What is Dogs-As-Therapy?
Club members make regular social visits to residential aged care facilities across the ACT.
Different teams of handlers and dogs visit different facilities as a group to enable relationships to develop between members and residents alike. Specially-credentialled members visit hospitals as well.
The Club’s program has been running for more than thirty years. You can read more about it in this article from The Good Companion.
Am I eligible to participate?
To be considered for the Dogs-As-Therapy program you and your dog must satisfactorily complete Level 3 (Graduation) in the Club’s Behaviour Training program and your dog must be at least 18 months old.
Your dog must enjoy calmly meeting people, being handled all over by strangers and be relaxed and comfortable in the company of other dogs. It must also be able to cope with novel sounds and smells; people who may move in unpredictable ways; and mobility aids such as walkers, motorised scooters and wheelchairs. All dogs are assessed for their suitability before being accepted into the program.
When are visits held?
Team members visit residential aged care homes on various weekday mornings once a month, depending on each facility’s programs.
Some members also participate in school visits and community events in response to ad hoc requests received by the Club.