Benefits of a Good Dog!
A service dog enhances the life of a child with a disability through trained tasks and the inherent benefits of canine companionship.
Good Dog! Service Canines are trained to perform a variety of specific tasks that can benefit individuals with disabilities.
Learn more about how these tasks are used and the known benefits to help you determine whether a Good Dog! Service Canine is a fit for your child's needs.
The use of deep pressure can be used to help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and maintain calm in stressful situations. Our dogs are trained to give and receive varying levels of deep pressure through several different tasks. These tasks are commonly used to prevent or manage dysregulation and meltdowns.
INTERRUPTING OR REDIRECTING
Our dogs are trained to gently interrupt or redirect an individual when directed to by the primary handler. These tasks can be used to interrupt harmful or undesired behaviors such as self-injurious behavior or self-stimulating behaviors, can unobtrusively redirect an individual’s attention, and can also be used to prompt communication.
FOCUS AND GROUNDING
Grounding techniques can help to focus an individual on the present moment, manage overwhelming feelings of anxiety, and regain focus from an intensely emotional state. Our dogs are trained tasks that help to ground an individual through their presence and/or proprioceptive input. Grounding tasks are often used in bed at night and have been found to help with sleep patterns, benefitting both the child and caregiver.
SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATIVE BRIDGE
Difficulty with communication, which contributes to social challenges, is a core feature of autism spectrum disorder and other related disabilities. Research has shown that the presence of a dog can significantly increase positive social behaviors among children with ASD. Our dogs are trained tasks to facilitate communication and promote social interactions.
INDEPENDENCE & QUALITY OF LIFE
A service dog inherently promotes independence and a better quality of life by:
Acting as an unconditional and non-judgmental friend
Teaching concepts such as empathy, compassion, and patience
Promoting independence and empowerment
Increasing a sense of responsibility
Improving motor skills and increasing physical activity
Improving the quality of sleep for the child and parents
Providing a social bridge to connect with the community and decrease isolation
Encouraging communication and new vocabulary
Reducing stress hormones
Burrows, K. E., & Adams, C. L. (2005). Evaluating the benefits of service dogs for children with autism spectrum disorders.
Burrows, K. E., Adams, C. L., & Spiers, J. (2008b). Sentinels of safety: Service dogs ensure safety and enhance freedom and well-being for families with autistic children.
O'Haire et. al (2013). Social Behaviors Increase in Children with Autism in the Presence of Animals Compared to Toys.
Viau R et al. (2010). Effect of Service Dogs on Salivary Cortisol Secretion in Autistic Children.