Our psychiatric service dogs all begin as shelter dogs. In meeting and assessing these dogs, we are acutely aware of the need to help dogs cope with stress. Even the best shelters are still not loving homes or the jobs many working dogs need to live satisfying lives.
On March 9th, Healing Companions held an afternoon of stress reduction/relaxation techniques for over twenty inmates and the shelter dogs they train in their basic skills. The training provided to shelter dogs by these inmates helps even those dogs that do not go on to become psychiatric service dogs be more adoptable. Those that do go on to be qualified to enter our program can begin their extensive public access and task training to start their journey as psychiatric service dogs in training.
This training for inmates and their trainees was presented by Jane Miller, LISW, CDBC, AABP-CDBT, Executive Director, Healing Companions, Inc.. The presentation is filled with relaxation techniques for humans and their dogs incorporating many complimentary modalities of healing. These include canine massotherapy, breathing techniques, canine body language and calming signals, acupressure points, reiki and many other approaches that can help reduce human and animal anxiety, stress, arousal and fear. So many of the shelter dogs that we train have high levels of stress, anxiety, arousal and fear, as do their human trainers, so these methods are crucial to help everyone work well together. This interaction also helps to increase cortisol levels and the human-animal bond. Safe, calm and relaxed humans and animals can focus and work well together. A win-win for everyone involved!
Stay tuned…video coming soon…then join us and watch the inmates participate in and practice these techniques and you will have the opportunity to view this training session .
Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about these techniques you can CLICK HERE for more information and to sign up and listen to this pre-recorded webinar:
Dogs Have Issues Too: Helping Dogs Cope With Stress