About this Course

Please watch the following video, which offers an introduction to this course.


This course was made possible by sponsorship from author Jane Smith, who shared the proceeds of the sale of her children’s book titled Murphy Mondays, funded by a HUG Grant from the Royal University Hospital (RUH) Foundation in Saskatoon. Murphy Mondays tells the story of the first St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Team to visit an Emergency Department in Canada. Books are available for purchase at DriverWorks, McNally Robinson, and Indigo/Chapters/Coles. 


In addition to Murphy Mondays author Jane Smith, project partners on this course include the Royal University Hospital Foundation, St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program, and PAWSitive Canine Connections, the Office of One Health & Wellness, and the Distance Education Unit out of the University of Saskatchewan.  

Team Members

The PAWSitive Support project team in the Office of One Health and Wellness at the University of Saskatchewan designed this online education opportunity, and members include Ben Carey, Mitch Daschuk (the punny module writer), Colleen Dell, Maryellen Gibson, Aliya Khalid, and Linzi Williamson. Dr. Darlene Chalmers from the University of Regina provided guidance. Julie Maier and Cindy Klassen from the Distance Education Unit at the University of Saskatchewan assisted, as did Stephanie Peachy and Jane Smith from the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program (SK). Therapy dog handler teams Grace Rath & Jager, Wendi Stoeber & Womble, Jane Smith & Murphy, and Stephanie Peachy & Dude (2004-2020) and Chewy were also involved. Additional reviewers include Lori McGeary and Edmond Lemire.


The content for this course was inspired by and drew upon two courses offered by the One Health & Wellness office. The first is a 3rd year, Animals in Society Sociology course offered at USask. The other is an online certificate course designed for service dog organizations and trainers about recovery from substance use harms and the important role of peer support and connection for the wellness of military Veteran dog handlers diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You can learn more at the Service Dog Toolkit

Research from our Office

Our office focuses a great deal of its time doing research and sharing the results on how the bonds humans have with animals can support their wellness, and specifically for mental health and addictions. We have also written about the therapy dogs as co-researchers on our team, as we are committed to therapy dog health and wellness as much as we are human health. Have a look at the Publications section of our website to review some of our research articles. Or check out the Top 10 section for a list of 10 research informed facts about the human-animal bond. Research findings and experience from our office is highlighted throughout the course modules.

Certificate of Completion

An optional certificate is available for competing this course. If you would like a certificate, an online open-book examination is required at the end of the course. It is made-up of a mix of 5 true or false & multiple choice questions per module (25 questions in total). You must achieve 80% on the exam to receive a certificate of completion for the course. You are allowed multiple attempts to achieve 80%, if necessary.

Administration of this course is based on an honours system, and the course should take you approximately 8+ hours to complete. To access the online exam after completing the course, click HERE. It can take up to 3 weeks to receive your certificate of completion via email.

The Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers (CAPDT) approves this course for 8 CEUs for trainers and 8 CEUs for behaviour consultants.


Start the first Module. →