Latest Posts and News
Control, Compassion, and Choices Part 2
Control, Compassion, and Choices Part I
A Psychologist’s View of Crossover Training: Personal & Professional Reflections
What would possess a reasonably intelligent pet owner who loved her dogs and who had a strong background in behaviorism to apply choke-and drag methods for training her canine companions? This is a question I have asked myself – about myself – many times. Beyond my background in psychology (including classes on animal behavior and motivation!), I held what I thought were relatively humane values, instilled throughout my formative years by my parents’ demonstrations of kind treatment of our family dogs and cats.
Finding the Right Dog Trainer
Whether you plan to involve your dog in therapy work or not, you care about your companion canine. You want your dog to be happy and healthy and to enjoy being with you as much as you enjoy being with him or her. There are many myths and controversies swirling around the subject of dog training these days, and it can be confusing.
Help for Fearful Dogs
If your dog is fearful, anxious, or has fear-based aggressive behaviors, there is hope and help! Risë's article below entitled Zoom-Zoom-Zoom: Lessons Learned from a Semi-Feral Dog highlights the journey of a terrified dog and the approach used to help her gradually...
Kirrie’s Doggie Dictionary
One of the challenges of play therapy work with canines is to ensure that children use the cues, both verbal and nonverbal, with which the dog has been trained. Kathy Sdao, an associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (and wonderful speaker and trainer on dog...
Professional Decision Making in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™: How the Goodness-of-Fit Model Impacts Practice
Decision-making in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ and Animal Assisted Therapy practice is a complex process. Not only must practitioners know how to intervene to meet client goals, they must consider and advocate for the needs of the animals. Other factors play a role in determining what an actual intervention, lesson, or session might look like, also. This blogpost considers four aspects that are forefront in the minds of professionals using AAPT in their work.
Adapting to Adoption: Appreciating What Our Dogs Must Learn
When dogs are adopted from a shelter, rescue, or other caretaking situation, they have an enormous amount to learn as they adapt to their new environment. We sometimes take that for granted and develop unrealistic expectations of them as a result. As we give them space and time to adjust, we can observe the situation from their viewpoint and alter our own expectations and actions to better help them feel comfortable in their new homes.
Including Animals in Play Therapy — Not Just for Kids!
Quite often when people hear "play therapy" they think of children. Play therapy uses the therapeutic powers of play (based on the seminal work of Dr. Charles Schaefer) and the natural features of childhood to provide a developmentally-attuned set of interventions and...
When We Adopt a Dog: The Early Days
Adding a new dog to the family requires considerable thought and planning. It’s a big decision requiring a lifelong commitment. When the dog arrives, the first steps including helping the new family member feel comfortable in the environment, assisting other animals in the family to adjust, and getting to know the new dog as well as possible. This process must precede decisions about any work in which the dog might become involved. This brief article highlights the early process to navigate the early days and weeks.
Why Competencies for Professionals in Animal Assisted Interventions?
As Animal Assisted Interventions become more prevalent among professionals, the topic of competencies gains importance. Competences should be viewed as a roadmap to developing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to involve animals effectively and ethically in mental health, allied health, and educational work.
Exit Routes to Avoid Crowding Animals Involved in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™
Animals need more space than we sometimes realize. They sometimes might wish to leave sessions, too. Providing an “exit route” at all times can allow for animal choices, greater safety, and demonstrate respect for the animals’ needs. This can be helpful to animals as well as clients.