therapy dogs



Golden Retrievers are notoriously sweet, affectionate, eager to please, and great with children.  Due to their desire to please, intelligence, and capacity for love and learning, Golden Retrievers make great guide dogs for the blind, service dogs for the disabled, therapy dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs.  Many of our rescued goldens have gone to become service dogs of some kind, and give back to our community in amazing ways each and every day.  You will meet our AZGRC Therapy Team below and on the following pages.





Have you ever wondered about whether you and your dog would make a good Pet Therapy Team?  Well, it's easy enough to find out, just keep reading. 

First, itís important to remember that you and your dog are a team and both of you have to be excited about going out on visits for a few hours every month.  Therapy visits are fun, you and your dog get to interact with a lot of different people and you really make a difference in someoneís life.  People look forward to seeing your dog from one visit to the next so it is important that you are committed to maintaining the visiting schedule.  If you can consistently commit to a few hours a month, you have cleared the first hurdle.

Now that we know youíre ready, does your dog have what it takes to be a therapy dog?  Well, we all know Golden Retrievers love people and love attention from everyone so thatís an excellent start!  Next, therapy dogs have to be trained well enough to be predictable and under your control at all times when on a visit.  That doesnít mean they have to be able to win an obedience trial, but there are some basic skills they need to demonstrate.  These skills are in the areas of Obedience and Aptitude.  More about these later.


Most facilities require that pet therapy teams be registered with a nationally recognized organization before allowing any visits.  There are several of these organizations, however the 3 most popular are Delta Society, Therapy Dog International and Therapy Dog Incorporated.  While most organizations use similar assessment criteria, each has their own specific requirements, evaluation process and insurance coverage.  It is important to know that certain facilities may only recognize a specific organization.  If you have decided on a facility that you would like to visit, be sure to check with them to make sure that you are evaluated and registered with the appropriate organization.

Lucy, Maggie, Molly and Kayli
The AZGRC Golden Pumpkin Patch visited
Phoenix Children's Hospital on Halloween.


herapy Dog Kayli Helping Patient

One of the most important benefits of being a registered pet therapy team is the insurance that is provided by the organization.  Typically, there is at least $1,000,000.00 of coverage should there be a problem on one of your visits.  Even though there are facilities that will allow you to visit without being a registered therapy team, you personally bear the full financial responsibility of anything that might happen on one of your visits.

More importantly, becoming a registered therapy team provides you with the additional support and information to make your visits fun and rewarding for the group you visit, your dog and yourself.   The contact information for each of these organizations is listed below.

Pet Partners  


Therapy Dogs International


Therapy Dogs Incorporated



Arizona Golden Retriever Connection is an all volunteer, non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Arizona Golden Retriever Connection

P.O. Box 26678
Scottsdale, AZ  85255
Phone:  602-870-0037     Fax:  480-563-9154