Training and Certification

Training Classes

Training Classes are held at Bellaire United Methodist Church:
4417 Bellaire Blvd. (on the second floor)
Bellaire, TX 77401

From West Loop 610, go East on Bellaire. Turn south onto Newcastle off of Bellaire. The parking lots are on the left in the back of the church.

Faithful Paws Pet TherapyThere is no start or end date for classes. Classes are continuous, like a giant conveyor belt. Newcomers are added to class as openings are available, usually several each week. Each human/pet team is evaluated individually. Teams in class will work on the same drills every week until the dog is ready to pass the CGC test. Contact us before coming to a class, because there is a waiting list, and new pets are added in the order in which we receive their completed paperwork. When you contact us, include your name and phone number, and pet’s name and breed. Classes are ongoing, and pets are sent to our AKC evaluator for testing for certification as each pet is ready. Some pets may take only one or a few classes, and some may take many months of training before they are ready to be certified. Pets may begin our classes at any age after getting their rabies vaccinations, but must be at least 6 months old to become certified. Humans can be any age, but youth handlers are limited in the facilities they are allowed to visit and those under 18 must always be accompanied at all times by a parent, both in class and on visits.

Most of our certified pets are dogs, but we also welcome cats and rabbits. We do not use reptiles or exotic animals. Dogs must pass the CGC (Canine Good Citizen – see list of skills on “contact us” page) test and/or Temperament test. These tests are authorized and administered through the AKC (American Kennel Club). Cats and rabbits must pass Temperament testing. Pets must be current on all vaccinations and there is a form to have your vet complete. Many of our members have more than one certified pet. Some facilities will allow us to bring more than one certified pet (up to 2) on a visit.

  • Dogs must pass the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Test and/or a Temperament test to be certified. (See CGC requirements on bottom of “Contact us” page.)
  • Cats, rabbits, and birds must pass a Temperament test to be certified.

The following 10 basic items make up the CGC test and will be practiced during our classes:

  1. Greets a friendly stranger
  2. Sits politely for petting
  3. Welcomes being groomed, brushed; allows paws, tail and ears to be handled
  4. Walks as directed on a loose leash
  5. Moves politely through a crowd
  6. Sits, lies down, and stays in place on command
  7. Comes when called
  8. Behaves politely around other dogs
  9. Reacts with confidence to distractions
  10. Can be left with a trusted person (3 minutes)

Usual obedience commands that dogs will be expected to obey:

  • “Heel” “Sit” “Down” “Stay” “Come”
  • Two additional commands we teach, use and require: “Watch Me” “Leave It”

There are quite a few websites that have information about the CGC test. Here are a few you may want to explore: