Registration now open for annual National Dog Show Therapy Dog Symposium at Rowan University

Registration now open for annual National Dog Show Therapy Dog Symposium at Rowan University

Pich, with her therapy dog Vivian, and Frei

Tickets are available for the 5th annual National Dog Show Therapy Dog Symposium at Rowan University, a daylong event Friday, Dec. 8, for therapy dog handlers, health care experts, researchers and people who simply love dogs.

The program, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., takes place in partnership with the National Dog Show, which will be broadcast nationally following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. It will be co-hosted by National Dog Show host David Frei and Michele Pich, assistant director of Rowan’s Shreiber Family Pet Therapy Program.

The symposium’s line-up of speakers includes Ann Howie, LISW, as keynote, along with a professional dog trainer, educators and human health professionals.

Begun in 2019, the symposium returns to the Eynon Ballroom in the Chamberlain Student Center on Rowan’s Glassboro campus as a hybrid, in-person/virtual event. Tickets are $65 in-person (including lunch), $60 for veterans & senior citizens, $35 to attend virtually and $25 for students.

“To be there in-person with other animal-assisted therapy providers and dog lovers is very impactful, and there are great networking opportunities, especially as we highlight therapy dogs in educational settings this year,” Pich said.

Pich said Rowan’s pet therapy program features nearly 40 certified therapy dogs who, with their 30 human handlers, provide comfort and a source of calmness and anxiety relief on all of Rowan’s academic and medical campuses as well as at Rowan College of Burlington County.

Anyone interested in animal-assisted therapy, from working therapists, educators and students to dog owners seeking a deeper understanding of canine behavior may attend the symposium.

Animal-assisted interventions make up a growing segment of therapy practices and research shows that their effect on patients can include anxiety relief as well as help for an array of conditions, including for patients with PTSD, in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical settings.

The symposium is a human-only event except for a few Shreiber Family Pet Therapy Program therapy dogs that may join during lunch. Attendees who require the assistance of service dogs are welcome to bring them.

Register today.