The Good Dog Foundation, based in Brooklyn NY. Rachel McPherson, Founder and President for 25 years, is our guest and shares the attributes of a therapy dog. Rachel helped change regulations that now permits therapy dogs into health facilities where their presence is so needed and appreciated. The benefits and rewards of talking with their dog, their friend and certified companion helps gives purpose to their owners every day.
Therapy dogs are trained animals that provide comfort, companionship, and emotional support to people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, retirement homes, and disaster areas. They are trained to be calm, gentle, and friendly, and are often used in therapeutic settings to help people cope with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues.
Therapy dogs come in many different breeds, sizes, and temperaments, but they all have certain qualities that make them well-suited for this type of work. They are typically trained to be obedient, patient, and responsive to their handlers, and they are socialized to be comfortable around people of all ages and backgrounds.
Some of the benefits of therapy dogs include reduced stress and anxiety, increased feelings of happiness and well-being, improved socialization and communication skills, and a greater sense of connection and companionship. They can also provide a welcome distraction from pain, boredom, or other negative emotions, and can help promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
Therapy dogs are different from service dogs and emotional support animals. Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities, such as guiding the blind or alerting their owners to a medical emergency. Emotional support animals provide comfort and support to their owners, but they are not trained to perform specific tasks and do not have the same legal protections as service animals.
Therapy dogs, on the other hand, are trained to provide emotional support and comfort to people in a variety of settings. They are often used in hospitals and nursing homes to help patients feel more relaxed and happy, and they can also be used in schools and universities to help students who are feeling stressed or anxious.
Therapy dogs are typically selected for their temperament and social skills. They must be friendly, gentle, and calm, and they must be comfortable around people of all ages and backgrounds. They are often trained to perform a variety of tasks, such as sitting quietly with a patient, playing with a child, or providing comfort to someone who is grieving.
Research has shown that therapy dogs can have a positive impact on people’s mental and emotional health. They can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and they can also improve socialization and communication skills.
Overall, therapy dogs are a valuable resource for people who are in need of emotional support and companionship.
The Good Dog Foundation PO Box 346 Hudson, NY 12534 www.thegooddogfoundation.org