• Canine-Assisted Intervention Specialist (CAIS) Certificate Program 

    A Professional Certificate Program for Animal-Assisted Intervention Professionals

    through the Institute for Human-Animal Connection 

  • Three images of therapy dogs in training with their human handlers

    Practitioners around the world are working with dogs in their practice.  Yet do they know enough about their canine partners?  The Canine-Assisted Intervention Specialist certificate provides competency-based training that emphasizes thorough knowledge of and skill with canines.

    • Start by taking a clear look at your own preferences and biases about canines
    • Gain hands-on experience with multiple canines through a required partnership with a community canine organization (this partnership focuses on working with canines, not with clients or students)
    • Progress by delving deeply into canine behavior, selection, training, health and wellness, and more
    • Finish by presenting your progress to your cohort colleagues and obtaining their peer review 

    CAIS may be completed wherever you live.  CAIS utilizes a hybrid educational model that begins with a weekend in Denver and continues with three online courses.  Fieldwork with multiple canines takes place in your city. This unique model will allow you to practice and utilize your canine skills, which you will develop through online and in-person learning, with a community organization benefiting both local dogs and your education!


    You can learn more about the other educational offerings through the Institute for Human-Animal Connection by visiting the website: https://socialwork.du.edu/humananimalconnection/education-certificates/

  • Program Highlights

    • Competency-based education, training, and fieldwork with an emphasis on understanding and respecting canines
    • Hands-on practice and feedback
    • Online courses paired with Denver-based experiential laboratory 
    • Internationally accessible
    • Design, facilitate, and optimize services for mental-health clients or students that complement the professional theoretical orientation you use
    • Continuing education units (CEUs) verified on University of Denver transcript


    The Canine-Assisted Intervention Specialist (CAIS) certificate program is delivered through a Denver-based laboratory, three online courses, and fieldwork in your city with multiple canines (fieldwork is with canines; it is not providing AAI).


    CAIS takes about six months to complete and students earn 21 CEUs.  This is a challenging, demanding program, yet with careful planning and support it is possible to complete CAIS while working full-time.

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This portfolio last updated: 08-Jul-2020 4:02 PM