Caring Canine Finland
|The mission of Caring Canine Finland is to increase public awareness of dogs’ ability to improve human health, and to promote their appreciation as animals that have a natural ability to improve people’s well-being. Dogs can help people live fuller lives, and for the time being, we have only discovered a fraction of their skills and what they mean to us. While pursuing our mission, our goal is to increase the use of dogs for improving human health and well-being, with different target groups.
There are approximately 800,000 dogs in Finland and they live close to people, in homes in both cities and the countryside. Thus, dogs are already performing an important function in promoting the health and well-being of their families, and they form a significant potential reserve for such activities outside of their homes. Since the 1970’s and 80’s, horses have assisted therapists in helping their clients deal with e.g. depression, disturbances in the self image, psychoses and traumas. On the other hand, the use of dogs in animal assisted therapy and other such activities is still a new phenomenon in Finland.
|Caring Canine brings together the canine community (individuals, clubs and communities) and social and health care services. This cooperation produces services that can be classified as stimulating and recreational; these services then offer means for maintaining good health and the ability to function, increasing well-being and preventing isolation from taking place. Clients include public institutions, organizations and companies providing services for people recovering from mental health problems, senior citizens and those with chronic medical conditions. The benefits these clients receive are based on the impact of dog assisted activities, which has been studied scientifically and proven to be positive.|
|One of the main principles of Caring Canine is that the dog in itself is enough; there is no need to teach dogs any special tricks in order for them to be good companions. The dog is appreciated for being a dog. On one hand, these activities improve the well-being of humans within their sphere and on the other, they offer ways to improve the proper care, treatment and incorporation of the dog into society, and thus, the well-being of dogs. The values that define Caring Canine’s line of action are cooperation, fairness, courage and taking the time.
On a practical level, our activities are based on utilizing the routines that make up an ordinary day for a dog owner. As an example, dogs can be taken for group walks with the members of the client organizations joining in. They get to enjoy the company of dogs and the health promoting benefits, with or without a dog of their own. For dogs, this is an excellent socialization exercise, improving their ability to function in society and providing a natural form of activation and enrichment.
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