LAP Certification

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    LEND A PAW Therapy Dog Program


    CERTIFICATION – LAP Program Therapy Dog / Handler Teams

    EVALUATION -   All new applicants 



    Certification / Evaluation Test                          $50  / Handler or Team            Rates & Services
    Registration Fee                       (one-time for new LAP members)

     $250 / Team                            $125 / Handler or Dog (each) 




    NLOL RANCH - Training Center

    JANUARY 21, 2017    10:30 am

    NLOL RANCH - Training Center

    MARCH 18, 2017   10:30 am

    NLOL RANCH - Training Center

    MAY 5, 2017     10:30 am



    NOTE: Please ensure your dog is wearing a flat collar or a Martingale and a FIXED 4 or 6 foot lead.  Prongs, slips and harnesses are not permitted.  No FLEX leads.

    TEST & CERTIFICATION PROVIDED BY NLOL per AKC/CGC standards by accredited CGC Evaluators                                                                                                                            

    Please contact for more info. Space is limited to 8 teams.



    1. How do I sign up for certification for the LAP program?

    a. Click here LAP CERTIFICATION APP   to download the app.

    b. Fill in the fields and save.

    c. Start an e-mail to Type your last name in the subject line

    d. Attach your saved app. Attach the required photos and send.

    NOTE: Cut off date to submit your app is the Saturday prior to the scheduled Certification date.


    This process will serve as your reservation and provide the updated info for the new ID cards. NLOL will verify your service hours at and verify that you have a signed agreement on file and e-mail you a confirmation for the test date. Please do NOT show up for the test unless you have received a confirmation. Enrollment is limited per each scheduled class and space is booked based on the app. submission date. New ID cards will be mailed to the address on the app. shortly after the certification test. NLOL reserves the right to deny certification to any applicant handler or dog.


    2. What if I want to certify two dogs?

    Each test session is limited to ONE handler and ONE dog teams. One handler cannot handle and certify two dogs simultaneously. If you have two dogs to certify, here are the options:

    A. To certify both dogs at the same test session, one of your dogs must be handled by an NLOL approved or a certified LAP handler.

    B.Enroll the second dog into another scheduled certification class and you as the handler. 


    3. What is the cost for certification?

    The cost for the certification is $50 for each “one handler and one dog” team.

    Same rate applies if you are the handler for your second dog.

    The same handler is limited to certifying TWO dogs but not simultaneously. Each test is limited to one handler-one dog teams. 

    Payment instructions and amounts will be listed on your RSVP confirmation.

     Re-testing may be subject to a Certification fee. 


    4. What if my dog and/or I don’t pass the certification test?

    You will have to enroll into another scheduled certification class and pay the certification fee.

    The video Certification Test sample shows the guidelines (#8 below outlines the 10 steps) of the test. Work with your dog to ensure success. No refunds are issued.


    5. How long is each certification valid?

    12 months from ISSUE date. LAP Program volunteer Handlers and their Dog(s) must be certified by NLOL EVERY YEAR

    Note: Regardless of the level and category of previous or present training or certification(s) rendered by other agencies, all LAP handlers and dogs must be certified by NLOL ANNUALLY as per LAP manual and agreement. Previously issued 2 and 3 year certifications are not valid. Handlers working with expired or invalid certifications see #10 below.


    6. Where can I find a schedule and locations for LAP certifications?



    7. Will I receive a new ID card after certification?

    New ID cards will be mailed to the address on the app. shortly after the certification test. One new holder and one lanyard will be mailed with new ID cards.


    8. How should I prepare for the LAP certification test?

    Watch this video Certification Test sample. Work with your dog to ensure success. Choke chains,  prong collars and harnesses are not permitted for testing, so make sure your dog is able to perform while wearing a flat or Martingale collar on a fixed lead and no treats.

    TEST 1.    Accepting a friendly stranger - EV shakes hands with handler

    TEST 2.    Sitting for petting -

    TEST 3     Grooming – Inspect ears, paws and use brush.

    TEST 4.    Walk – Follow path with loose leash and focus 

    TEST 5.    Walking through a crowd

    TEST 6.    Sit, Down, Stay, handler walks away (on lead) and returns

    TEST 7.    Sit, Stay (off lead) handler walks away, Come (recall) 

    TEST 8.    Reaction to another dog (sit is optional)

    TEST 9.    Distractions– Dog should not spook or startle. 2 barks OK.

    TEST 10.  Supervised separation – Handler walks out of sight for 3 minutes. Dog should not verbalize, stress, pant or bark.

    During the test there will be food on the ground which dogs must ignore. Also, additional props will be introduced including crutches, walker, wheelchair, skateboard and bicycle.

    9. How long will it take to get certified?

    The scheduled certification classes are approx. 60 minutes with consideration to the size of the class and if there are no disruptions.


    10. Can I get certified elsewhere by an independent CGC evaluator for the LAP program?

    No. To represent NLOL and operate as an active & qualified member of the LAP Team and visit LAP sites, certification must be performed ANNUALLY and issued by NLOL to ensure that the organization has performed due diligence and with respect to liability and insurance purposes. Test and certifications are provided by NLOL in accordance with AKC/CGC standards to provide handlers with a comprehensive reference to a widely recognized guideline.


    11. How does the LAP program define “active & qualified” LAP members?

    LAP Handlers and Dogs must have valid certifications issued by NLOL within the last 12 months.

    LAP Handlers must have the required service hours logged at

    LAP Handlers must have a signed agreement on file with NLOL


    12. How can I get replacement LAP ID cards & lanyards?

    Complete the applicable sections of the LAP CERTIFICATION APP and e-mail it to

    Replacement cost is $10 which includes one card, holder, lanyard and postage to address on file.

    We can only replace ID cards issued by NLOL as of 7-20-2013. 


    13. Where can I buy a replacement LAP T-shirt or LAP service vest?


    Coming soon: Order LAP GEAR