Human-animal interventions

Assessment of Therapy Animals: Using a Goodness-of-Fit Conceptualization

Posted by on Apr 19, 2020

Determining if an animal is suitable for therapy work is an important consideration. Different roles for animals require different personalities and skills. It is also important to ensure that the animals are not stressed and actually enjoy their work, not merely tolerate it. This article discusses a goodness-of-fit conceptualization drawn from child development research as it is applied in finding roles that are compatible with animals’ personalities, interests, abilities, and motivations. The model used in the certification program of the International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ is outlined.

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“Therapy Dogs for Sale” — Can Therapy Dogs Be Purchased?

Posted by on Feb 20, 2020

As the popularity of Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) increases, so, too, do the promotions for “therapy dogs” who can be purchased as puppies, adopted from rescues, and acquired from special therapy dog training programs. While it is entirely possible to obtain a very nice therapy dog from these sources, there are some red flags that this trend puts forward as well. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware. This brief article is designed to highlight some of the potential pitfalls of approaching such ads for therapy dogs without exercising some caution and knowledge.

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Consent and Willingness of Animals to Engage with Us

Posted by on Feb 1, 2020

Whether we simply want to enjoy our companion animals within the best possible relationship or involve our animals in our work, it is important to their welfare that they have a voice and choice in any interactions. There are some rather simple ways to check with them to learn their preferences.

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The Animal’s Point of View in Animal Assisted Interventions

Posted by on Jan 22, 2020

Media stories on Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) seem to be everywhere. They extol the virtues of adding animals to many different types of work, and they highlight the benefits to humans across the lifespan from the presence of animals. Rarely are benefits to the animals mentioned, perhaps because we fail to think about this facet of AAI. Here we discuss how to build awareness of animals’ points of view and the benefits to everyone of doing so.

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