How Therapy Dogs transform lives
Reducing stress levels and anxiety
Therapy Dogs are trained to the same high standard as a Mobility Dogs. Sometimes dogs are released from our programme as they are not suitable to work specifically with clients with a disability. If this is the case, the first priority is to find another way they can utilise their training for benefit of others.
We are always on the lookout for people and places that may benefit from working with a Therapy Dog. For example a rehabilitation clinic, an educational environment, a medical practice, drug and alcohol rehabilitation or even a dental clinic.
A Therapy Dog is trained to provide emotional support just like a Mobility Dog. However, in conjunction with the clinician, we are able to tailor the dog’s skills to best suit the needs of their clients.
For example, we presently have two dogs working in dental clinics in New Zealand. Therapy Dogs working in a dental clinic relieve anxiety for patients during their visit. You can see how they help in the video here.
Key differences between a Mobility Dog and a Therapy Dog
A Mobility Dog will work one on one with a person who lives with a disability. The dog will accompany them everywhere and is trained to assist them specifically in their everyday life.
A Therapy Dog will live with, and be cared for by a clinician and accompany them to their work environment. The dog will be available to assist their patients or client. Importantly, it is the clinician who works with the dog for the benefit of the client.
Research has demonstrated that animal companionship helps to reduce blood pressure, lower stress and anxiety levels. This, in turn, stimulates the release of endorphins which make people feel better and lowers stress and anxiety levels.