We allow dogs in our studio and yes it is sometimes a distraction. The unspoken rule is that if it makes someone uncomfortable we will take the dogs outside and do some of the workout out there.
Mac Dodds M.A., CSCS
Live Your Best Years Now
I think it depends upon whether the individuals is an animal lover. Some people just don’t like animals.
I happen to be a animal lover and LOVE dogs. I do think it is a unique selling point. For many it is the only way that get to interact with animals is when the visit the homes of those who are animal lovers.
I personally keep dog treats in my truck and actively look for individuals with dogs so that I can give the dog a treat. I am not able to have a dog where I live so I get to indulge my desire when I am in contact with others who have dogs.
I think you’re probably right. Your dog may be helping you to maintain more clients than you would have alone.
Dogs, and other animals, are being used more in hospital, VA and rehabilitation centers every day. The medical community is finding that these animals are instrumental in helping patients heal, both physically and psycologically.
Dogs and other animals don’t judge us. They don’t care if we can’t complete an exercise, they’re thrilled that we tried. They cheer us on through our successes and our failures. They help us forget how difficult things can be at times, allowing us to push on to another level of achievement.
I think some of the research that the VA has done in the last 10 years through the Wounded Warrior programs with dogs, has proven what a powerful and useful tools animals can be in helping people heal. They’ve even used pot bellied pigs in some enviroments to reach out to wounded warriors that were raised on farms.
Keep it up! It probably not only helps your clients, but yourself as well. Petting your dog after dealing with a challenging client can reduce your stress level as well….and he probably likes the attention!