Your pup is basically your own private therapy dog, comforting you when you’re down (how did he know your Tinder date totally ghosted you?), and keeping you calm when you’re feeling anxious (which is pretty much all the time, let’s be honest). Maybe you’ve even thought he could be a legit therapy dog — but these hard-working pets have some serious responsibilities, whether it’s helping a child feel more comfortable reading aloud or working to lower a hospital patient’s blood pressure.
While there’s actually no official certification or dog-training process to earn the title, you and your pup will have to pass an observation test overseen by a pet-therapy organization (Pet Partners and Alliance of Therapy Dogs are two of the big ones.) They want to see that you and your pup have a “deep bond” and that he has “the right temperament and basic skills” for the job, explains Elisabeth Van Every, communications coordinator at Pet Partners. Intrigued? Take our quiz to help find out if your pup has what it takes: