What Is a Facility Dog?

A facility dog is a specially trained dog who partners with a facilitator working in a professional setting, such as a hospital. The facilitator brings the dog to work Monday - Friday, and takes the dog home at the end of each work day.

Facility Dog or Therapy Dog: What's the Difference?

Dexter with topperTherapy dogs can be any pet dog that has passed a basic obedience test.

Facility dogs undergo a two-year, extensive and specialized training program. Together, with their facilitator, this team works with patients to meet specific, individualized goals.

What Does the Research Say?

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Enhances calm and security
  • Eases perception of pain
  • Decreases feelings of fear
  • Increases oxytocin; decreases cortisol
  • Lowers heart rate and blood pressure
  • Improves mood and morale
  • Builds trust and communication in children with insecure attachments

How Can Facility Dogs Help Patients?

Normalize the hospital environment or stay by making it feel more like home.

Motivate the patient by making goals such as going for a walk or taking medicine more fun.

Distract the patient during procedures or episodes of pain.

Offer a sense of unconditional love and acceptance.

For more information on our facility dog's background, training, or role at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, please ask!

In collaboration with: Canine Companions for Independence

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