De-Stress with Therapeutic Dogs

Photo courtesy of Sue Grundfest

Photo courtesy of Sue Grundfest

By Alex Aguilar

Love Dog Adventures came to the College of Southern Nevada with furry friends to help students de-stress.

Emily King, CSN West Charleston librarian, said it wasn’t until last fall the College decided to have dog therapy.

“I love having Love Dog Adventures come to campus,” King said. “We count down the days until they arrive because it’s so nice having these adorable dogs around. We started because we heard positive stories from other libraries that had brought in therapy dogs to help students de-stress and we thought it would be great for the students here at CSN.”

According to CRC Health Group Inc., a behavioral health-care service provider, there are many benefits for people who interact with animals. Some find increased self-esteem, lower levels of anxiety and improved health functions including blood pressure.

According to the National Center for Health Research, a non-profit organization that conducts research, in the article titled “Pets and Health: The Impact of Companion Animals” written by Dana Casciotti, “Some research studies have found that people who have a pet have healthier hearts, stay home sick less often, make fewer visits to the doctor, get more exercise and are less depressed. Pets may also have a significant impact on allergies, asthma, social support and social interactions with other people.”

“Because many children, teens and adults enjoy working with animals, animal-assisted therapy can be particularly beneficial for individuals who are resistant to treatment or have difficulty accessing their emotions or expressing themselves in talk therapy,” according to CRC’s website.

3Sue Grundfest, founder of Love Dog Adventures, is a professional dog trainer who creates customized programs that harness the healing power of pets in therapeutic or educational settings.

“It all started about 20 years ago with a poodle named Coco who helped me recover from an illness,” said Grundfest, as she describes how her interest in animal-assisted therapy began. “Since then many dogs have gone through the program and have brought out things in people that I have not seen before.”

She brought her dogs to campus and invited other dog owners who went through her animal-assisted training program to interact with CSN students in the libraries.

“Animals have an innate affiliation with people and we make an effort to inspire confidence within the animals and the people who come in contact with them,” Grundfest said.



Tiffany Tiberti, dog owner who went through Grundfest’s program with her dog, said it helped calm her dog George down to be ready to interact with people in a loving and stable way.

“Before the program, he was all over the place,” Tiberti said. “I mean he still is, but he knows that when I put my uniform on and he puts on his scarf, we are at work.”

“Coming to schools like CSN helps students and faculty relax and take a break from stress,” Tiberti said. “For example, students stress over finals, so when we come down and visit they relax and focus on the dogs instead of exams.”

For more information on Love Dog Adventures visit

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