www.labradordog.sk    Last update:   10.07.2024      
slovak english 

Canis = dog (latin)

Canistherapy = experts define as supportive therapy by a dog, therapy with the help of a dog’s presence or therapy using the love of a dog. Any positive effect of a dog on man can be considered canistherapy. The name canistherapy is now given to any positive effect on human’s health as a result of involvement with a dog. The definition of health used is that of the World Health Organization : the condition of psychical, physical and social wellbeing. It is beyond doubt that canistherapy is becoming more important among methods of psychotherapy and sociotherapy. It is also becoming evident that dogs can be a means of prevention of social problems. Suitable leisure time programs, based on work with dogs or on activities of two partners - human and dog - can become for children an alternative to such displays of social nonconformity as school absenteeism, drug abuse or juvenile delinquency.

Canistherapy can be used in the cure or mitigation of psychological disorders in children and adults in a similar way to sport, music therapy or art therapy. Autistic, uncommunicative or negative children can establish contact with the world and become active. Hyperactive children are calmed by the dog’s action. Dogs positively affect human health on the mental, physical and social part. The therapy is suitable as an additional psychotherapeutic method for the work with patients who have communication problems, it supports the abilities for feeling, thinking and moving.

Participants in the canistherapeutic process

The participants in canistherapy are the dog owner, the breeder, handler, client, the client’s family, the interdisciplinary team (specialist physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, special educators and social workers), the institution in which canistherapy is implemented and the dog-therapist. The dog and the dog handler constitute the canistherapeutic team together.

Client-dog relation

Mutual understanding is important for the relation between human (client) and animal (dog). This understanding is not naturally simple. Human and dog understand each other by feeling, without the need of words. The quality of this understanding depends on how far and how deeply we are able to perceive the body language of dogs. Contact with the dog contributes to the client’s welfare from a number of perspectives:

      1. the psychological aspect - the client gets a friend who does not perceive his handicap (in the case of handicapped clients), shows limitless love and devotion, reduces or even eliminates the feeling of loneliness, and provides some physical stimulation by caressing etc.;

      2. the social aspect - the client accompanied by a dog arouses sympathy, he establishes contacts with people more easily, the dog as a protector increases the client’s feeling of safety

      3. the technical aspect - the dog can help the client (e.g. a wheelchair person) to independence, it can allow him longer walks, it can pull the wheelchair with the help of a special harness and can carry articles in bags on its back etc.

Zootherapy can be also defined as Animal Assisted Activities or Animal Assisted Therapy carried out with a specific animal species.

            Animal assisted activities (AAA) - offer opportunities for motivational, educational, recreational or herapeutic contributions to the enhancement of the quality of life. AAA are carried out in different environments by trained professionals or volunteers with animals complying with special demands. AAA are informal encounters of clients with animals in the presence of the animal owner and staff. The aim is to give pleasure to the clients, to offer them a new experience.

            Animal assisted therapy (AAT) - is purposeful intervention in which the animal is an integral part of the therapeutic process. AAT is offered and lead by a health care professional having specific professional knowledge. AAT is carried out in order to stimulate improvement in the physical, social, emotional or cognitive functions. AAT can be carried out on a group or individual basis. The process is documented and evaluated. Objectives for each patient or client are established separately within AAT. Progress is carefully recorded and measured.

Resource: http://www.healthministry.ge/