Therapy dog owners have one thing in common; they have discovered the unselfish desire to help others, taking time to "Paws Awhile For Love.” The use of canines to help mankind is known throughout the world. They have been used for guarding flocks, tracking, hunting, search and rescue, leading the blind, and in assisting the deaf and physically challenged. The bond between dog and man dates back to early history, but it wasn’t until recently that a correlation was acknowledged between this bond and the emotional health of humans. Studies have shown that a person holding or petting an animal will cause a lowering of blood pressure, the release of strain and tension, and can draw out a person from loneliness and depression.
The goal for dogs in this program is to bring joy and comfort to those in need, to improve all phases of operations, and to make more therapy dogs available by striving to improve and expand the relationship between a Therapy Dog Team and those in need. This class focuses on skills needed to perform therapy work in a variety of settings. Teams will be evaluated to be certified for therapy work on the last week of each block. If you have any questions, contact the Director of the Therapy Dog Program.
Joanne Dalby has been actively training and competing in dog sports for over fifteen years. She has trained dogs for obedience, agility, field and tracking, achieving multiple titles on her golden retrievers, including obedience and agility championships. She frequently competes on a national level and has been invited to compete in AKC and Westminster national obedience championships, recently placing 5th in the national AKC Master Classic in Orlando. Joanne has completed a Master of Arts degree in Human Development where her studies focused on the Therapeutic Effects of the Human-Canine Bond. As part of that program, she trained one of her dogs to do therapy visits and has has been doing therapy visits since. Joanne has been teaching obedience at Saint Paul Dog Training Club since 2013.
Kelly McDuff has been doing therapy work with her dachshund since 2014. Together they visit a memory care unit once a week and help to calm anxious travelers at the MSP Airport a few times a month. Kelly has been involved with SPDTC since 2011 and helps teach the Beginner Obedience class at SPDTC on Tuesday nights in addition to the therapy dog class.
Places therapy dogs may visit include:
Children Reading to Dogs Program
Disaster Stress Relief Dogs
Class Size is limited to (5) students by design. A waitlist will be maintained if necessary. The classes are structured with an agenda that leaves room for individual assistance as needed.
Contents copyright 2006 St. Paul Dog Training Club, St. Paul, Minnesota