What is a Therapy Companion?
A Therapy Dog sometimes called “Comfort dogs’ ‘ supports people by providing attention and comfort. Their sweet demeanors and unconditional love may have a therapeutic benefit to those who face difficult health challenges. Unlike service dogs, anyone can enjoy a therapy dog. They are working dogs that partner with their owner to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with learning difficulties.
Therapy Dog Training
We evaluate each litter to determine which puppies have the best temperament to be trained as a therapy dog. We recommend the 16 week Doodle Prep School program for all of our Smeraglia Therapy candidates.
Therapy Dogs are dogs who go with their owners that volunteer. From working with a child who is learning to read to visiting a senior in assisted living, Therapy Dogs and their owners work together as a team to improve the lives of other people.
Therapy Dogs are different from Service Dogs. Service Dogs are dogs who are specially trained to perform specific tasks to help a person who has a disability. An example of a Service Dog is a dog who guides an owner who is blind or a dog who assists someone who has a physical disability. Service Dogs stay with their person and have special access privileges in public places such as businesses and restaurants. In most cases, Therapy Dogs do not have the same special access as Service Dogs.
Our Therapy Dog Program is perfect for the person that wants a trained Therapy Pet Partner!
The first and most common are Therapeutic Visitation Dogs. These dogs are household pets whose owners take time to visit hospitals, nursing homes, detention and rehabilitation facilities. Visitation dogs help people who have to be away from home due to mental or physical illness, or court order. These people may miss their own pets. A visit from a Visitation Dog can brighten their day, lift their spirits, and help motivate them in their therapy or treatment.
The second type of Therapy Dog is an Animal Assisted Therapy Dog. These dogs assist physical and occupational therapists in meeting goals important to a person's recovery. Tasks that a dog can help achieve include gaining motion in limbs, fine motor control, or regaining pet care skills for caring for pets at home. Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs usually work in rehabilitation facilities.
The last type of Therapy Dog is a Facility Therapy Dog. These dogs primarily work in nursing homes and are often trained to help keep patients with Alzheimer's disease or other mental illness from getting into troubling situations. They are handled by a trained member of the staff and live at the facility.