What is a therapy dog?

Published on January 15, 2015 by in Blog, Dog Training, Therapy Dog

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Have you ever heard of a therapy dog before?  Ever wonder what exactly a therapy dog is and what they do?

As a certified Therapy Dog Evalutor in the Toms River area, I am fortunate enough to work with pet parents and their dogs who want to become therapy dog teams.

Kenzie, a therapy dog

Kenzie, a therapy dog

Join me for a few minutes while I answer these great questions.

Video Transcription:

Hello, I’m Megan Ventura with Endless Pawsibilities and today I want to talk about what exactly is a therapy dog.

A therapy dog is a specially trained dog who provides affection and comfort to an individual. You need to understand how they do this so we can more fully appreciate the assistance that they provide.

When we pet dogs a feel good hormone called oxytocin is released in both our body and theirs. That hormone relates to a lot of different things for people.

It is, very often, associated with children and mothers breastfeeding, and things like that that are of comfort. It’s a natural feeling that we feel comforted when this oxytocin is released.

Therapy dogs provide a lot of different assistance and have a wide variety of jobs. Some examples are visiting patients in a hospital, working in a residential setting for home bound elderly, reading to the dogs at the library programs.

Can any dog do it? Most dogs provide comfort to their owners or to their family but it takes a special dog to be a therapy dog.

This dog would need to be well behaved in a variety of settings, as well as performing under these commands in that behavior while approached by other dogs or near and around other dogs. So, although any dog has the ability the important thing to keep in mind is would your dog like this job?

Thank you.

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