Sadie a therapy dog in training Sadie is a Cavalier King Charles spaniel born November 8, 2019. These dogs are known for their gentle spirit. They are often used as therapy animals due to their wonderfully even temperament and attentive nature. These dogs average between 13-18 lbs.
Below covers some of the benefits and risks to working with a therapy dog, as well as a list of rules for interacting them in my practice.
Research shows the power of animals to calm the nervous system and provide powerful grounding, comfort, and much-needed comic relief during the challenging work of therapy.
- While I am being trained to observe body language and facilitate a safe interaction, dogs by their nature can be unpredictable, therefore, there is always a possibility that someone will get scratched or bitten or injured.
- While the therapy dog is a puppy, there is as an additional layer of unpredictability as they learn their role. Puppyhood comes with extra dose exuberance as well. You will be taught the verbal and hand signals needed to give the dog the direction they need. This will be a learning process for all involved, so your patience is appreciated.
- While the therapy dog has been screened by a veterinarian before beginning work in my practice, and will get routine evaluation and screening, animals can carry disease. Because your contact with the dog is minimal, the risk is very small. The therapy dog is up to date on all vaccinations and will remain so.
- There is the risk of allergic reaction to the dog hair/dander.
- Becoming aggressive (hitting, kicking, bites, pulls, pinches, etc.) toward the therapy dog will be considered grounds for termination of therapy.
- It is important for the therapy dog to always be treated gently.
- If you have allergies to dogs, this therapy practice may not be a good fit for you as my therapy dog is an integral part of my practice and will be present in the office daily. If you suffer from allergies it is your responsibility to inform me if you are having issues so that we can minimize those issues.
- If you have a fear of dogs, please inform me ahead of time so that we can determine if this practice will be a good fit and how to minimize any fear reactions upon meeting the therapy dog.
- If I determine that the therapy dog is tired and/or appears to not be up to engaging in the session, then I will allow them to not participate in session. Care for my dog’s well-being is important and her limits and preferences will be respected.
- It is understood that the therapy dog will determine their level of interaction with others on any given day. The therapy dog will never be forced to interact if they demonstrate resistance, just as I will not force you to interact with them if you have no interest or demonstrate resistance.
- You have the right to decline to interact with my therapy dog and they will be confined to their kennel for the session. It is your responsibility to let me know if you do not want to interact with the therapy dog in any given session.
- If you have a service dog or emotional support dog that you wish to bring with you to session, we will need to discuss this ahead of time so that we can determine the best way to introduce our animals and minimize any possible disruptions to the therapy session.