Dog News

Therapy Dogs Healing Addiction: Touching Lives and Relieving Stress

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Today’s Guest

Dr. Colleen Dell

My guest today is Dr. Colleen Dell, who is a Centennial Enhancement Chair in One Health and Wellness at the University of Saskatchewan. She is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and School of Public Health. Dr. Colleen’s recent research projects include the use of therapy dogs to help people with addiction and other mental health issues, and she has worked extensively with some of the most dangerous prison inmates.

Dr. Colleen, in her position at One Health and Wellness, founded the Paws Your Stress program, which is offered in partnership with Peer Health and the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program.

Amazingly, this program is now being offered online so that these incredible dogs can continue to help those in need, during the COVID-19 pandemic!

You’ll Hear About

  • [05:30] How the therapy dogs work with prisoners
  • [08:30] How our own energy reflects in dogs’ behaviour with us
  • [11:30] The power of Bond, Trust and Respect (BTR) in all relationships
  • [13:30] Dogs waking people up when they’re having a nightmare
  • [15:00] Dr. Colleen training her own dog, Subie, to be a therapy dog
  • [19:25] The therapy horse who chose his own patients
  • [22:00] Can any dog be a therapy dog?
  • [24:30] How different types of service-dog personalities suit different types of people/patients
  • [29:50] Peanut’s special talent
  • [32:00] One particular condition in people that makes dogs uneasy
  • [35:10] Why dogs should not be in charge  
  • [39:30] The power of your own energy and tone of voice
  • [46:15] More about Colleen Dell and how to get involved

How You Can Help

Visit the links below to learn more about Dr. Colleen and her Therapy Dog Programs. Tap into the program yourself, or suggest it for a loved one. Also see tips on how you and your dog can help each other through stressful times.

Links & Resources

Watch Dr. Colleen’s great Ted Talk HERE:

Learn more by tuning into the podcast!

Thanks for listening—and again, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes / Spotify to get automatic updates.


~Doggy Dan 🙂

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