Therapy Dog Training
Does your dog love everyone? Does everyone love your dog? And are you interested in sharing all that love with the community? If you answered yes to these questions, you’ll be happy to know that Rock Hill dog trainerMariah Hinds offers group classes for Therapy Dog Training.
Therapy dogs are used to provide comfort in a variety of settings, ranging from nursing homes and memory care facilities to libraries and schools. Mariah’s group dog training for therapy dogs will introduce you and your dog to the many rewarding volunteer opportunities available and teach you the skills that will allow you to share the love!
First, it’s important to understand the role that therapy dogs play. As the American Psychiatric Association explains, “Therapy dogs are the personal pets of individuals who have been certified or registered to provide visitations to people in need. Therapy dogs (or other animals) are not the same as service animals. Service animals live with their owners who have physical or emotional disabilities and assist them with daily living.”
According to the American Psychiatric Association, therapy dogs can help people who struggle with mental illnesses. “For example,” they say, “therapy dogs assist people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and children with autism.”
Trained and certified therapy dogs can play an important role in the mental health treatment process. “Dog therapy, or more broadly, animal-assisted therapy (AAT), is directed by a health professional and is designed to help people improve their physical, social, emotional, or cognitive function,” the APA says. “Therapy dogs work with professionals and their clients, often within a traditional therapy setting, providing comfort, support and helping engage people. A therapy dog helping to encourage and facilitate social interaction for a child with autism is one example.”
Mental health is just one of many settings in which therapy dogs are used. As the Dog Alliance says, “Studies show that physical contact with a pet lowers blood pressure, improves survival rates for heart-attack victims and releases endorphins, chemicals in the body that suppress pain. This makes therapy dogs ideal for use in patient settings.”
If you and your dog complete the therapy group dog training with Mariah Hinds and earn your certification, you could find yourselves offering encouragement to patients who are going through rehabilitation following an injury or accident. Imagine seeing your dog helping someone regain the ability to walk or run. And imagine the fun your dog would have chasing after a ball that a rehabilitation patient is practicing throwing! “Fine motor skills are developed by petting, grooming, or feeding the animal, and patients are more likely to interact whether giving the animal verbal and physical commands or talking about past pets,” the Dog Alliance adds. “All of these activities can help develop cognitive skills and communication and make a major difference in the patient’s comfort, progress and recovery.”
In fact, dog therapy, which relies not only on trained animals but also on trained handlers like you, can assist patients and students achieve a broad range of physical, social, cognitive and emotional goals.
Do you enjoy working with children? Therapy dogs have proven to be extremely effective in helping at-risk students with their reading skills. The dogs provide a wonderful, non-judgmental audience for the kids to read to.
You can learn more about the opportunities in our community where therapy dogs are needed when you take the therapy group dog training with Fort Mill dog trainer Mariah Hinds. You can also call for a free phone consultation, to determine if the training is right for your dog.