Facility dogs work with professionals in a wide variety of settings, including but not limited to courthouses, schools, nursing homes, mental health facilities, oncology clinics, and occupational therapy. Facility dogs have been found to motivate and inspire, improve social behavior, improve communication, and make people more comfortable and more positive. Facility dogs can be used to assist a group of people to manage daily tasks or participate in education, as well as interact and participate in courthouse settings.  They usually have more than one trained handler and need to be comfortable working with a large number of people or groups of people.

Specific tasks may include:

  • Provide light or deep pressure
  • Visit for an extended time with a person
  • Give attention to individuals when needed
  • Act as an attraction to encourage walking, crawling, standing, sitting or other movements
  • Act as a motivator to speak up in uncomfortable or distressing situations
  • Act as a brace for standing, sitting or walking
  • Push or pull objects with the person receiving therapy to encourage muscle activity
  • Perform directed or automatic retrieves
  • Carry objects to the person receiving therapy
  • Walk in a controlled manner next to the individual
  • Submit to supervised handling by the student or person receiving therapy
  • Provide companionship

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