Think your canine has the right temperament to become a certified therapy dog? Then, this new year provides the perfect time to check out a fresh way to partner with your beloved pup.
Typical therapy dog tasks include visiting hospitals, retirement centers, schools, colleges, airports, workplaces, rehab facilities, mental health institutions, cancer centers and hospice facilities to comfort and cheer up people. Canines who qualify to become therapy dogs act friendly with strangers, are used to high levels of distractions and honor personal boundaries, such as not jumping up, licking or mouthing folks without being invited.
Research shows therapy dogs have positive effects on people's moods, stress and pain levels during facility visits. Therapy dogs provide social interaction with individuals who may not otherwise experience regular socialization. And in the cases of elderly centers, where residents used to have their own dogs, fill that void of loneliness from missing their former, personal furry companions.
Therapy dogs offer unconditional love and nonjudgmental interaction while reducing people's anxiety and providing welcomed distractions to ailments.
Alliance of Therapy Dogs staffers (TherapyDogs.com) can provide advocates with insurance as well as links to organizations eager to accept therapeutic dog visits.
FRISCO-BASED SOURCES FOR DOG THERAPY TRAINING:
Dog Training Elite, 4747 4th Army Drive, #600; 214.383.3391
What A Great Dog!, 10550 John W. Elliott Drive, #200; 214.297.3000
All Dogs Unleashed, 6136 Frisco Square Blvd., #400; 972.573.1715
Petco Dog Training, 5177 Eldorado Parkway, #1486; 214.705.9384