Australian Shepherds as Therapy Dogs
Because of their intelligence, desire to be with their people, and willingness to learn and engage in activities when prompted, Australian Shepherds are an exceptional breed of dog for therapy work. We have successfully placed MANY puppies in homes with children and adults that have been challenged with obstacles. The feedback we have received from families with autistic children whom we have placed our puppies with include decreased negative behavior such as bed wetting, tantrums, & violent outbursts. In addition, we have many testimonies of increased positive behavior such as willingness to take on simple household chores such as carrying dishes from table to sink at dinner time, making his/her own bed, & folding clothes and putting them away. As a result, these children are now able to better follow directions, communicate with family members, and successfully participate in family activities. With a therapy dog by their side, autistic children are more apt to look others in the eye when spoken to and engage in conversation especially when the conversation is about their dog. We have reports of improved reading skills leading to better grades, socialization, and participation in the classroom. Furthermore, the Australian Shepherd breed LOVES the water and can assist the child with water therapy simply by having the child throw toys that float in the water for the dog to retrieve for the child. Studies have shown, this interaction between child and animal to be effective in attaining an increase in desired behavior. Australian Shepherds are not just livestock dogs. In fact, 95% of our placements are with families who want a dog to be a valued member in their home. I’m always happy to help with questions and provide references if your family is in need of a therapy dog.