Getting the Right Dog for the Right Job for Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI): Essential Understanding of Dog Behavior and Ethology for Those Working Within AAI

Mills, Daniel; Rogers, Jennifer; Kerulo, Greta; Bremhorst, Annika; Hall, Sophie (2019). Getting the Right Dog for the Right Job for Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI): Essential Understanding of Dog Behavior and Ethology for Those Working Within AAI. In: Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy: Foundations and Guidelines for Animal-Assisted Interventions (pp. 115-131). Elsevier, Academic Press 10.1016/b978-0-12-815395-6.00009-2

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Animal-assisted activity (AAI) revolves around a complex and heterogeneous intervention in the form of the animal involved, whose performance might vary between and within subjects. In this chapter, we focus on the dog to illustrate and argue for all involved in AAI (the practitioner, handler, and client) to appreciate animal behavior and welfare to varying degrees, to maximize the potential of this work, minimize risk, and operate in an ethically sound way. Although many species may be engaged in AAI, we suggest there may be unique features of the dog that lend themselves particularly well to this type of work, but it is necessary to identify and select specific individuals on the basis of their personal characteristics for a given task. Of particular importance are the psychological and behavioral attributes that will create the optimal therapeutic relationship between the patient and dog for the particular work involved. We highlight the lack of good scientific data to support how this can be done, but lay out a framework for practitioners to consider. We also reflect on the risks involved in this work and propose some general principles for risk management related to the inclusion of dogs in AAI; this focuses on the need for dogs to be willing participants in the work to reduce the dog's stress and its potential impact, including the risk of aggressive behavior. Accordingly, in the final section we consider how our moral obligation toward dogs working in AAI complements best practice guidelines for how they should be managed and trained.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute > Animal Welfare Division

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Bremhorst, Annika

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISBN:

978-0-12-815395-6

Publisher:

Elsevier, Academic Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lilian Karin Smith-Wirth

Date Deposited:

15 Jul 2020 08:03

Last Modified:

30 Jul 2020 05:37

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/b978-0-12-815395-6.00009-2

Additional Information:

Fifth Edition

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.145114

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/145114

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