Schedule & Registration

Therapy Dog 1: Canine Good Neighbour Preparation.

Group Class or Private Lessons


Instructor: Elizabeth M. Simpson 

The Canine Good Neighbour Program is a 12-step test that encourages owners to have a better and richer relationship with their dogs. Success in this test is used by some BC hospitals and societies as the criteria for allowing dogs and their handlers to volunteer as therapy dog teams. Other organizations have designed their own Therapy Dog Volunteer test based upon the Canine Good Neighbour. Thus, passing the Canine Good Neighbour Program is an important first step for many therapy dog teams.

This advanced group class/private lesson is designed to prepare the handler and dog to be successful in the Canadian Kennel Club Canine Good Neighbour Program The preparation will focus on strengthening friendly, attentive, and willing behaviours in everyday situations. Positive reinforcement training techniques including food rewards, praise, cue words, and hand signals will be used to guide the human-dog teams in learning to communicate with each other. All this, in a stress-free environment designed to be fun for you and your dog.

Therapy Dog 1: Canine Good Neighbour Preparation – 6-week in-person group

This 6-week program is designed for all dogs with therapy-dog potential, including youthful dogs ready for advanced training.

Therapy Dog 1: Canine Good Neighbour Preparation – 3-week in-person group

This accelerated program, 3 weeks instead of the normal 6 weeks, is designed for mature well-trained dogs and already experienced therapy dog teams.

Typical group classes: 3-6 Weeks | 60 Minutes Per Week | 4 dog teams maximum
Typical private lessons: 1-3 Weeks | 60 Minutes Per Week | 1 dog team maximum

Prerequisites: Dogs must be at least 1-year old because the test includes potentially fearful items. DOGSmart Beginner Class is not required but is recommended. Importantly, this Therapy Dog 1: Canine Good Neighbour Preparation class (or equivalent) is a prerequisite for the Therapy Dog 2: Advanced Volunteering Skills class.

Please equip your dog with a flat buckle collar, and an approximately 6-foot leash. Collars, including pinch, choke, martingale, and shock, as well as retractable-leashes are not permitted.

Cancelations or Refunds: One-week notice prior to the date of the first group class/private lesson is required for cancellations or refunds. We are unable to provide refunds once group classes/private lessons have started. Due to the sequential nature of Therapy Dog 1 classes, we are unable to offer make-up classes for any you miss. Dates and times of classes are subject to change.

Contact Us:

Call DOGSmart at 604 267-9500. For classes visit our website for more information and to check timing and availability For private lessons email the instructor 

Recent Media: 

We are honoured to have graduates from our Therapy Dog 1: Canine Good Neighbour Preparation and Therapy Dog 2: Advanced Volunteering Skills programs participate in the new pet therapy program at B.C. Children's Hospital which is designed to help staff cope with stress, anxiety, and work-related health issues.

Vancouver Sun

CBC Video


Photo: Vancouver Sun