Roles of dogs in Society: Assistance dogs, service dogs, emotional support dogs, therapy dogs, and companion dogs
Dogs’ roles in society are expanding, whether as companions or assuming special roles for assistance or therapy by volunteers or human health professionals. Many changes are appearing in new research findings and evolving regulatory and legislative updates around the roles of dogs in society. Animals’ psychosocial effects for people rest on theoretical perspectives with associated physiological and psychosocial processes. And, practical applications of human-animal interactions for therapy or enhanced quality of life continue to increase. One complication is the inconsistent vocabulary used for assistance, service and therapy dogs’ roles for vulnerable people. Whatever their specific roles, animals can offer psychosocial benefits: normalize and enhance quality of life by alleviating loneliness or depression for those with mental illness or disabilities, increase social interactions, motivate people, and improve physiological health with calming effects. Animals increasingly in the U.S. offer personalized assistance or emotional support, especially dogs; various species can provide a nexus with the person’s needs, with access permitted in housing and transport. Recent robots imitate the actions of assistance dogs or emotionally-supporting animals. One next step is for health professionals to deliver personally targeted and tailored treatments.
Speaker: Lynette A. Hart, Ph.D.
- Legislative and regulatory provisions in the U.S. regarding “service dogs” (the inclusive term)
- The importance of the service dog to the person, and factors affecting the relationship
- Specified criteria for training and placement to gain accreditation from Assistance Dogs International (ADI)
- Requirements of some federal agencies and some facilities, e.g., the U.S. Army, the U.S. Veterans Administration, for allowing and supporting service dogs
- California’s approach to service animal registration
- Uses of canine companionship in legal settings
- Differences between ADI-trained “facility dogs” of working professionals, and “therapy dogs”
Available now as a recording.
(Recorded Live May, 2015)
2 IAABC CEU’s
2 CCPDT CEU’s
2 ABCDT-L2 CEU’s
2 NADOI CEU’s
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