Animal Assisted Therapist Qualification

Animal Assisted Therapist Qualifications

Why are animal therapists receiving attention these days?

All of us suffer from stress and loneliness, to whatever extent that is – and that is probably the reason why the animal therapists have started to be focused on.

Animal therapists use therapy dogs to heal people’s hearts.

In today’s stressful world the demand for the variety of the ways to heal the mind is continuously increasing. Animal therapy is considered to be one of those, which is shown by the result that the use of animal therapists is gradually expanding.

For example, at one facility which regularly makes use of animal therapy, there are many who eagerly look forward to the visits of the therapy dogs and the animal therapists. Dogs themselves possess something magical that can heal the hearts of people.

In addition, stroking a dog has a positive impact on one’s health in ways such as reducing the blood pressure. Spending time with a therapy dog and speaking with an animal therapist gives comfort and energy to live on.

However, without the help of the therapists, dogs’ abilities cannot be drawn. Animal therapists act as a bridge between people and the therapy dogs.

The therapists are in short supply. As one with a kind heart who has the desire to relieve the others, you will be able to please a lot of people as an animal therapist.

*All fees below do not include taxes.


There are four types of course available: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Instructor.


  • Aged from elementary school age (upper grades) to adult. (Elementary, and Junior high school students will become junior members. Tuition is half price).
  • An understanding of the mission of an animal therapist, an interest in welfare, and a desire to contribute to society.
  • Correspondence course available. (Practical experience is optional)
  • JATA( Specified Nonprofit Corporation Japan Animal Therapy Association) will reward successful candidates with a certificate and ID card.


Beginners’ Course (Shokyu)

Course Outline

  • Learn the knowledge required to take part in AAA (Animal Assisted Activity).
  • A focus on field trips to places such as public facilities and old people homes.
  • Remember 40 breeds of dogs (Including their nature and country of origin).
  • After mastering the elementary therapist manual, contact head office in order to take the written exam.
  • A score of 80 or over is needed to pass. The makeup exam costs 2,000 yen per attempt, and can be taken up to 5 times.
  • Those who pass the written test can receive practice experiences (1) and (2), which are outlined below.
  • (Optional)
    • (1) Field trips to a variety of facilities (Each time is for approximately 1 hour)… 10 times or more
    • (2) Participate in awareness campaigns (fundraising and member recruitment).  (Basic training includes language use, manners, attitude and dog care).
    • After each field trip submit a report on it to head office. (Optional)

Manual Contents

(1)The mission of a therapist (2) The significance and values of animal therapy (3) Dogs’ nature  (4)Characteristics of different breeds (5) Dogs’ physiology

Fees (Refers to beginners’ course)

279,000 JPY

Other Information

A certificate will be issued.


Intermediate Course (Chukyu)

Course Outline

  • Learn the knowledge required to take part in AAE (Animal Assisted Education).
  • Conduct classroom visits.
  • Remember the nature and country of origin of the 40 breeds of dogs covered in the beginners’ course, plus 20 more.
  • As with the beginners’ course, practical experiences can be enjoyed 10 times or more (20 if combined with the beginners’ course). (Optional)
  • The following content is added at the practical experiences:
  • Guidance on hosting, greeting, and supervising volunters at the place of the experience.
  • Study on child psychology.
  • A thorough education on language use.


334,000 JPY

※ If you apply for the intermediate course, you can combine this with the beginners’ course, all for 334,000 JPY.

Other Information

A certificate will be issued.


Advanced Course (Joukyu)

Course Outline

  • Learn the knowledge required to take part in AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy).
  • Complete activities in collaboration with physicians and patients.
  • Negotiate visits and control the schedule for volunteer activities.
  • Act as a bridge (raport) between physicians, hospitals, and patients.
  • Practical experiences can be enjoyed 10 times or more (30 if combined with the beginners’ and intermediate courses). (Optional)


446,000 JPY

※ If you apply for the advanced course, you can combine this with the beginners’ and intermediate courses, all for 446,000 JPY.

Other Information

A certificate will be issued.


Instructor (Shihan)

Course Outline

  • Intended for therapists who have taken the advanced qualification.
  • Take a special program to become a therapist trainer.
  • Instructors who pass this course shall be registered as special instructors of the association and shall deal with lectures, and TV and radio interviews.
  • Since instructor candidates will become staff or executives of the Association after qualification, a pre-enrolment interview is required.
  • The contents of the course combines what was learned in the beginners’, intermediate, and advanced courses, alongside instructor training.

Fees  (Refers to intermediate course)

325,000 JPY

Other Information

The instructor course is only for those who pass the pre-enrolment interview and who are qualified instructors.

A certificate will be issued.

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