee. The leash must be loose. The level of training of the dog must be so that the handler
is also able to control the dog at all times by voice command.
Small dogs should be transported in a small carriage. The handler should be able to pick up the dog if needed for placement with the client.
: This rule is made for safety reasons to avoid tripping over a small dog by the blind handler while walking in a facility or wherever the visit takes
The sighted handler can assist with the stay and recall exercises as well as the leave it exercise.
Small dogs must perform these exercises in the same way as medium or large dogs. They also have to show in a separate exercise at a time of the evaluator's
choosing that they are obedient and able to sit and down on command. The sighted handler may assist if necessary.
must abide by the rules and regulations for visitations of each individual facility.
If the therapy dog is being used by professionals at work all of TDI's Rules and Regulations apply and with the additional rule that the sighted handler must also accompany the blind person.
-The fee for a TDI Evaluation of a dog/handler team should not exceed $10. However, if the test site charges a fee for the use of their location or the Evaluator must travel to the location of the test, the fee may be higher.
-Testing fees are charged per dog:
1 Dog + 1 Handler = $10.00
1 Dog + 2 Handlers = $10.00
2 Dogs + 1 Handler = $20.00
2 Dogs + 2 Handlers = $20.00
-Multiple handlers may test with the same dog without being charged an additional testing fee for each handler.
-One handler with more than one dog will be charged $10 for each dog they are being tested with as a dog/handler team.
-There is no additional fee for a “Multiple Dog Test” in which one handler is tested with two or more dogs at the same time; however, both dogs must be tested individually prior to a “Multiple Dog Test.”