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Therapy activities
   In 1995, the Therapy Dog group consisted of nine members going out an average of twice a month. This number has grown to 61 members, with about 20 active members. The schedule has increased to 3-4 times a week, including one night. Most of the dogs have been trained at the Berks County Dog Training Club.
     In order to be tested for the therapy dog group, the dog must be 1 year old, up-to-date with shots, free of any wounds, rashes, ticks or fleas. The dog must be able to approach strangers in a friendly manner, keep its feet on the floor and be comfortable around other dogs.
     The testing process involves evaluation of both dog and handler. The tester will be looking for positive reinforcement, encouragement, and enjoyment of the interaction between dog and patients, etc. Both the handler and the dog should be well groomed, neat and clean. The handler should be appropriately dressed and using language indicative of the surroundings.
     After a minimum of four observations in facilities, the tester will inform the handler whether or not he or she has met the necessary elements. Upon completion of the paperwork necessitated by Therapy Dogs Inc., the team becomes eligible to attend all therapy dog sessions with the group or do solo visits with permission of the facility.
     The therapy dogs have also taken on regular visitation to Reading Hospital, a program called Paws for Wellness. Paws took off  in 2004 and we currently have 16 Handlers and approximately 24 dogs involved in this program.
Marge Stiller

Courtesy of Marge Stiller
Therapy Dogs from left are Ebony, Solomon, Bobby, Sabrina and Maisie. They are being given treats by Darrell Belz while handlers Doris Lambert and Pat Mock look on.

Therapy dogs do many tasks including visiting with students from Albright and Kutztown during finals in the winter and spring.


The Berks County Dog Training Club was founded in 1946 as a not-for-profit organization with the purpose of training you to train your dog. To this day we continue with that same purpose. Through the years we have grown to a membership of several hundred people. We are a very active group with many dedicated volunteers who would welcome the opportunity to "train you to train your dog."
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