Cavalier as therapy dog

It's no surprise that therapy dogs are healing companions for people with health conditions such as cancer, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and dementia.

Studies not only confirm the benefits of pet therapy for people but also the benefits for the own dogs, full of happiness doing their job.

Our beloved breed, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was originally bred to be a companion dog, which is a great start for being one assisted therapy dog but that isn't all that it takes. 

We breed dogs for been show dogs, agility dogs, for family pets and, one of the most important things, for work (in this case, therapy).

We breed cavaliers since 2014, since then we have had 5 litters and from that litters we have 3 dogs currently working as therapy dogs, all from different litters:

Noa - Chloe de Edel Plass - working in 4patas in Madrid, Spain with Esther.

Kairo - Dorian White de Edel Plass - working in 4patas in Madrid, Spain with Marta.

Elliot - Elliot de Edel Plass - working in Yaracan in Vigo, Spain with Uxia and Julia.

But, what does it take to be a assisted therapy team? 

The four main keys are:

  • Choose the right puppy of the litter. Not all cavalier puppies are meant to be therapy dogs, you have to be able to see that.

  • A balance dog that has the temperament of love and companionship to humans. Without fear or distrust.

  • A hard work of training the dog since almost their birth with all possible stimulus and sounds.

  • A human (who will be the dog's guide for life) that has the dedication to give of their time, warmth and care to other humans in need.

We ask 4patas to do a small text about this topic, because there is no one better to talk about this than the people who work everyday and dedicate their lifetime to this noble cause:

"There are many sayings that talk about the friendship between humans and dogs but since not long time ago this friendship was take to the field of therapy.

Now trained technicians and selected dogs (for their character and with a with a strong work component focused mainly in self-control, calm, stress management and other skills) are helping people. "

"Noa is a clear example of this. With her two years she has been working for a year to make the lives of people suffering from the dementia better. She brings to the present memories of the past when those people lived in other places and shared their days with dogs and cats. They tell us about his name, his character and they are even able to remember jokes. Noa bring out smiles and laughs, she can lift them out of the chairs to participate in the activities and, of course, spreads kisses and hugs (Noa really knows how to hug)."

"Noa has her guide, Esther. Both live together with the rest of the family. They share the day to day and that is why there isn't any surprise in the sessions. They know and complement each other in perfection.

This breed is ideal for this type of therapy. They have an ideal size and weight, and a perfect character. Even so, Noa's choice was long.

Conscious of the importance of finding a good breeder who cares for the breed, Esther found Filipa. It's important to know the character of the parents, because it's something that can be inherited, but without the proper socialization it's not possible to make a balanced therapy dog. The correct socialization has a huge impact, the puppy must live with his parents and siblings in the first months of life, and he must be exposed to all kind of stimulus and sounds in the right age. Filipa offers all these. Nothing was immediate, we had to wait many months but in the end Noa moved to her new family and in home she was had an important reference, his partner / brother Athor (Golden 6 years) also therapy dog."

"With only 5 months Noa already began to visit people who helped in her training and after a stage of strong training began her therapy sessions.

Now Noa is an expert in the field of dementia. She is a strong stimulus and engine in each session and, as always, she's able to bring smiles where everything seemed lost."

September is World Alzheimer's Month, this terrible condition is responsible for 50% to 70% of the dementia world cases. This kind of therapy is a great help for those of suffer with this. Thank you to everyone who works every day to help these people! 🙏

Original version from 4patas in Spanish:

"En buenas patas

Son muchos los dichos que hablan de la amistad entre humanos y perros pero desde hace no mucho esta amistad se ha llevado al campo de la terapia.

Ahora técnicos formados y perros seleccionados por su carácter y con un fuerte trabajo de adiestramiento orientado sobre todo hacia el autocontrol, calma, la gestión de estrés y habilidades ayudan a personal

Noa (Chloe de Edel Plass) es un claro ejemplo de ello. Con sus dos años lleva un año trabajando por hacer mejor la vida de personas que padecen los estragos de la demencia. Ella trae al presente recuerdos del pasado cuando esas personas vivían en otros espacios y compartían sus días con perros y gatos a los que hoy recuerdan. Nos hablan de su carácter, de su nombre e incluso son capaces de recordar anécdotas. Noa despiertas sonrisas, les levanta de las sillas para participar en la actividad y por supuesto reparte lametazos y abrazo y es que Noa sabe abrazar. Noa cuenta con su guía, Esther. Ambas viven juntas junto al resto de la familia. Comparten el día a día y por eso no existe ninguna sorpresa en la sesiones. Se conocen y complementan a la perfección.

Esta raza, cavalier, es ideal para este tipo de terapia. Cuentan con un tamaño y peso ideal, y un carácter perfecto. Aun así la elección de Noa fue larga.

Concienzada de la importancia de encontrar un buen criador que cuide la raza y que no haga de la crianza un modo de vida, Esther topo con Filipa. Es importante conocer el carácter de los padres, pues es algo que se hereda, pero también es muy importante que el cachorro tenga una sociabilización correcta, que pueda convivir en sus primeros meses de vida con sus padres y hermanos, que se enfrente a nuevos estímulos y sonidos. Todo ello nos lo ofrece Filipa. Nada fue inmediato, hubo que esperar muchos meses pero al final Noa se trasladaba a su nueva familia y allí iba a contar con un importante referente, su compañero/hermano Athor (Golden de 6 años) también perro de terapia.

Con tan solo 5 meses Noa ya empezaba a visitar a mayores y niñas que normalizaban esta experiencia y tras una etapa de fuerte adiestramiento comenzaba sus sesiones de terapia.

Ahora Noa es una experta en el campo de las demencias. Es un fuerte estímulo y motor en cada sesión y es capaz de sacar sonrisas allí donde todo parece perdido."