Therapy & Assistance Dogs

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Therapy dogs, assistance dogs, what’s the difference?

Therapy dogs are dogs that are trained to have interactions with vulnerable populations with the goal of providing beneficial therapeutic outcomes to those individuals that they engage with. Most commonly they visit places including hospitals, aged care facilities and schools. Through interactions with dogs, many find it beneficial to their health and well-being. Professionals such as teachers, social workers, psychologists, counsellors, youth workers and other allied health professionals, find the introduction of a trained, sociable dog beneficial to the people they support. We run personalised training options for training your dog to be a therapy dog and can also help you better understand the field of therapy dogs.

Assistance dogs are not therapy dogs. Assistance dogs live and work alongside one person to provide assistance to them with the aim of ameliorating symptoms of disability and improving functioning. Most commonly we see guide dogs for the blind, assistance dogs for mobility, or hearing dogs, out in the community. Another growing area is that of psychiatric assistance dogs. MindDog Australia are a leading organisation supporting owners in having their dogs accredited as psychiatric assistance dogs. We are an accredited trainer and Public Access Test assessor for mindDog. If you’d like more information about the field of psychiatric assistance dogs or have considered whether your dog might fit the role for you and your needs, please get in touch and we can help you through the process.