Canistherapy - treatment by dogs of disabled children, autistics

  • Background of
  • Guidelines
  • Indications
  • Contraindications
  • Why is the effect achieved by training?
  • Exercises
  • Suitable breeds for canister treatment
  • Distribution in Russia
  • Reviews

There is such a thing as zoomedicine. From the title it is clear that we are talking about the treatment of animals. In Russia, the most known four areas:

  • Felinotherapy( treatment with cats);
  • Canistherapy( treatment with dogs);
  • Hippotherapy( treatment with horses);
  • Dolphin therapy( treatment with dolphins).

A special role is given to canistherapy( from the Latin canis - the dog), because of all the animals the dog is the easiest to train.

Capi-therapy, along with hippotherapy and dolphin therapy, is referred to as non-traditional methods of treatment, but they bring amazing results. It is noted that canistherapy is especially effective in a complex with other types of treatment, but in itself it is very effective.

Canistherapy is the performance of exercises by a patient and a dog under the guidance of a specialist with the purpose of recovery.

Sometimes you can meet a guide dog next to a masculine person. Abroad, you can often see dogs in nursing homes, when our younger brothers help the old people get rid of some diseases or just old age. But still, kanisterapia got the greatest popularity in the treatment of children - many years ago abroad and relatively recently in Russia.

The history of the emergence of

According to some sources, they knew about canister therapy three thousand years ago. This is evidenced by drawings, fragments found on excavations, historical documents.

In the 1960s American psychologist Boris Levinson noticed that children who attend his sessions and have certain problems in communication, contacting his dog, get psychological relief, become more relaxed, and the course of treatment lasts less.

Then he put forward a theory about the positive effect of the dog on a person and his emotional health.

Tatyana Lyubimova has done a lot for the development of the national canister. To the development of this methodology in Russia, she was motivated by her own sad experience. She had a baby with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. After a while, unfortunately, he was no more. And she wanted to help children by using dogs. And she did it! In 2004 the first in Russia center of canister therapy "Sunny Dog" was opened. It still functions today.

Basic directions of

Canister therapy can be divided into the following medical directions:

  1. Diagnostic. The dog anticipates seizures of epilepsy, asthma, a sharp increase in blood sugar in people with diabetes and warns the owner.
  2. Medical-contact. In case of pain, the dog lays down on a place that is troubled, and heats with his warmth. In this direction, as a rule, dogs are used by people suffering from chronic diseases.
  3. Rehabilitation. The dog speeds up the healing process by actively interacting with it. Everything is done under the supervision of a canister therapist.
  4. Serving. Dogs help people in wheelchairs, blind, hearing-impaired to move around. These are the so-called guide dogs.


Canistherapy is used for:

  • Suppress aggression, hyperactivity;
  • Improve memory, speech;
  • Getting rid of neuroses, phobias, feelings of anxiety;
  • Development of motor skills, intellectual and cognitive abilities;
  • Improved coordination of movements;
  • Treatment of diseases such as autism, oligophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, cerebral palsy, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy.


If you have a tendency to allergies, especially in animals, the body has damage, where the infection can get, if the body temperature is raised or if there are airway diseases, this method, like canister therapy, will have to be abandoned.

However, the fear of dogs is not at all a contraindication. It's just a matter of time.

Why is the effect of the lessons achieved?

When treating a child, it interacts with a dog. For someone following the results of the session, it will be an achievement to make a few steps, and for someone - just to smile. But in any case when communicating with the animal involved all the senses, which in itself is useful and good. Therefore, we can say that the effect of training is always achieved.

But if a person is initially tuned to the fact that the treatment will not bring results, it should not be started. Animals feel very good and are unlikely to be able to help if the patient comes to the lesson with disbelief or negativity.


For each specific case, the canister therapist develops a set of exercises.

  1. Treatment always begins with dating. Some children take a long time to get used to or overcome fear. But a specialist will always help to establish contact. It is necessary to watch the child's reaction very carefully. If he is afraid, the dog should be kept at a distance. Many children are easier when the animal sits or lies sideways. Then there is no contact with the eyes.
  2. After the dating phase, you can go to the so-called distance exercises. A specialist walks alongside the child, leading on the other side of the animal on a leash and not bringing it closer. When the patient gets used, the dog can make stops, turns. Then you can instruct the child to comb it. And when the stage of habituation is completed, the child can independently give commands to the dog.
  3. The following exercise requires the child to focus and the develops certain skills: navigate in space, consistently perform actions. The child is given the task to bring the dog to a certain object or person, then take some toy and take it with the animal to the designated place. If the dog can perform tricks, let the child ask her to perform one of them. This will greatly enhance the self-esteem of the baby.
  4. The next exercise is performed on the rug. The child lays down next to the dog, you can lean on it. He combs her, plaits pigtails, cuddles to her or just hugs. Thus reduces feeling of alarm, motor skills and even speech improve. The body temperature of the dog is higher than that of us, so this close contact is useful for muscles.

Perhaps, the most used exercises are shown above. But there are a lot of variants of them. You can weave a pigtail to a dog, you can tie a kerchief over her head, you can even read her books - all of these activities are very popular with children. The main thing in all these exercises - close contact with the animal, which, of course, liberates, relaxes and makes kinder.

Suitable breeds for canister treatment

Not every dog ​​is suitable for the role of a canister therapist. In order to help people, every animal undergoes special training and passes the exam based on the results of training.

As for the breeds, it is generally accepted that all breeds can be treated to a greater or lesser degree by the , even mongrel individuals.

The main thing - that the dog was well brought up, ideally performed the team, was completely devoid of feelings of aggression and loved people. The child may inadvertently offend the dog - the dog has no right to respond hostilely. She should be good not only to her master, but to all people.

The most popular breeds in canister are Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Risenschnauzer. Sometimes they use such big, fluffy goodies as St. Bernard, Newfoundland, Bobtail.

However, it is not recommended to involve children of fight dogs and small breed dogs in treatment because of their temper. Moreover, the latter do not possess such iron restraint as their large counterparts.

Distribution in Russia

In Moscow, several centers are involved in the treatment of children with the help of dogs. The most famous is the center "Sunny Dog".There are work dogs of breed "Labrador" under the guidance of experienced specialists. Every year at the monobreed show of Labradors, children with various diseases, , visit this center. Together with the therapist dogs they show very bright, rich numbers.

In St. Petersburg, canine diners prefer to use rizenschnauzer for work.

And in Obninsk, in the Kaluga region, there is a Raduga center, where non-pedigree dogs are helping, in other words, mongrels.

Many large cities practice dog treatment. Murmansk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Ryazan, Vladivostok, Ekaterinburg - this is not a complete list of cities where "shaggy doctors" are ready to help.

More information about the center "Sunny Dog" and its successes you can learn from the following videos.


Reviews about canister therapy are mostly positive. Parents are very grateful to the animals and people who work with them, for the results obtained during the treatment. It is noted that children quickly begin to show interest in dogs, they happily spend time with them.

Especially popular is canistherapy for the treatment of children with autism. As you know, autistics are very self-contained. They can sit for hours and look at one point. You can meet many reviews, where it is said that thanks to dogs, small patients become more open to the outside world, more sociable. Known even the case, when after a series of classes, the autistic girl began to perform on stage.

People, faced with with cerebral palsy, claim that communication with the dog can improve coordination of movements, muscle tone.

If the is a violation of intellectual development, thanks to a dog, the child begins to be interested in what is happening around him, he develops attention, memory and speech.

It is also noted that our younger brothers make the inactive or simply inactive children move, thereby improving their physical condition.

10 photo

A number of cases are described where a small patient after a brief contact with a dog began to notice her, and then her parents. Before that, he did not react at all to others.

You can even hear stories about how a child pronounced individual words with significant problems with speech. And this is a very great achievement!

Sometimes it is possible to find the opinion that treatment with dogs is not as effective as specialists say, but as a rule people think that they are generally negative to animals and are unlikely to ever choose this method of treatment for themselves or their children.

There are times when people feel dislike for the smell of a dog or the kind of wool left by the dog on their clothes. And someone simply does not take frivolous to alternative medicine.

But scientists have long proven that it is also useful for people without special deviations to spend time with a dog. Communicating with the animal only 15 minutes a day, the person normalizes the pressure, the state of health and mood improves. Even a simple game with a dog can relieve stress.

Near the animal, a person always feels independent and free. And it is not without reason that families with a pet are more friendly and open to communication. Look at family photos with a dog. .. People's faces are very happy with them. Is not it?

You will learn more about canistering by watching the transmission of the GuberniaTV channel.