There are a variety of activities that a student does with a therapy team, including reading to the dog, brushing it, walking and just enjoying special one-on-one time.
Research has shown that a helthy therapeutic environment is actually created in the presence of an animal. It:
draws attention outward
turns off anxiety, anger and depression
creates a feeling of safety
increases positive expectations of both self and other
Spending time with therapy dogs reinforces learning, motivates students, enhances self esteem, provides opportunities for appropriate interactions (which follows over to interpersonal relationships), and is lots of fun!
The dogs from Pet Partners and Therapy Dogs Inc. are trained, evaluated and registered.