top of page

Greetings as an important part of AAI

Magdalena Nawarecka

June 22, 2021

Greetings are a very important part of every intervention with a dog. Sadly, it’s also a moment during which interspecific miscommunication frequently occurs. The human wants to cuddle and pet the animal while the dog feels overwhelmed or interested in something else…….

It is essential to teach your dog a nice way of saying hello at the beginning of the intervention.

The interaction and the dog’s willingness to work with patients make them feel special and happy about the intervention. It creates the possibility to build a relationship with the dog and benefit from it. One of the factors that make interventions with dogs special, is the client’s feeling that they are important to the dog. Saying hello is one of the ways to underline that the client is special for the dog.

It can be that this is one of the important factors for the client’s higher motivation in specific activities. The dog needs to be interested in the patient’s movements and achievements, to emphasize the importance of these efforts. If the dog always needs the handler’s command to obey, the patient may feel that there is no difference in what he/she does – so the motivation will drop.

If the dog is focusing on the handler and not on the patients, the effectiveness of dog-assisted therapy is lower, or it may even have a negative effect. Because by ignoring the client, the client might feel even worse. If the only ability of the dog is to show tricks in front of the audience, it can be easily replaced by another kind of therapy.

Read the PDF and see how you can work with your dog during the beginning of the intervention. What kind of saying hello is the best for you and your dog?


bottom of page