The Dog Therapist is a dog that is trained to provide assistance to people with some sort of disability in everyday activities, both inside and outside the home. This dog is trained to assist the user, based on their special specific needs. It takes part in family routines, so the entire family benefits, improving the family dynamic.
Dog therapists available
A dog therapist is a dog that acts both as a therapy and as an assistance dog. There are many families who have a member with special needs, which may be physical, psycho-social, cognitive and/or sensory, which greatly condition their everyday life. It has been proven that dogs can be a huge help. This is why we have dog-assisted therapy, where a technician in animal-assisted interventions conducts sessions with their dog to work on certain skills for the person (cognitive or physical exercises). On the other hand, there are assistance dogs that live with the individual and help them to carry out certain day-to-day tasks. Our dogs combine the traits of both therapy and assistance dogs. These are dogs that live with the families to make their daily tasks easier. They can accompany the individual with special needs wherever they may go, to keep them safe and improve their social relationships. Moreover, the dog trainer and ethologist can attend sessions with the professionals treating the individual (physiotherapists, psychologists, pedagogues, etc.) to give them key tips on how to add the dog to their therapies, like with a therapy dog. This way, the user can benefit from the advantages of having a dog in their therapy sessions, and also enjoy the assistance and emotional support provided by an assistance dog.
Dog therapist training aims to help resolve difficulties caused by the user's pathology in the home. This means that, within the home, the dog has been trained to help improve family routines and dynamics that are conditioned by the user's pathology. This way, not only the user's needs, but the entire family is taken into consideration. The new routines seek to benefit the entire family unit.
Beyond the home, the dog is ready to help the user with the other environments they move in. In this way, the dog's job is to help the user both with their daily tasks at the home, and in public settings where they may need support. Depending on the student's needs and when deemed suitable to do so, the dog can help them at school or at work, with occupational or extracurricular activities, with therapies the user participates in, or in their daily routines.
Our training programme for animal-assisted intervention technicians is a comprehensive project that includes theoretical training, selecting and training a therapy dog for the student, and real practical learning in animal-assisted interventions. The student will acquire the theoretical knowledge, and then begin practical training with an Australian Cobberdog, selected and trained specifically for him or her. This way, the student can conduct animal-assisted interventions with an Australian Cobberdog therapy dog that is completely trained, beginning on the very first day.Student access REGISTER
Through our online training platform, the student will acquire all the knowledge on animal-assisted interventions with interactive content, tutorial videos, debates with the teacher, personalised tutorials and periodical exams. This way, the student will learn the difference between different kinds of social aid dogs, the origins of dog-assisted interventions, what kind of animal interventions they can conduct, the different users they can work with, the needs of a therapy dog during during dog-assisted interventions, etc., etc...
While the student acquires theoretical knowledge, our animal-assisted intervention technicians take care of selecting and training an Australian Cobberdog to be their future therapy dog. This dog will have learned all the skills the student needs to carry out their intervention work. Once the student has learned the theory, practical learning begins with the therapy dog learning how to position it, for it to follow commands, to understand what the dog needs, and everything necessary to have a good working relationship between the technician + therapy dog team.
Once the therapy dog and the technician have a good connection, they begin working, along with the teacher, on practical learning with real animal-assisted interventions with people with special needs. Once the student has learned the dynamic of the interventions and has mastered them, they pass the course, and can conduct their own interventions with their Australian Cobberdog therapy dog. At this point, the teacher can monitor the student's interventions to answer questions that may arise, and give advice when working during sessions.
The student receives access to the dog-assisted intervention technical course's theoretical material. There are weekly video call tutorials, with ongoing evaluation and a final theoretical exam.
Depending on the characteristics of the users the future therapy technician is going to work with, we select one of our Australian Cobberdogs with the size, colour and optimum aptitudes for the student.
The Australian Cobberdog selected is trained in obedience and the skills it will need during interventions with its future technician.
When the student has completed theoretical training, they meet their therapy dog and the technician is taught to learn how to work with their dog and understand its needs as a therapy dog.
The student and their therapy dog start getting familiar with dog-assisted interventions, participating in our sessions in a real-life way, tutored by their teacher.
The dog-assisted intervention technician is now authorised to work as such. The teacher will monitor their interventions to answer any questions that may arise with their specific users.
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