Therapy dogs are used in a variety of settings, including prisons, hospitals, and schools, for the purposes of providing emotional and psychological support to humans. They are trained to be well behaved and to be perceived as supportive of humans. This study sought to explore the benefits to the human individuals who facilitate trained therapy sessions. Specifically considered were the ways in which therapy dog ownership is a form of serious leisure and the ways in which that leisure influences owners’ day- to- day lives. Findings suggest owners of therapy dogs experience enhanced personal enrichment, relationship with dog(s), and sense of responsibility. Implications for research and practice are discussed and include health- related components.
Hicks, Jonathan R. and Kramer, Mary
"Therapy Dog Ownership as Serious Leisure for Members of a Therapy Dog Volunteer Group,"
People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice: Vol. 3
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/paij/vol3/iss1/5