Touch Dogs

Duo Touch Therapy Dogs provide heart + soul to help you through challenging times.

200+

certified Touch teams

120

healthcare and residential facilities welcome Touch teams annually

$0

cost to facilities to have a Touch team visit

Touch Dogs

Heart + Soul

Duo Touch Dogs provide heart and soul — enhancing a sense of unconditional love and interactivity. We’ll bring a sense of serenity and well-being and encourage activity and determination.

68,000+

individuals visited each year, on average

touch_poodle_dog_hospital

Duo Dogs has seen it time and time again — canines have a special touch when it comes to comforting people during challenging times.

Duo Dogs’ Touch Therapy program certifies volunteers and their personal dogs to visit hospitals, cancer treatment centers, nursing homes, and residential facilities throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. Their job can be simple (like brightening the day of everyone they encounter) or specific (acting as an effective motivational tool during physical therapy sessions).

Research has shown that visits with therapy dogs can decrease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and diminish overall physical pain.

Duo screens every dog before it enters the training program to ensure the dog’s temperament, overall health and condition, acceptance of people, and desire to participate in the program. After passing a temperament evaluation conducted by Duo’s experienced training staff, the handler and dog attend an extensive training course focused on obedience and behavior, situational awareness, patient and team safety and facility etiquette.

Requirements for the Touch Program:

  • Handler(s) must be 18 years or older.
  • Dog should be between 2 and 10 years old.
  • Dog must have completed a Duo Dogs basic obedience course with you as the handler.
  • Dog must never have received any aggression or protection training.
  • Dog must be current on vaccinations including rabies, distemper/parvo, and bordetella.
  • Dog must pass a temperament evaluation prior to enrolling in classes.
  • Handlers must have had the dog in their possession for at least one year.

General traits for Touch therapy dogs: obedient, confident, nice temperament, comfortable in new environments.

General traits for Touch therapy handlers: good communication, control of dog, aware of dog’s behavior, recognition of stress signals.

To get involved with Touch, please fill out the application and return it with proof of obedience and current shot record.

Duo Dogs Touch Therapy Application

Quick Facts

  • Duo's Touch Program is not breed specific. Dogs are accepted based on their temperament and their willingness to be touched and interact with people
  • Duo is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a preferred therapy dog certification organization
  • There is no charge to facilities to have a Touch Team visit
  • In 2018, more than 179,000 individuals were touched by this program

Client Testimonials

When I held and petted Yadi I felt all the tension and sadness go out of me. Thank you for sharing him with me. I appreciate it.

Patient at Missouri Baptist Medical Center