What is a care dog?

Riikka Holappa

A care dog is a healthy adult dog with sufficient life experience of different people, places and situations. The dog has to get along well also with other dogs, as care dogs usually work in groups of 2-6 pairs of dog/instructor, depending on the size of the destination of the visit.

The dog should be suited for the task by its nature and be friendly and naturally interested in people, as the dogs are not specifically trained to be care dogs. A need for all types of care dogs in different sizes and breeds exists as depending on the clients’ preferences every dog has a special place in somebody’s heart.   

To be eligible to attend care dog activities, a care dog instructor needs to attend a 2-day training organized by the Finnish Kennel Club which includes evaluation of the dog for the task in addition to theory. Due to this procedure it is possible for the inviter to know that teams working under the Care dog -title act according to same practices and instructions. The attire of The Finnish Kennel Club’s care dogs consists of an orange scarf on the dog and a badge on the instructor.