The Chinese Crested: An Effective Therapy Dog


Therapy dogs are special canines trained to provide comfort, affection, and companionship to individuals who are ill, elderly, or suffering from mental health disorders. These dogs have a significant positive impact on the emotional and physical health of humans, reducing stress levels, promoting social interaction, and even aiding in the recovery process.

The Chinese Crested as a Therapy Dog

The Chinese Crested, a breed known for its distinctive appearance and affectionate nature, makes an excellent therapy dog. Despite their small size, these dogs are filled with love and have a knack for making people feel better. Their calm and gentle temperament, combined with their ability to form strong bonds with their owners, makes them ideal for providing emotional support.

Chinese Cresteds are also highly trainable. They are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them quick learners. Their lifespan, averaging around 13-15 years, allows for a long-term companionship, providing comfort and stability to their owners.

Benefits of a Chinese Crested Therapy Dog

The benefits of having a Chinese Crested as a therapy dog extend beyond their lovable nature. Their small size makes them suitable for environments with limited space, such as apartments or care facilities. They are also less intimidating to people who may be wary of larger dogs.

Chinese Cresteds are known to be intuitive and sensitive to the emotions of their owners, making them excellent at providing emotional support. Their presence can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, and their sociable nature encourages interaction, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals who are isolated or withdrawn.

Training a Chinese Crested Therapy Dog

Training a Chinese Crested to be a therapy dog involves teaching them to be comfortable in various environments and around different people. Socialization from a young age is crucial, as is obedience training. Public access training, which involves acclimating the dog to different public settings, is also a key part of the process.

In Ohio, for instance, therapy dogs can be certified through organizations such as Therapy Dogs International (TDI),, etc. These programs test the dog’s behavior in public places, around medical equipment, and with strangers. They ensure the dog is well-behaved, obedient, and can handle the stress of various environments. Similar certification programs are available in other states as well.

For those interested in training their Chinese Crested to be a therapy dog at home, a recommended resource is the book “Therapy Dogs: Training Your Dog to Reach Others” by Kathy Diamond Davis. This comprehensive guide provides detailed information on selecting, socializing, and training a therapy dog.

For a more structured learning approach, the online course “Therapy Dog Training: Complete Guide to Therapy Dog Certification” on Udemy offers step-by-step instructions on training a therapy dog, understanding therapy dog certification, and knowing the rights and responsibilities of a therapy dog handler.

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