Canis Therapy

How Do Assistance Dogs Treat for People?

Canis therapy (canis – dog + therapy – treatment) is very popular and promising therapeutic movement in zoo medicine, where patients are treated with the help of dogs. Canis therapy is a kind of animal therapy. It's used in medical and social rehabilitation. Specially trained therapeutic dogs relieve patients' condition with neurological or psychological disturbances or deviations.

Animal Therapy

Canis Therapy Is Very Effective Method of Cure and Rehabilitation

Why are the dogs used in canis therapy? Dogs have similar to humans qualities, such as sensibility, the ability of feeling, expressing through actions, sounds, mimics, response to the person's communication. Moreover, dogs are easily trained to run verbal commands and are willingly obeyed them.

Canis Therapy: the Content and the Good of Communication with Dogs

Canis therapy is the alternative psychotherapeutic method of treatment and rehabilitation. Specially selected dogs take part in canis therapy. Doctrine about therapeutic dogs appeared in time of Hippocrates. Works of art, archeological digs and other documents of those times give evidence of treatment with dogs since then.

Canis therapy is oriented to reach the next goals:

  • Positive emotions and mental abilities development.
  • Motor skills and disordered locomotor functions improvement.
  • Abolition of fear, anxiety, aggression, stress, mistrust and absent mindedness.
  • Friendliness and communication development.
  • Significant improvement of patient's physical well-being.

Labrador Therapy Dog

Labrador Is Widely Used As Guide and Assistance Dog

Dog therapy is watching the animal, close contact with it through communication, feeding, games and care.

Therapeutic dogs should have such qualities as:

  • Aggression absence.
  • Developed sociability, friendling.
  • Negative response to loud noises, sudden and quick movements absence.
  • Well-balanced temper.

Dog therapy is acceptable not only for patients with neurological, psychological and emotional disorders, but also for elder people and physically impaired people (blindness, diseases of the musculoskeletal system).

Dogs cure people due to their devotion, friendliness, movements, touches, color of coat, breath. Dogs make patients' physical and emotional state better, rise them from the depression and apathy, distract their mind from grey thoughts and loneliness.

What Diseases Do Dogs Treat: Indications and Contra-Indications to Canis Therapy.

Canis therapy is used in such cases:

  • Severe emotional disorders (depression, insomnia, apathy).
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Autism, Alzheimer disease, ICP.
  • Neuroses.
  • Physical and mental retardation.
  • Memory, attention, behavior disorders.
  • Brain and spinal cord diseases.
  • Disturbances of speech and hearing.
  • Muscular dystrophy.

Husky Is Suitable for Therapy Work

Husky and Similar Breeds Are Good for Psycholigial Deviations Cure

However, canis therapy is forbidden if the patient is allergic to the dog's hair, has open wounds, skin, infective or respiratory diseases.

Canis therapy consists of the next treatment ways:

1. Therapeutic contact (warming dog) or canis therapy on chronic pain. The main point of this treatment way is that the dog lays on a sore area and warms it, pain calms down after that.

2. Diagnostic canis therapy, when the dog-informer can foresee asthmatic attack, epileptic seizure, critical hypoglycemia (diabetic patients) and other dangerous manifestations of diseases.

3. Service canis therapy, when assistance dogs help physical challenged people (guide dogs etc.).

4. Rehabilitative canis therapy, when the dog speeds up by far the patient's recovery by means of watching, communication, walking and games with the pet.

German Shepherd Therapeutic Dog

German Shepherds and Alike Breeds Have Altruistic Character

Therapeutic dogs help to treat neuroses (depressive syndrome, insomnia, apathy, nervous breakdown) the next way:

  • Calm down the patient.
  • Lower aggression, relieve nervousness and emotional stress.
  • Recover peace of mind.

There are a lot of facts, which highlight the effectiveness of canis therapy. Canis therapy gained especially widespread use for children with Autism (Early Infantile Autism). Assistance dogs influence successfully over psychoemotional state of these little patients. Dogs startle children of their inner closed space, develop their speech, help to be more communicative, emotional and to feel about the environment positively.

Canis therapy for children with ICP is one of recommended methods, where the dog is the main motivator in memory, attention, movements development and muscle tonus improvement of the child.

Canis therapy for rehabilitation, correction, adaptation of children with mental development disorders helps to relieve self-righteous feeling of inferiority, to normalize emotional state, to teach to take interest and activity, to develop attention, memory and speech.

Sheltie Is Perfect for Children

Sheltie Is One of the Best Therapeutists for Children

Numerous positive feedbacks about the treatment with the help of canis therapy confirm the fact that dogs can make the statement of patients really better. Children engage with dogs very quickly starting to take interest and care of them. Moreover, many specialists mark the fact that dogs incite confining children and children with physical defections to activity and movements that helps in fine motor skills development and muscular dystrophy lowering.

How Do Canis Therapy Influence the Dog?

Dogs support people by all means showing their life and devotion. However, what methods, which influence positively over people, can influence the dogs? Unfortunately, dogs can't tell about their feelings, that's why there exist certain principles, based on abidance by comfortable conditions for animals during their work. Here the conditions of both, patient's and dog's comfort should be observed. The patient and the dog should get equal pleasure of being together. Those moments, when one solves problems and recovers his (her) health and the other one should comply with the orders, suffer and even feel pain sometimes, aren't acceptable by no means. Dogs are exposed to stresses during their work. That’s why specialists use not one dog in the course of therapy for one patient. 4 hours of work are optimal for one dog. Then the dog needs to have rest for 2-3 days.

Belgian Malinois Is a Good Friend

Malinois Shepherd Is a Devoted Friend and Assistant

Labradors, Retrievers, Gun dogs, German Shepherds, Shelties and other dogs with positive qualities are used to cure patients with Autism, Alzheimer disease, ICP. It doesn't matter, whether the dog is purebred or not, this dog takes part in patients' treatment, which has natural relation to humans, positive qualities and satisfies all necessary requirements. Therapy dog is not a breed, it's a training standard.

Small dogs are successfully used for adult, elder, hospice and bed patients.

Medium and large dogs work with children and teeners. The size and the breed of assistance dog is chosen according to the strategy of treatment.

Sled dogs – Husky, Malamute, Samoyed, Laika – are often used for children with deviant behavior, psychological deviations or disabilities. These dog breeds are very friendly towards people, especially to children.

Shepherds (breed group) are altruistic dogs, that's why they are easily adapted and are quickly swung into the action.

Shelties cause even children with phobias to feel positive emotions.

Poodles and Toy Terriers aren't very suitable for animal therapy. They quickly got tired and need much time to rehabilitation because of their weak psychics.

Useful equipment for therapy dogs, click on the pictures!

Guide Dog Harness Therapy Dog Harness Dog Collar with Patches

Read also about the smartest dog breeds.


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