Friends fur Life Help Build Skills for Life
A new study by Nicole Harris, MA alumna, and Dr. John-Tyler Binfet explored how children reap the benefits of working with therapy dogs - and they enjoy it too!
Harris was the lead researcher in the study that explored how children reacted while participating in a social skill-training program with therapy dogs.
The research saw 22 children from the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club take part in a series of sessions to help them build their social skills. Over six weeks, the children were accompanied by therapy dogs from UBC Okanagan’s Building Academic Retention through K9s (BARK) program as they completed lessons.
“Findings from our observations suggested that canine-assisted social and emotional learning initiatives can provide unique advantages,” says Harris. “Our team saw that by interacting with the therapy dogs, the children’s moods improved and their engagement in their lessons increased.”
In fact, 87 per cent of the team rated the children’s engagement level as very or extremely engaged during the sessions.