Who is the new ABL team member with furry paws and a big black nose? Nando, a 4 year old black labrador, joined the ABL team this fall as a facility dog. Facility dogs are placed with professionals working in health care or education settings whose clients can benefit from encounters with canines. Facility dogs are trained to do 50-100 commands and have special commands to help provide comfort to clients. Nando was trained at Bergin University of Canine Studies in Penngrove, CA. He loves apples, frolicking in the snow and learning new tricks.
Research shows that human animal interactions can benefit clients in the following ways:
- Canines act as a social lubricant for therapy. Canines can assist with the creation of a stronger therapeutic alliance between the clinician and client, helping the client feel safe and developing rapport.
- Canines can decrease stress and hesitation when initially entering treatment. For some individuals, entering into therapy can be overwhelming. Having canines present in the facility can help ease this transition and allow the individual to integrate more easily into treatment.
- Petting and touching a dog can increase an individual’s willingness to examine deeper emotions. Clients who may be hesitant to explore feelings may find themselves opening up and expressing emotions in new ways.
- Staff Interactions with facility dogs can be a useful tool for role modeling, where staffs’ interactions with the animals can teach participants about bonding, compassion, boundaries and behavior modification.
With these benefits, who wouldn’t want to visit with Nando? If you see him in the office, feel free to give him some scratches—-he loves to be pet under his neck!
If you are interested in working with Nando, please reach out at (530)-544-1748 for more information.