TDI Test Requirements

Nov 6, 2019 | Pets, Tips and Tricks

Wow!  What a week so far!  Jake and Maggie have been training for their TDI test (well, you already know because I’ve been talking about it so much) and here I go again…it is THIS FRIDAY!!!  Jake goes first at 5:30 pm and Maggie is last at 6:30 pm!  I’m so excited for them.  We had our practice test today and it went well.  We will know if they passed or failed as soon as they complete all the test requirements!  I’m putting this post out for anyone who is interested in putting their pets through this program just incase you couldn’t find anything on the web of what the exact requirements were.  Fortunately, Misty Pines had a print out for me :-).

Therapy Dog International (TDI) Testing Guidelines

The TDI test is divided into two phases and has 13 individual tests and additional exercise within each test.  The TDI Test is designed to simulate a visit with a therapy dog at a facility.  This test reflects realistic situations and should be helpful in evaluating the potential therapy dog.  The test requirements are subject to change without notice.  

Phase I – Begins with the testing of all applicants in a group, excluding the part where the dog will be handled by another person out of sight of the handler.

  • In this phase, I will proceed with checking in each dog while the evaluator greets them.  At this time, the collars will be checked (I am required to have a 1 inch flat buckle or snap-in collar (non corrective) or a harness (non-corrective), all testing must be on a 6 ft leash).  The evaluator will inspect their toenails, tails, ears, grooming, and lifting of all paws.  They will also check their collars and leashes.  I will have their updated rabies shots and appropriate state licenses as required).  
  • Once the paperwork is completed, I will hand off the dog to the evaluator, put the dog into a stay position and leave the room for 1 minute.  The dog can sit, stay, lie down, stand or walk around within the confines of the leash.  This will show if the dog is relaxed with strangers when they cannot see me.  
  • Then we will proceed with approaching the evaluators who are in wheelchairs, on crutches, and walkers wanting to pet the dog to simulate a hospital environment. ie, walking around people while they are touching all sides of them.  
  • I will then be asked to line up with my dog in a heel position (with the dog on the left or right – I always train on my left side), with 8 ft. between each team.  I will put the dog into a sit/stay position, give the command to stay and step out to the of the end of my 6 ft leash and wait for the evaluator to give the command to me to return to my dog.  
  • This test will be repeated except the dog will be in a sit/down position.
  • I will then place the dog into a sit/stay position, walk 20 ft away from the dog and call them to me.  This is to show recall meaning the dog has to stay in position and come when called.  
  • We will then act as if we are visiting with a patient to show the dogs willingness to be petted.  I will walk around a wheelchair and have the dog sit to the right of the chair to be petted and touched.  

Phase II – Dogs will be tested individually.  

  • I will heel the dog on my left and walk in a “T” pattern while distractions are made by evaluator such as having another test dog, dropping something loud, talking.  I will be making rights, lefts, and about turns then heeling the dog to a sit position while another handler and their dog approach.
  • The evaluator will hand the dog a treat and I am instructed to tell the dog to “leave it” which simulates a stranger trying to give my dog a treat which he should not take and following my direction.
  • The evaluator will throw a piece of food on the floor in which my dog is not supposed to eat.  I am to instruct him to leave it. 
  • A volunteer with a demo dog will walk past and try asking me questions and after a brief conversation we are to part ways.  This demonstrates that I can have a conversation with another person and their dog and our dogs are not to react to each other.
  • I am to instruct my dog to sit, stay, and then heel through a doorway without the dog going ahead of me.  

Sooooo, come this Friday night, think of us because we will be in Wexford, PA taking our test!!  Wish us luck!!!



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  1. Carla

    Goodluck Jake and Maggie! ????????

    • Bobbi

      Thank you! It’s been a lot of hard work and training but we are going to get there! What an improvement over the last couple of months!


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