For most of us, going to the dentist isn’t usually something we look forward to. But, patients at one Wichita, Kansas dentist’s office are actually enjoying the experience, thanks to one very special dog!
Baron the Bearded Collie instinctively knows how to calm patients’ nerves. With a wag of his tail, a cuddle and a smooch from this stunningly handsome boy, patients can’t help but feel at ease as they wait for their appointment.
Boynton Family Dental owner and dentist, Dr. Craig Boynton, after noticing how anxious many of his dental patients were feeling before procedures, decided to train his dog, Baron, to be a therapy dog.
“He actually likes to go around the whole office, from room to room to room, to check on who’s there,” Dr. Boynton explained to KAKE of the friendly pup that now comes to work with him each day.
“Sometimes they will be in tears, and it will get rid of those tears. They will just concentrate on being with him for a little bit,” said Boynton.
Unlike service dogs that are trained to perform specific tasks for a single handler, therapy dogs, like Baron, are trained to provide comfort to a wide variety of people. Dogs have been providing comfort and calm to hospital patients, in nursing homes, and in rehabilitation centers for years, and now the trend is moving toward doctor’s and dentist’s offices, airports, schools, and other places where people tend to feel stress or anxiety and can benefit from the love of a dog.
While dogs of any size, shape, and breed can be great therapy dogs, a candidate will have great basic obedience and enjoy meeting and interacting with strangers. If you’re interested in training your own dog to provide therapy, contact a local trainer to inquire about training and certifications in your area.