A Facility Dog is a type of Therapy Dog trained for a specific workplace. Facility Dogs are trained in obedience and are taught cues to help individuals during times of stress and anxiety. Facility Dogs work with their professional handler/partner who has been trained to help motivate or calm specific clients or team members. The dog must be receptive to direction from the handler and have the ability to remain calm and polite in all situations. A Facility Dog must be willing to interact with many different people, men, women, and children.
Roles of a Facility Dog:
Stress Reducer: A Facility Therapy Dog can be used to help calm anyone, child or adult, who is experiencing a high level of stress. Just sitting with a dog will help the person reflect and develop better coping skills.
Client Motivation: Therapy Dogs can help a client achieve goals by encouraging physical activity. Dogs are non-judgemental and love unconditionally. They listen and rarely talk back or give criticism. This creates an atmosphere that is pleasurable as well as productive.
Social Interaction and Language: Simple petting can encourage talking. Spending time with a dog can encourage talking amongst colleagues or simply to the dog itself. Many people who are not ready to speak to a therapist will open up to a dog.
Functional Outcome Goals: A facility Dog can be utilized to promote a range of motion, strengthening, balance and coordination, visual and cognitive goals.