What is a Therapy Dog?
A Therapy Dog is typically placed in a multi-person setting, such as a school, hospital or therapy setting. A Therapy Dog offers companionship and emotional therapy for people living with long term conditions.
The dog will require a primary handler, who the dog lives with. The dog will spend time at the facility during the day, offering therapy and companionship.
Who can Apply for a Therapy Dog?
A healthcare professional working with assistive therapies or organisations wishing to include animal-assisted therapies into their programs.
Any child or adult living with a condition or disability that has been assessed by Guide Dogs WA as benefiting from a therapy dog and who can:
- Provide a safe and loving home.
- Demonstrate ability to care for a Therapy Dog physically, emotionally and financially.
To find out more about how Therapy Dog could help you or your organisation, please email us.
Therapy Dog Access Rights
A Therapy Dog does not have public access rights.
To register your interest in receiving a therapy dog, please email in the first instance.
All dogs will have a two-week trial period with their prospective family to ensure the correct match has been made. If the placement is successful, the dog will remain with the family. If the placement is unsuccessful, the dog will be considered for a different applicant.
Trained by Guide Dogs WA, Therapy Dog Bazza takes part in therapy sessions, aimed at children with a range of disabilities, including:
- Global development disability.
- Sensory impairment.
- Physical disability.
An Occupational Therapist will work with the family to identify specific goals and milestones for a child. A therapy session is designed to deliver those specific developmental goals and activities, through interaction with Bazza, as reward or incentive.
Tasks might include:
- Physical tasks, such as turning the pages of a book or walking side-by-side with the dog.
- Social skills development including eye contact, turn-taking, listening or waiting.
- Pretend play – engaging the dog in play with a ball or role-playing.
To learn more, or access Dog Assisted Therapy, please visit VisAbility’s Dog Assisted Therapy (opens in a new window)