Therapy Dog Training, Certification & Placement


Becoming a Therapy dog & Handler team

Embark on a rewarding journey with your dog as a potential therapy dog & handler team. We provide comprehensive therapy dog training, certification, and assistance in securing therapy dog jobs, making this a fulfilling and impactful profession for both you and your furry companion.


Intensive Obedience Training

To become certified through us and for us to place you in therapy dog positions, you must first complete our Intensive Obedience Course. This essential course establishes the foundation for a strong bond between dog and owner.

Our objective is to educate dog owners, providing them with effective training methods and problem-solving abilities.


Therapy Dog Training & Certification

The next step is completing our Therapy Dog Training Course which we offer to those who we believe are the right fit for therapy dog jobs. Once you have completed these two courses, we will assess and certify you and your dog. (see pre-requisites)

We also reassess yearly as well as offer various get togethers and an online private group where we share best practices, ideas and support one another.


Therapy Dog Placement Offers

(For graduates of our therapy dog training) We play a crucial role in connecting our  therapy dog teams with the right  environments by carefully matching them to suitable positions. Through our private group, we regularly announce available opportunities, but we prioritise your freedom to choose. We ensure that you never feel pressured to accept a job that doesn’t align with your preferences or your dog’s capabilities.

Step 1

Intensive Obedience Course

Aim & intended outcomes

This foundational course will provide the building blocks for a strong relationship between dog and owner. Our aim is to provide education to the dog owner so they leave with the tools to train and problem solve, resulting in a well-balanced family dog both at home and in your community – Training & Education is Foundation!

Intended audience

Owners with dogs from 16 weeks of age

Course fees

• 1 dog, 1 person $1,639
• 1 dog, 2 persons (from same family) $1,839

• all prices are including GST

“A well-trained dog is a source of happiness and companionship, enriching every family moment with their presence.” – Nikki Bignell, Lead Trainer.

Suited to

Dogs from 16
weeks of age


4 days (Sat/Sun, Sat/Sun)


$1639 incl GST

Intensive Obedience dog training

Step 2

Therapy Dog Training & Certification Course

Aim & intended outcomes

The aim of our therapy dog training certification course is to equip both handlers and their canine companions with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide effective therapy dog services. Through in-person training and assessment, both at our training facility and in real-world environments, we ensure that our teams are well-prepared to deliver emotional support and comfort in various environments, such as hospitals, schools, and workplaces. Our course focuses on teaching safe and responsible interactions, legal and ethical considerations, and effective handling techniques. Ultimately, our goal is to produce certified therapy dog teams that can positively impact the lives of individuals in need, fostering a sense of well-being, joy, and connection within the communities they serve.

Intended audience

Graduates of Intensive Obedience with a passion for improving others’ lives though animal therapy.


Behaviours required prior to enrolment in this Therapy Dog Certification Course;

1. Completed the 4 Day Intensive Obedience Course.

2. Upon completion you will be advised if your dog would be suitable for a therapy course, including behaviours observed;

  • Two minute down out of sight
  • No jumping (4 feet on the floor)
  • A dog that is able to be calm and clear headed
  • No pulling on lead

Course fees

• New dog and handler team $650
• Therapy Dog Recertification $450

(all prices are including GST)


Interacting with a therapy animal releases endorphins making people feel better, diminishing feelings of pain, depression and loneliness. Having a therapy and support dog visit your workplace can help create conditions conducive to a more productivity and give your clients a stress-free environment.

Suited to

Graduates of Intensive Obedience


1.5 days, including certification


$650 incl GST

Therapy dog certification

Step 3

Therapy Dog Placement

Aim & intended outcomes

We play a crucial role in connecting therapy dog teams with the right environments by carefully matching them to suitable positions. Through our private group, we regularly announce available opportunities, but we prioritize your freedom to choose.

Some therapy dog roles involve high-stress situations or challenging environments, and your comfort and your dog’s well-being are paramount. We ensure that you never feel pressured to accept a job that doesn’t align with your preferences or your dog’s capabilities. Your well-being and satisfaction as a handler are at the forefront of our placement process, ensuring a harmonious and mutually beneficial experience for both you and your canine companion.

The vast majority of our therapy dog jobs are compensated. Our dedicated handlers are professionals who invest considerable effort and resources into maintaining their own skills and those of their canine partners at the highest standards. While we occasionally engage in pro bono work to assist those in need, these opportunities are extended within our private group without any obligation for participation. Nikki and her team are committed to ensuring all volunteer positions are filled and we welcome others to join as they see fit.

Intended audience

Certified dog/handler teams with a passion for improving others’ lives

Financial considerations

The majority of our therapy dog placements are on a volunteer basis.

What environments have our therapy dog teams worked in?

– Disability Sessions
– Airport Crowd Calming
– Funeral Homes
– Corporate Settings
– Trauma / Crisis / PTSD Support
– Sickness & Palliative Care
– Hospitals & Home Visits
– Support for Returned Service Personnel
– Government Departments (DOCS)
– Schools, Daycares, Universities & Learning Institutes

Suited to

Certified dog/handler teams


Typically 2 to 4 hour sessions


Most placements are on a volunteer basis

Therapy Dog Training and Certification
therapy dog training TASAA
therapy dog training TASAA
therapy dog training TASAA

A rigorous, yet rewarding process!


By following the steps above, and successfully completing our therapy dog training courses, you and your dog can become certified as a therapy dog team, ready to provide comfort and support to those in need in various environments.

Here are some of the highlights of the process;

Intensive Obedience Course: Begin by enrolling in our Intensive Obedience course, where we can thoroughly evaluate and observe your dog’s behavior and obedience. This course is a crucial foundation and therefore a requirement. It is not a requirement for puppies to complete our Stay & Train program to become Therapy Dog certified however, it is hugely beneficial as they begin proper calmness training from day 1 and it is much easier to train correctly from the outset than to strip unwanted behaviours and re-train correctly.

Invitation to Therapy Dog Course: After successfully completing the Intensive Obedience course, we will extend an invitation for you to participate in our Therapy Dog course, which spans 1.5 days.

Theory and Legal Requirements: The Therapy Dog Course starts with a theoretical component covering legal requirements, procedures, insurance necessities, and more. We also delve into the various environments where you may work as a therapy dog team and how these settings can impact you and your dog.

Group Discussions: Open group discussions are encouraged during the course, allowing for all questions and concerns to be addressed, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of therapy dog work.

Assessment: The course includes an assessment phase at our facility, where you and your dog’s skills and readiness for therapy work will be evaluated.

Field Training and Further Assessment: The course culminates with assessment and additional training in real-world environments, further refining your skills and preparing you for therapy work in diverse settings.

Re-certification: Certification is for maximum of 12 Months once a Level 2 has been reached and each team will need to re-certify at the expiration of their certification.


Please be aware that we do not provide online therapy dog training or certification services. Our approach relies on in-person training and assessment, as it is essential to adequately evaluate your dog and teach you how to handle your dog effectively in various situations and environments. This hands-on, in-person training ensures that both you and your dog are well-prepared for the demands of therapy work and can provide the best possible support to those in need.


Research has demonstrated that the stress hormone, cortisol, can be reduced by up to 45% just by petting a therapy animal. Petting an animal for as little as one minute has been shown to stimulate the production of oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding, trust, cooperation and love.

Interacting with a therapy animal releases endorphins making people feel better, diminishing feelings of pain, depression and loneliness. Having a therapy and support dog from Brisbane Support Animals visit your workplace can help create conditions conducive to a more productivity environment and give your clients a stress-free environment.

Therapy dogs are the heartwarming companions that can uplift any workplace or organization. From corporate offices seeking to foster a more relaxed and collaborative atmosphere, to hospitals aiming to comfort patients and staff and schools wishing to create a nurturing learning environment, therapy dogs work wonders.

Our dogs are equally cherished in senior care facilities, funeral homes, rehabilitation centres, government agencies, counselling practices, enhancing the overall well-being of residents, patients, and clients. We have even arranged for therapy dogs to visit domestic abuse survivor shelters, teen care providers, airports, universities and private homes! No matter the setting, therapy dogs create a warm and inviting space, offering the priceless gift of emotional support and positivity.


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