Angelika Cieśla, Justyna Mazan
Laboratory of Horse Breeding and Animal-Assisted Therapy, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland
Abstract. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of activities with dogs (AAA) on pre-school children in the light of their parents’ opinions. The study was performed based on a questionnaire addressed to the parents of a group of 18 children participating in pre-school activities at the Youth Centre in Szczecin. Based on the questionnaire completed by the parents of children participating in the activities involving a dog, it is possible to conclude that this type of meetings have a definitely positive effect on many aspects of the functioning of children. All the surveyed parents think that these activities positively affect the well-being of their children and the formation of positive emotions. Ninety five percent of the respondents think that a dog motivates a child to perform various tasks and exercises, while among positive changes being observed after these activities with a dog the parents most often name a disposition to greater physical activity, better contact with peers, increased sense of safety and self-confidence, improved concentration of attention and emotional calmness of children. These activities are very popular among children and enjoy great satisfaction among their parents. The responds referring to the type of activities and the characteristics of a therapy dog are evidence of the fact that the parents are well informed on the issues of canine-assisted therapy, which may signal a growing awareness among our society. These observations show that the activities involving animals (AAA-type ones) are not only useful in the rehabilitation of people with disabilities but also bring a number of benefits in the work with children with normal intellectual and physical development, contributing the same to better development of all areas of the child’s functioning.
Keywords: animal-assisted acitivity, animal-assited therapy, children, dogs, dog-assisted activity
Accepted: 15 Sep 2015
Published online: 30 Apr 2017
Cieśla, A., Mazan, J. (2015). The effect of Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) involving a dog on pre-school children in the light of their parents’ opinions. Acta Sci. Pol. Zootechnica, 14(4), 33‒42.