Therapy Dog Prep School has returned to our Training Center!

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CLICK for the list of open Prep School sessions.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a PREP SCHOOL ONLY—Pawsitive Teams does NOT include certification as part of the school.

We run our very popular, fun Therapy Dog Prep School four times a year. Each of the four sessions is made up of a series of six classes that includes activities to prepare both you and your dog for involvement as a therapy dog team. You also have the option of registering without a dog if you’d like to audit. Our Prep School is not designed to certify teams but rather to give both handler and dog the tools to become an effective therapy team and to be better prepared for tests conducted by the various programs. We spend time in each class to help you identify the best therapy program for your needs and interests, then we guide you through the process.


Based on recent changes in CDC guidelines regarding mask-wearing requirements, we now require everyone who enters our Training Center to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.  We want to do our part to keep everyone healthy. 

WHEN: Classes are held on Tuesday nights from 7:00-8:30 p.m. for six consecutive weeks.

WHERE: Classes are held at our Training Center in the Miramar Area (7031 Carroll Road, San Diego, CA 92121) except for the 5th class which will be an off-site outing. For the outing class, students will be given the choice of participating on either the Tuesday or the Saturday of that week.

All dogs attending Prep School must receive the vaccines listed below. Proof of vaccination must be submitted no more than thirty days prior to the first class.

DHPP (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parainfluenza/Parvo)
Influenza Combo & Leptospirosis (strongly encouraged]

  • Instruction and practice with successful therapy dog commands and behaviors
  • Discussion and practice of techniques for effective interaction between therapy dog and clients
  • Discussion and practice in developing better observation skills to identify signs of stress in dogs
  • Assistance in helping students identify the most appropriate therapy dog programs
  • Role-playing opportunities with a variety of typical therapy dog settings
  • A field trip to an Assisted Living Facility during the 5th class to practice tools taught in the course
  • Two classes are video taped and students are given an opportunity to study videos at home for discussion in class
  • Various teaching videos are provided to students to supplement class exercises


Due to COVID requirements, our instructors have overhauled the Prep School curriculum. PLEASE NOTE:

  1. We are now running full sessions, limited to twelve registered students, i.e., one person per dog with no additional visitors. Our classes fill quickly so if you’re available for an earlier session than the one you register for, be sure to check the Waitlist box.
  2. Prior to the first class, we require that all students read and understand a document called “Safety Steps at the Training Center.”
  3. We ask that if you know you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID or the Flu, or if you are experiencing any COVID or Flu symptoms, that you do not attend class that week. Classes can always be made up next session.
  4. Our fifth week of class is held off-site and students should note that many facilities have very strict rules concerning visiting, including full vaccination, masks, temperature, and symptom checks, etc. We will provide you with that information as your session approaches.


Tuesday nights from 7:00-8:30 p.m. for six consecutive weekly meetings. Classes are held at our Training Center in the Miramar area except for the 5th class which will be an offsite outing. For the outing class, students will be given the choice of participating on either the Tuesday or the Saturday of that week.

Our Training Center in the Miramar area between I-805 and I-15, one mile north of Miramar Road.

Session size is limited so early registration is recommended. All registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Payment is required in full at registration.

Full Session Fee (one dog per handler) $180
Audit a Session (without a dog) $80


  • A FULL REFUND will be issued if a dog or their handler is ill and cannot attend no matter when they drop.
  • A FULL REFUND will be issued up to 14 days prior to the first class meeting.
  • A 50% REFUND will be issued between 13 and 7 days before class.
  • NO REFUND will be issued within 7 days of the first class meeting or if you start class and decide to drop for reasons other than medical/veterinary.

Dogs must be at least 18 months of age at start of the first class meeting. We have found in the past that the less mature dogs aren’t able to settle well during lectures.

All dogs are required to complete at least one previous group training class such as Basic Obedience; OR have passed the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. Puppy socialization classes do not count towards this basic obedience requirement. It’s very important to the success of you and your dog as a team that your dog is well socialized and well behaved in our indoor group Prep School setting.

Students will be required to submit the following dog vaccine records during the registration process:

DHPP (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parainfluenza/Parvo)

Influenza Combo

All fees will be used to subsidize the mission of Pawsitive Teams. Instructors are experienced therapy dog handlers and volunteer their time with Pawsitive Teams to teach in our Prep School.

Some students prefer to attend the session without a dog as there are a lot of benefits to observing other students without having to handle a dog.

During the online registration process, you’ll be able to indicate if you would like to be placed on the wait list for an earlier session. Space in each Prep School session is reserved on first-come-first-served basis, based on registration completion.

Completion of this session will not include certification as a therapy dog. This is a Prep School designed to get you ready for certification and to give you additional information about the various programs in the San Diego area that do certify for therapy dog volunteering.