What Is A Therapy Dog?

What is a therapy dog

therapy dog is trained to provide affection, comfort, support and love for children and adults with a physical or emotional disability.

Our puppies are trained from 8 weeks to 6 months of age, then placed with the client or family and given support to continue their journey towards becoming an accredited therapy dog at 12-15 months of age.

For those who don’t need the task-specific expertise of an assistance dog, a therapy dog may be a more suitable option for some people or families.

Every Person With A Disability Deserves Support.

Our therapy natured puppies are most suited to support people with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Global developmental delay, Down syndrome, Cerebral palsy, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Anxiety disorders, Confidence issues, Depression, Chronic illness, Loneliness, Isolation and more.

Types Of Therapy Dogs

Disability Support Therapy Dogs

Our disability support therapy dogs can offer friendship, comfort, and companionship to those living with a disability. We provide disability therapy dogs for both children and adults.

Disability Therapy Dog with two children

Reading Support

Therapy Dogs

Reading can be a difficult skill to develop for many adults and children as emotions such as apprehension, stress, and anxiety can be an obstacle. Our reading therapy dogs provide support by helping the reader feel less nervous and self-conscious as they are reading to a furry friend.

Reading Support Dog Square

Emotional Support

Therapy Dogs

Emotional support therapy dogs can support people with a range of psychiatric or intellectual disabilities from post-traumatic stress disorder to depression and anxiety issues. These dogs can provide companionship and support, help boost confidence and improve safety. We provide emotional therapy dogs for both children and adults.

Therapy Dog Remy on Lead

Facility Therapy Dogs

Facility therapy puppies or dogs are usually personally owned by a person who works in a facility (like a school, hospital, dementia unit, hospice, or nursing home), or has been invited to enter a facility to provide therapy support on a regular basis.

Facility Therapy Dog with Old Lady

Disability Support Therapy Dogs

Our disability support therapy dogs can offer friendship, comfort, and companionship to those living with a disability. We provide disability therapy dogs for both children and adults.

Disability Therapy Dog with two children
Reading Support Dog Square

Reading Support

Therapy Dogs

Reading can be a difficult skill to develop for many adults and children as emotions such as apprehension, stress, and anxiety can be an obstacle. Our reading therapy dogs provide support by helping the reader feel less nervous and self-conscious as they are reading to a furry friend.

Emotional Support

Therapy Dogs

Emotional support therapy dogs can support people with a range of psychiatric or intellectual disabilities from post-traumatic stress disorder to depression and anxiety issues. These dogs can provide companionship and support, help boost confidence and improve safety. We provide emotional therapy dogs for both children and adults.

Therapy Dog Remy on Lead
Facility Therapy Dog with Old Lady

Facility Therapy Dogs

Facility therapy puppies or dogs are usually personally owned by a person who works in a facility (like a school, hospital, dementia unit, hospice, or nursing home), or has been invited to enter a facility to provide therapy support on a regular basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you train my dog as a therapy dog?

No. Our therapy dogs are bred specifically for their role to ensure they have the right temperament. This means we do not train other dog breeds or personal family pets to become therapy dogs.

Are therapy dogs the same as service dogs?
Therapy dogs are not the same as service dogs. Service dogs are specially trained to perform specific tasks to help a person who has a disability e.g. a guide dog who guides an owner who is blind, or a mobility dog who assists someone in a wheelchair who has a physical disability.
Can a therapy dog go to public places?
Service dogs have special access privileges and are legally granted public access rights. Therapy dogs do not have the same special access rights as a qualified service dog at this time and it is unethical to attempt to pass off a therapy dog as a service dog for the purposes of acquiring public access.

Therapy Dogs New Zealand is planning to apply for access rights for clients that require their therapy dog to accompany them into restricted situations especially in the case of children with ASD or people with PTSD.

Is a therapy dog suitable for every family?
A therapy dog may not suit some families. A more qualified service dog trained to perform a range of specific tasks may be a more suitable option for more serious conditions, or extreme cases where the dog is required to perform a life-saving role i.e. preventing a diabetic low, anchoring an autistic child (preventing them from running on the road) or alerting when a person urgently requires medical help or has fallen from their wheelchair.
Is A Therapy Dog a Big Commentment?
A therapy dog is a big decision, which requires a commitment of ongoing training, time and expense. This means a therapy dog might not be the right option for some families.
Do Therapy Dog Applications Ever Get Declined?
We reserve the right to decline an application for a therapy dog if the safety of the dog’s environment is not adequate, the client is unable to afford the costs to maintain a therapy dog in optimum health or they are unable to meet the needs of the dog in terms of on-going training, affection, exercise and companionship.

We may also decline a therapy dog application if the person applying for a therapy dog is unable to manage the full care of the dog independently, and has no alternative support system in place to ensure the dog’s needs are always met.

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