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Canine Assisted Therapy


What do Canine Therapy Assistants actually do?


        Promote a general feeling of well being

        Provide unconditional love

        Improve focus and hopefulness

        Interact with those who can’t communicate

        Encouraging memory 

        Assisting with speech functions

        Assisting with simple physical activities/physical therapy situations (petting, brushing ,playing etc.)

     Represent hope, strength, caring - it’s a wonderful, and positive example, that the Therapy Dog is giving, forgiving, & loving, to EVERYONE!



Volunteers who take their dogs to visit hospitals, nursing homes, day care programs, and many other types of facilities for the purpose of being petted & socializing with the residents/clients are called Therapy Dogs.

Health care professionals or certified therapists who use their dog, or work in partnership with a volunteer and the volunteer's dog, using the dog as a treatment modality in a written, individualized treatment plan with specific, documented goals are performing Canine-Assisted Therapy.

This what Ladies with Leashes programs and services are founded on.

The Benefits

There has been increasing awareness, particularly over the last thirty years, of how canine assisted activities and therapy might be used to improve the quality of life for individuals. Canine assisted therapy is the consistent and specific use of dogs in professional care plans to help patients reach defined treatment goals. They are used to help normalize situations, socialize, calm and motivate patients.

Dogs are particularly well suited to this work because of their desire to work with humans, and there ability for unconditional love. Those that have benefited from canine assisted activities and therapy include: nursing home patients, shelter residents,  special education students, including autistic children; and hospital patients.


Service Dogs:


-Highly trained in disability-related tasks and obedience

-Have public access rights

-Are not considered pets

Service animals are legally defined (Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990) and are trained to meet the disability-related needs of their handlers who have disabilities. Federal laws protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals in public places. Service animals are not considered "pets."



Social Signal Dogs:

 - A social signal assistance dog is an innovative teaching tool used by social workers, therapists, physicians, early education and special needs teachers working with children and adults with physical, emotional and developmental disabilities.

Individuals with histories of sexual or physical abuse often need a catalyst to prompt disclosure. A Social Signal assistance dog, non-judgemental and unconditionally loving, provides the help necessary to identify children in crisis.

-Need documentation

-Are allowed in "no pets" housing

-Are allowed to travel with owners on airlines (if they have the proper documentation)

-Are not allowed in public places like grocery stores, etc.

Under the USA's federal laws, Social Signal Dogs cannot go into no-pets-allowed places, BUT THEY ARE ALLOWED in no-pets-allowed housing and in the cabins of airplanes when accompanied by proper documentation.


Canine Assisted Therapy dogs &Therapy Dogs: 


- The value of therapy dogs has been demonstrated time and again.  They offer more than just a warm furry body; many dogs instinctually understand when someone needs comfort and offer it unconditionally, without judgment or obligation.


-Are used by volunteers or professionals in places like nursing homes, children's hospitals, psychiatric wards, etc

-Do not have the right to travel on planes or to be in "no pets" housing

-Are not allowed in public places unless invited


OUR MOTTO : " Our Best Friends Have Hairy Legs "

Have a Joy Filled Summer Season!

*A Canine Care Assistance Program. LWL's All Rights Reserved. 2006. All material, photo's,artwork, articles, and content of this web site, and it's pages, and organizational links, are copyrighted to CCWDA and/or LWL's.Permission MUST be granted to use all or any part of.

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8