10 reasons why we use golden retrievers in all of our programs

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Sensory Input

Golden retrievers are well known for their beautiful long, golden coats, making them very attractive pets. However, beauty isn’t the only benefit of their fine fur. It also creates a fantastic sensory opportunity for our students. The simple experience of petting the dog is calming, soothing, and regulating for both the student and the canine.

Friendly and easy to train

Golden retrievers generally have a friendly, cheerful disposition inviting you to interact with them whether you’re a stranger or longtime caregiver. They are eager to please their caregivers for a treat or an affectionate tone or touch, making them loyal and easy to train. It doesn’t take much for them to learn basic commands and tricks. This offers a certain degree of satisfaction and accomplishments to our students as they learn to train one of the goldens and see them positively respond to their commands.

Can adapt and attach to multiple caregivers

Some dogs see their first caregiver as master and struggle to view anyone else as the master over them. Golden retrievers are adaptable and submissive to respond to multiple caregivers as the leader over them.

Safe, approachable relationships

Humans can be scary and unpredictable making them difficult to trust and accept care from. Canines, however, are innately safe to our students. Our goldens are the first staff from whom our students will accept affection and safe touch. They bridge the gap to creating safe, trusting environment and will always offer unconditional love and affection.

Promote exercise and training

Golden retrievers thrive when provided ample opportunities for exercise and movement, just as our students do. The canines provide a wonderful incentive to get up, move around, and take long walks to best meet the goldens’ needs. This serves a dual-purpose in providing the movement and exercise which benefits our students when they might not naturally be inclined to exercise for merely their own benefit.

Provide responsibility and caretaker opportunity

All can attest to the importance of teens learning responsibility, but it’s a different ballgame for them to actually be receptive to learning. Through our canine therapy program students experience hands-on responsibility through providing extensive individual care to the canines each and every day throughout their stay. Students are supported and guided as they feed, water, exercise, train, and clean up after the canines.

Simulates process of adoption

Our canine adoption process allows students to better understand the ups and downs of working through an adoption. For much of our student population this will model a similar experience their parents went through to adopt them. While it’s worthwhile to adopt the canine, it’s a difficult, emotional process that requires a great deal of commitment.

Walks students through the CASA Treatment Model

We use our proprietary therapeutic treatment model in every department and aspect of Calo. What better way for our students to understand commitment, acceptance, security and attunement than by guiding them through practicing this with our golden retreivers! This is a safe way for our students to learn the skills necessary for healthy relationships.

Cuddle buddies

Golden retrievers are eager to love and be loved on by our students. Their sweet, gentle disposition makes them some of the best cuddle buddies around! They’re always willing to offer the warm embrace to snuggle into or a shoulder to cry on.

New best friend for life

Through a lot of time, hard work, and effort students can create a safe, trusting relationship with their golden retriever and develop a relationship like none other. Many fully complete the canine adoption process and bring their fur-ever friend home!