Comfort Dogs for the Community

Comfort Dogs are affectionate, friendly dogs who, with their human partners, serve the community through visits to schools, hospitals, care facilities, and other venues where their comfort and companionship offer so much.

New in 2013! Possibility Dogs Comfort Dog Chapters in Training

While the term "therapy dog" may be more familiar than "comfort dog" to describe dogs that make visits to hospitals, libraries, care facilities and so on -- as dogs are used in a wider variety of contexts, job titles and descriptions are beginning to change.

We use the term “comfort” dog to distinguish the work of our community teams from the applied therapy (Animal Assisted Therapy) typically guided by mental health/counseling professionals, who use dogs in the goal-directed therapeutic process with individual clients. Our comfort dogs provide love, affection, and attention at the events where they serve the public -- and they do all sorts of good for the people who meet them --but our handlers do not engage in crisis counseling or mental health counseling of any sort when partnering our dogs.

Our comfort dog curriculum is set to a similar high standard found with Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) and Therapy Dogs International (TDI) and other national and local organizations. Our Comfort Dog training focuses on three areas:

  • obedience & public stewardship
  • engagement with the public, and
  • ethics & safety

After training to develop skills in all three areas, dog-and-handler teams pass a certification test with our organization and are eligible to operate as part of a local Possibility Dogs chapter in community service.

If you are interested in forming a Possibility Dogs Comfort Dog Chapter, contact us at info@possibilitydogs.org. We currently limit the number of chapters formed per year and can advise when the next applicant chapter is available.

If you are interested in having a visit from graduated dog-and-handler teams in Dallas, Philadelphia, or Minneapolis that are now in training, please re-visit this page. When local chapters have graduated teams that are ready to visit, specific contact information for that Chapter will be listed below.