Therapy Dogs

Therapy Dogs


Many people are looking for a pet that can spread support, soothing, and affection. There are many trained dogs that can do such things and more. These dogs are called therapy dogs. You can find them in disaster areas, hospices, libraries, schools, nursing homes, retirement homes, or hospitals, always ready to help people in need. These pups are totally different from assistance dogs. Therapy dogs have been taught particular skills to interact with all sorts of people. Whereas assistance dogs are meant to be assistants for specific patients in their physical needs. Therapy dogs help many patients to participate in physical activities. They also encourage many people to fulfill communication, social, and cognitive goals.




For sure, not any dog can be a therapy one, it has to be applied to many conditions and receive a certification. First of all, therapy dogs have to be calm and social with anyone, as well as be alert to fast movements and fitted with loud noises. A therapy dog has to receive a certification from The Alliance of Therapy Dogs, a national organization, after passing some tests. First of all, the dog is tested by socializing it around other animals and people.


Secondly, it has to be able to walk on a loose leash as well as it cannot jump on people. However, there are many organizations that have different tests and requirements to consider a dog as a therapy one and give it such certification. Generally, the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever are common breeds. They are used as therapy dogs, although any breed or size could be a good therapy dog. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very gentle and small companions that are considered natural therapy dogs. They love meeting new people, especially kids as well as they are eager to sit on their lap for hours.




Over the last few centuries, many medical professionals have used pooches in their therapy process. Florence Nightingale discovered that anxiety and deterioration could be reduced in adults and children by the existence of small pets in psychiatric institutions, in the late 1800s. In the 1930s, using Sigmund Freud’s dog to improve some communicational skills with his psychiatric patients, had shown great results. Moreover, in 1976, the first therapy dog organization was established by Elaine Smith, a registered nurse, after she was using pooches on hospital patients and there were many great effects she had noted.




We can call service and assistance pooches therapy ones but with some organizations after receiving registration and evaluation for being one. The dog has to handle strange noises or sudden loudness. As well as, be able to walk on various unfamiliar surfaces comfortably. Also, it has to be calm and not frightened by people with uncommon styles of moving or walking, wheelchairs, or canes. In addition, it has to coexist well with the elderly as well as children.


In the US, International (TDI) prohibits the use of service doggies in their therapy dog program. Service dogs can join their owners in most areas and do tasks for disabled people. However, St John Ambulance gives certifications for therapy dogs, in Canada. In the United Kingdom, Canine Concern CIO and Therapy Dogs Nationwide (TDN) provide visiting dogs to establishments that have no pets. Furthermore, visiting cats and pooches to establishments are also provided by Pets As Therapy (PAT).




There are 3 classifications for therapy dogs; therapeutic visitation dogs, animal-assisted therapy dogs (AAT), and facility therapy dogs. Therapeutic visitation dogs are the most common type. They are usually household pets and are used to improve the mental health of patients. Animal-assisted therapy dogs (AAT) provide assistance to patients in reaching certain goals that help in their recovery. A facility therapy dog is usually used in nursing homes and helps patients with Alzheimer’s disease.


Legal status:

The US

This type of dogs isn’t protected or covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Federal Housing Act in the US, but they’re defined. The dogs, who have legal protection as a service animal, are “trained individually to perform tasks or do work for the advantage of a disabled person “, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.



Share this to let other people know about it!

Leave a Reply