Therapy dogs and emotional support animals in general have made great strides in helping people with disabilities, seniors in nursing homes, and many other individuals in need of a little extra love and support. A lot of us may picture a classic Labrador Retriever or German Shepard when we think of a therapy dog; but small dogs make great assistants too!
In fact, more and more people are training Havenese pups to work as therapy dogs and yielding some awesome results. Here are just a few of the reasons the Havanese breed makes an ideal therapy dog:
The Havanese is a notorious lover. With their small size, they’re practically made to cuddle right up on someone’s lap! They’re a very gentle breed, and they love to please their humans. Havenese have no problem getting up close and personal with kisses and cuddles—which, from animals in particular, have been proven to lower heartrate and blood pressure, as well as anxiety.
They offer companionship and unconditional love to people who may not often see it or may not quite be comfortable with receiving it from their human counterparts. This makes them perfect visitors in nursing homes, disability programs and other rehabilitation centers.
Havenese are extremely affectionate, but that doesn’t mean all they want to do is lay around and cuddle! Havanese love to play and tend to have clownish personalities that can put a smile on anyone’s face. They exude personality and friendliness in a way that fosters instant connection—so even the most stubborn patient can’t help but crack a smile.
The Havanese is a fun and entertaining breed by nature. They’re always ready and willing to learn new tricks! Their easygoing temperament makes them approachable to patients who might otherwise be frightened by an animal. Watching one of these pooches fool around and playing with them directly, are excellent ways to treat depression and bring comfort to lonely individuals.
The small size of a Havanese dog makes it naturally easier to manage than some larger breeds. As we mentioned before, they’re the perfect size for curling up on someone’s lap or cuddling up next to them in bed without taking up too much space. Their fur is incredibly soft; and as a big bonus they’re also hypoallergenic!
Havenese dogs are easy to train, and eager to learn. They boast a high level of emotional intelligence, which is particularly important in a therapy dog. They can sense emotion and respond accordingly, making them adaptable to many different environments and situations.
If they’re working with a more apprehensive or low-energy patient, they can read that introversion and deduce that it might be better to hop up on their lap than run at them holding a toy to play with. Maybe they’re visiting a nursing home and can sense the excitement and spirit in the room, so they’ll start showing off some tricks or go in for a game of fetch. Whatever the circumstances, a Havanese therapy dog will show up ready to accommodate and happy to be there!
Lucky for us, all of the things that make Havanese great therapy dogs also make them amazing additions to our own homes! Waste no time and contact Susie’s Quality K9’s to fill your home with some extra love and a lively spirit!