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American Maltese Association

A National Breed and Member club of the American Kennel Club

Maltese as Therapy Dogs

Therapy dog

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maltese therapy dogs provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schoold, hospices, disaster areas and people with learning difficulties.

The most important characteristic of a therapy dog is its temperament. A good therapy dog must be friendly, patient, confident, gentle, and at ease in all situations. Therapy dogs must enjoy human contact and be content to be petted and handled, sometimes clumsily.

A therapy dog's primary job is to allow unfamiliar people to make physical contact with it and to enjoy that contact. Children in particular enjoy hugging animals; adults usually enjoy simply petting the dog. The dog might need to be lifted onto, or climb onto, an individual's lap or bed and sit or lie comfortably there. Many dogs contribute to the visiting experience by performing small tricks for their audience or by playing carefully structured games.

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