Research Studies and Outcomes


  • Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) has shown positive outcomes in the following target areas: autism-spectrum disorders, medical difficulties, behavioral problems, emotional well-being, happiness, social interactions, and physiological health.

  • Studies on therapeutic dog training programs with juvenile-justice populations demonstrated improvements in social skills, empathy, self-esteem and self efficacy, problem solving skills, relationships with others, increased emotional and behavioral regulation, reduced aggressive behavior; improved social interaction, leadership, and self-reported improvements in self-confidence, nurturing, empathy, social skills, and pride of accomplishment.

  • The K9 Connection program has demonstrated a statistically significant increase in emotional intelligence and empathy and a decrease in antisocial and self-serving perceptions. The program has proven to help students improve their ability to recognize and express their emotions, to understand and relate to others, to cope with stress, to think in a less negative or self-serving manner, and to give increased consideration to the thoughts and feelings of others.

  • The Teaching Love and Compassion (TLC) program has shown to help students to increase their self-confidence and self-esteem, learn positive methods to deal with conflict, and improve their attitude toward school and authority figures.

  • Participants in the Project Pooch program reported improvements in honesty, empathy, nurturing, social-growth, understanding, self-confidence, and pride of accomplishment. Staff reported improvement in respect for authority, social interaction, and leadership.

  • The Lead The Way program demonstrated improvements in social skills, self-efficacy, emotional regulation, self-concept, and relatedness to others.


  • According to the superintendent of the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Facility, the Pairing Achievement with Service (PAWS) program has “had a phenomenal impact on the culture of the dormitories."



Please click here for these studies and additional research on the efficacy of animal-assisted therapy and therapeutic dog training programs.

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