Maddie is training her Toy Goldendoodle Jovie to partner with her in Animal-Assisted Therapy as a Social Work Therapy Dog.
In this fourth episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I spoke with Maddie and her Toy Goldendoodle, Jovie, about their journey to become a Social Work Therapy Dog team. Maddie, a recent Masters in Social Work graduate, shares how she discovered Animal-Assisted Social Work through a certificate program at Slippery Rock University.
Maddie explains why her other dog, Millie, wasn’t a good fit for therapy work and how she chose Jovie as her future animal partner. We discuss the importance of working with a breeder experienced in therapy dogs, as well as finding a local evaluator and trainer for Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
Throughout the episode, Maddie recounts her experiences working with HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (AACR) dogs and how they differ from Therapy Dogs. She also offers advice on researching and connecting with other Therapy Dog teams, including using Instagram as a resource.
We dive into the importance of making sure the dog enjoys pet therapy work and the need for rest days, as well as the handler’s role in managing relationships with the people they visit.
After listening to this episode, you’ll gain valuable insights into the joys and challenges of working with a Social Work Therapy Dog and feel inspired by the heartwarming bond between Maddie and Jovie.
In this episode, we discuss …
- Maddie’s plans for Animal Assisted Social Work with her Toy Goldendoodle, Jovie.
- How Maddie figured out Millie wouldn’t enjoy being a therapy dog.
- Maddie’s experience working with crisis dogs and how they’re different from Therapy Dogs.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [02:00] Maddie discusses working with crisis response dogs in her certificate program.
- [02:42] Maddie learns about Emotional Support Animals’ impact on mental health.
- [02:53] Maddie gets connected to Slippery Rock University’s Animal-Assisted Social Work program.
- [03:26] Maddie explains why Millie isn’t a good fit for therapy work.
- [04:15] Maddie selects a breeder experienced in Therapy Dogs for Jovie.
- [06:06] Maddie believes Jovie will enjoy pet therapy due to her love for people.
- [06:45] Maddie finds a local evaluator and trainer for Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
- [07:37] The importance of practicing dog cues in various environments is highlighted.
- [09:22] Maddie shares the positive impact of crisis dogs on adolescent boys.
- [12:22] Maddie recommends researching and connecting with Therapy Dog teams on Instagram.
I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Give it a watch or a listen and then let me know in the community which part you found the most helpful!
Mentioned in this episode:
- Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD)
- Animal-Assisted Social Work Certificate at Slippery Rock University
- HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response
- Millie Girl Merch (Maddie has closed shop since recording this episode.)
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Therapy Dog Talk is a podcast where I interview a different team each week via Instagram Live. If you enjoyed this episode please find us over at Apple, Google, or Spotify and give us a follow after you leave a review.
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