What is a Therapy dog?
There is a lot of information floating around the web mistaking Therapy dogs for Service dogs or other types of assistance dogs. A Therapy dog is a dog that is trained to provide affection, comfort and support to people, often in settings such as hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools/colleges, libraries, airports, a place of work or disaster areas.
Therapy dog’s help provide a sense of comfort, companionship and can reduce feelings of anxiety and/or depression to name a few benefits. Their roles vary from actively participating in physical therapy to giving children with learning disabilities or anxiety, the confidence to read aloud and improve reading skills. Moreover, they also can play a key role in recovery and stress because of their non-judgmental natures and willingness to interact with anybody no matter their physical or emotional state.
Their responsibilities are to provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals whether they are a 1:1 Therapy dog or a community therapy dog. dogs have good temperaments and friendly, easy-going personalities. Our 1:1 Family Therapy dogs provide Therapeutic activities to their key person, whereas School or community therapy dogs, are encouraged to interact with a variety of people so it’s a must, that they need to be able to enjoy human contact as they will be petted, cuddled and handled by a variety of unfamiliar people, sometimes in ways they may not be used to.
Can all breeds become a therapy dog?
Short answer: Yes!
Therapy dogs can come in all breeds, shapes, and sizes, but they all share a common purpose in which is to provide people with comfort and companionship. What is important is whether they are suitable for specific tasks in terms of age, temperament, health, and training. A certified therapy dog must be friendly, patient, confident, gentle, and at ease in all situations. If you already own a dog and are wanting to explore and find out whether your dog will be suited for a therapy dog, please contact us.
What are some benefits Therapy dogs can provide?
The Benefits of Therapy Dogs are endless. Many studies have shown that having a Therapy dog present can help reduce depression, anxiety and decrease blood pressure. It’s well-known (and scientifically proven) that interaction with a gentle, friendly pet has significant benefits. Here are some of the more common benefits Therapy dogs provide:
Lowering stress levels and blood pressure
Taking a person’s mind off of personal problems, pains, worry or anxiety.
Provides comfort, calming and motivation during stressful situations and meltdowns.
Helping with communication from the comfort of the dog
Can provide Deep pressure Therapy
Decreases feelings of isolation and loneliness
Helps maintain a better sleep pattern
Improved social skills
Help promote positive changes in the child’s behaviour
Do you train other animals besides Dogs?
We do not train other animals/pets however when we hold our Animal assisted therapy sessions at Bale's Buddies HQ, we are able to incorporate Bale's Farm Animals into the visit as well if requested.
I’m interested in an Autism Therapy Dog – what can I do now?
You may wish to apply for our Family therapy dog programme. The positive impact of having a Therapy dog isn't just focused on one person. In fact, majority of our clients say the introduction of a Therapy dog to their family has made a positive impact on their whole family, meaning many active, happy days together!
Read one of our recent Blog posts about How a Therapy dog can help a child with autism.
What types of tasks can Therapy dogs do that you help with in training?
We have an in-depth experience training our Therapy dog’s to perform specific tasks for their owner/ young person, with some including:
Deep pressure therapy
Alert, interrupt, or respond to anxiety attacks or other symptoms
Get others attention to help the person in distress
Retrieve — retrieving dropped items, or bringing specific named items (slippers, phone,
Provide companionship to those alone in situation
Can I get a BB Therapy dog jacket for my pet dog?
No. We only give our Therapy dog jackets to dogs provided and/or trained by us.
How can I apply for a Therapy dog for my family or school with Bale’s Buddies?
Please contact us via phone, email or via our Facebook page to discuss how Bale's Buddies Therapy Dogs can look to help you. Alternatively, go to the desired page on which Therapy dog programme you wish to apply for and fill in the form at the bottom of the page.