Canistherapy is a method of medical and social rehabilitation using specially selected and trained dogs.
History of Dog Therapy
The first massive use of Canis therapy occurred in 1792 in a mental hospital in the English city of York. Doctors described that the condition of patients improved significantly if dogs were next to them. Over time, this phenomenon was observed by Red Cross doctors in hospitals for the wounded during the Second World War.
In 1960, child psychiatrist B. Levinson noticed that children are much easier to make contact if they let their own dog in. Thanks to this interesting observation, dog therapy has received great recognition all over the world and has begun to develop quite actively.
Support or Therapy Dogs: Training
When selecting a “therapist”, specialists first of all pay attention to the following qualities of a dog: learning ability, friendliness, calm temperament, lack of aggression, fearfulness from sharp sounds, sudden movements. Then they check if the dog allows you to touch it, stroke it, how well it learns. If the pet passes this test, it is taught basic commands, taught to walk on a leash, stroking itself to strangers, and taught not to be afraid of crowds.
At the end of the course, the dog passes an exam, it is entered into a single register, a certificate is issued in the form of a plastic card with a personal number, and the status “dog is a means of rehabilitation” is assigned. In addition, she must have an implanted microchip identifier, must undergo deworming and vaccination on time.
Good Friend and “Doctor”
The main goal of dog therapy is to develop positive emotions and mental abilities. It is about developing skills like communication, charm, and friendliness. Four-legged friends also contribute to the improvement of motor functions, motor skills, and the physical condition of their owners.
Canistherapy treatment is indicated for emotional illnesses: depression, stress, insomnia, apathy.
These wonderful animals help both the elderly and children. At the same time, they become not only a “doctor” for them but also a faithful, kind, sincerely loving friend, ready to help at any moment.