Standards of practice

General Standards of Practice for Animal Assisted Activity, Animal Assisted Education, Animal Assisted Therapy and Animal Support
These Standards of Practice are designed to help and encourage individuals,organisations, institutions and health and human service providers who are interested in or are implementing an animal assisted intervention (AAI) programme. These standards are a minimum of what is needed to conduct an AAI programme for Animal Assisted Intervention International (AAII) members. All programmes are encouraged to work at levels above the minimum standards, and should also meet any standards or regulations that are required by governing bodies for their region, and their home organisation. This document is to be used in conjunction with the Standards for Health and Welfare of Dogs Working in a Range of Interventions and the General Standards of Practice for all interventions. This document specifically refers to dogs. Please refer to Glossary of Terms for definitions.

These standards are arranged in four parts covering:
1. Standards of practice for the dog handler
2. Standards of practice for the dog
3. General public issues
4. Evaluation

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Standards of practice for AAT
An AAT programme intervention assumes the participation of four equally valued parties:
– The client – therapy beneficiary
– The dog handler – an individual whohas training and experience in dog handling, training and behaviour
– Healthcare/therapy provider – in some cases, the healthcare/social service/therapy provider and the dog handler may be the same person; or they may be two separate people
– The therapy support dog

These standards are arranged in three parts covering:
1. Standards of practice for the professional healthcare/human service provider or dog handler
2. Standards of practice for the therapy support dog
3. General public issues

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Standards of practice for AAE

An AAE programme can be implemented within a classroom setting or be used as an educational tool outside the school. An AAE intervention assumes the participation of four valued parties:
– The client – student or educational programme beneficiary.
– The dog handler – an individual who has training and experience in dog handling, training and behaviour.
– The educational institution or professional provider – in some cases, the educational professional and the dog handler may be the same person; or they may be two separate people.
– The education support dog

These standards are arranged in three parts covering:
1. Standards of practice for the educational institution, professional provider, or dog handler
2. Standards of practice for the education support dog
3. Generalpublic issues

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Standards of practice for AAA
An AAA programme intervention assumes the participation of three equally valued parties:
– The client – activity beneficiary
– The dog handler – an individual or member of an organisation who has experience in dog handling, training and behaviour
– The activity dog

These standards are arranged in two parts covering:
1. Standards of practice for the dog handler
2. Standards of practice for the activity support dog

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Standards of practice for AS

These standards are arranged in two parts covering:
1. Training
2. Assessment

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Health and Welfare of Dogs

These standards are arranged in four parts covering:
1. Basic needs and rights of the dog
2. Training and handling
3. Health and welfare of the dog
4. Welfare of the dog during AAI sessions

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