Project co-financed by the European Union under the Erasmus + Programme.

The aim of the project is to work out the standards of dog therapist training. Creating the European certification system is an innovative and unique project, which may considerably enhance the quality of services, as well as spread and promote the very idea of canine therapy.
Among various types of therapy for the disabled, dog therapy becomes very popular in Europe. Dog assisted activities are deployed also for educational purposes by teachers and in hospitals by doctors. Dogs are also present in prisons and young detention centers, where they support the reserialization process. In spite of a large scope of use of these animals, there are no homogeneous standards concerning dog therapist training or therapy dog’s work.
In each member state – Poland, Germany and Norway, these standards are defined by non-governmental organizations. We can, therefore, notice significant differences not only within each country, but also between them. The standardization of therapists’ work and dog training seem to be essential for efficacy and safety of the therapy. A common and clear certification system would have a considerable impact on the professionalization of dog therapist work.

Our project within the Erasmus + Programme consists on elaborating the course and preparing a handbook, which will describe the knowledge and the skills concerning the therapy dog choice and training. These notions include veterinary basics, dog behavior and training, ethology, dog psychology and health and safety of dogs’ work. The regulations of required skills of a therapy dog – and thus the therapist’s competences and knowledge – will be created on the basis of our partners’ experience and knowledge.

The next step constitutes the second part of the comprehensive canine therapy course. The training will focus on the therapeutical skills of a dog handler, as well as the knowledge related to education and therapy of the patients. Being a response for lacking guidelines and norms, a comprehensive canine therapy course will be standardized and implemented in three countries simultaneously – in Poland, Germany and Norway.

If it comes to the consortium members, the three organisation from partner states have been chosen; each of them specialises in dog therapist training. Animals for People Association (AfPA), The Norwegian Centre of Anthrozoology (AZS) and Das Freiburger Institut für Tiergestützte Therapie (FITT) provide a substantial partnership and are responsible for creating standards, course programme and methodology.

The consortium leader, Janusz Korczak Pedagogical University in Warsaw, has rich experience in management of large international projects related to education, society and research. What is worth mentioning, the leader’s knowledge concerning creating and conducting e-learning courses seems to be another advantage.

The Austrian social research institute abif is in charge of all monitoring, quality and evaluation matters. abif is in a neutral position within the partnership, which enables the abif team to evaluate in an impartial and supportive way.


1 - 2 LIPCA 2016 R.

W dniach 1-2 lipca 2016 roku odbędzie się konferencja „Dog in Animal Assisted Intervention” organizowana w ramach projektu „Therapy Dog Training – European Standards”. Projekt jest realizowany przez Wyższą Szkołę Pedagogiczną im. Janusza Korczaka w Warszawie w ramach programu Partnerstwa Strategiczne Erasmus Plus. Projekt jest realizowany wspólnie ze Stowarzyszeniem Zwierzęta Ludziom oraz partnerami zagranicznymi: Antrozoologi Senteret (Norwegia), Hunde begleiten LeBEN – Assistenzhunde Freiburg e.V (Niemcy) oraz ABIF – Analysis, Consulting and Interdisciplinary Research in Vienna (Austria).


Konferencja jest zwieńczeniem dwuletniego projektu w ramach którego tworzone były wspólne standardy dotyczące dogoterapii w Unii Europejskiej. Produktem projektu jest Podręcznik, zawierający wytyczne dotyczące szkolenia zespołu Człowiek-Pies. Organizacje pracujące według zaleceń podręcznika będą kształcić dogoterapeutów i prowadzić zajęcia zgodnie z najnowszymi standardami europejskimi.
W oparciu o wytyczne podręcznika powstał kurs Therapy Dog Training. Jego pierwsza edycja realizowana była w ramach funduszu projektowego, dzięki czemu mogliśmy zaoferować 10 kandydatom z każdego kraju zupełnie bezpłatny kurs w formie blended learning. Na kurs składa się praca na platformie internetowej oraz obóz wyjazdowy gdzie uczestnicy wezmą udział w wielu godzinach praktyk, ćwiczeń, wykładów oraz samodzielnej pracy pod superwizją specjalistów.
Konferencja będzie odbywać się w dniach 1 - 2 lipca 2016 r. na Wydziale Nauk o Zwierzętach SGGW, aula nr 1 (budynek 23, ul. Ciszewskiego 8, Warszawa). Zapewniamy materiały konferencyjne oraz poczęstunek. Uczestnictwo jest bezpłatne. Wymagana jest znajomość języka angielskiego (konferencja nie będzie tłumaczona).




01-02.07.2016 – Organisation of 2-day Conference, Poland
23.05-30.05.2016 - Realization of 8-day course in the field, Poland
01.03-10.05.2016 – Realization of 3-month course in e-learning environment
13-15.01.2016 - Partner`s Meeting - analysing the course work and cours book, approving the final version of the course and certification standards, Norway




11.2015 - E-pubishing of handbook
10-11.2015 - FanPage, Facebook & YouTube of the project
08.2015 - Consultation with external experts; Norway, Germany
06.2015-08.2015 - HUNDE BEGLEITEN LEBEN e.V - Lecture for Participants of Educational Course in Therapy Dog Training, Germany
10-11.07.2015 - Verden Germany; HUNDE BEGLEITEN LEBEN e.V-Lecture: Reporting the German desk Research at the symposium for Quality assurance in AAI; 15 Experts in AAI from Austria, Germany, Nethderlands, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland
6-8.07.2015 - Partner`s Meeting - summary of desk research, questionnaire.,Germany
13.06.2015 - Consultation Meeting with Polish organisations, Poland
28-30.05.2015 - Copenhagen, Denmark; HUNDE BEGLEITEN LEBEN e.V-Lecture:"IAHAIO Symposium 2015 Advancing HAI Beyond Boundaries: Developing a Road Map Toward the Future Lecture about Quality Assurance in AAI; 150 Experts in AAI from all over the world
12-14.01.2015 - Kick off Meeting, Poland




Janusz Korczak Pedagogical University (JKPU) in Warsaw is the one of the largest non-public social sciences and education institution in Poland. It was founded in 1993 by TWP, he oldest life-long learning organization in the country. The University and its 6 departments (Warsaw, Katowice, Szczecin, Lublin, Olsztyn and Czluchow) has currently circa 3000 students and more than 50.000 alumni. Over 100 associate and full professors teach at the BA and MA programs as well as at postgraduate studies and courses in the following fields: education, special education, social work, social policy and languages.

The University has developed advance distance learning in the e-learning and m-learning modes. It broad experience in project management and EU funds helped to implement in the years 2007-2014 over 50 projects co-founded by the European Social Fund, Long-Life Learning Programme and Erasmus Plus Programme for the total amount of 30 million EUR.
These projects were focused mainly on innovative methods in education and social innovations.

The University`s circa 100 international partners include academic institutions and research centers as well as corporations, associations and business organizations.




ASSOCIATION OF ANIMALS FOR PEOPLE is an organization working in the field of therapy dogs since 2008. Organization is focused on three objectives:

1. Professional therapeutic classes involving dogs in a variety of institutions e.g. schools and special kindergartens, welfare houses, hospitals, senior houses and prisons.
2. Education classes involving dogs in schools and kindergartens
3. Training volunteers and therapists

Association staff consist of pedagogues, psychologists and behaviorists with years of experience, both in working with dogs, as well as with various types of wards. Therefore, we direct our activities to a wide audience. In the Association currently work seven therapy dogs, another four are in the process of preparation for the exam, and a few puppies prepares to take training in the work with men. Since 2014, the Association implements international projects with partners from Norway, Germany and Austria. They allow for the exchange of experiences and good practices in the field of dog training and dog therapy. We also work with academic institutions - universities and the Polish Academy of Sciences, exploring the use of therapy dogs and transferring knowledge to students.



Hunde begleiten Leben e.V. is a non-profit association, which works in the field of human-animal-relationship. It is also an interdisciplinary association, comprising of individuals with expertise in ethology, psychology, public health and special needs education.
We have a lot of experience in professional education for Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). Our further education program is certified by the European Society for Animal Assisted Therapy. The task of the “specialist in animal-assisted therapy” is to employ an animal or a team of therapy-accompanying animals to support humans in their need for relief of their complaints, as well as in their autonomy and personal and social integration. They do this within their fundamental professional field or with the involvement of other specialists. The involvement of other specialists takes place according to the field of activity, with occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, (social) pedagogues, etc. We offer basic training for Dog therapy Teams. This program is also certified by the European Society for Animal Assisted Therapy. Basic training consists of at least 30 h of theoretical lessons and at least 30 h of practical training of the human-dog team. The aim is to enable those completing the course and their animal to communicate as a team, to recognize the wide-ranging possibilities and the limitations of animal-assisted work with clients, and to implement such work in a manner appropriate to the species of the particular animal.

Hunde begleiten Leben e.V. is also engage in different scientific research programs: evaluation of AAT programs, mode of action of AAT, effect of dogs on stress reduction in male and female adults. The research is carry out in cooperation with University of Budapest, University Freiburg, Veterinary University Vienna.
Our practical activities consist of projects of AAT with children with special needs, obese children, reading for dogs, AAT with older persons. Our special interest is promoting quality management in AAT.


Dr. Rainer Wohlfarth is psychologist, psychotherapist, professional in AAT. He has special experiences in health education, development of further education and animal assisted psychotherapy. He has research experience in different fields of AAT. His diverse interests include motivational theory of AAT, quality management in AAT, stress-reducing effects of animals.

Bettina Mutschler is a professional dog-training consultant. She has also a further education as a professional in AAT and she is consultant and trainer especially for AAT-teams. She also hold a degree as a professional coach.



The Norwegian Centre of Anthrozoology (AZS) works in the field of human-animal-relationship and is an interdisciplinary association, comprising of individuals with expertise in ethology, rehabilitation, public health and special needs education. AZS works within several areas of human animal interactions, including consultancy and practice of animal assisted interventions, education, research and behavior modification and dog training classes.

The Centre has a lot of practical experience in carrying out animal-assisted interventions in a variety of settings, like schools, hospitals and nursing homes. AZS has the leading expertise on human-animal interactions in Norway, and elaborates and provides animal-assisted interventions (AAI) for different user groups. We are responsible for ensuring that health professionals who work within AAI have sufficient expertise and that the animals used are controlled and suitable for such use. Together with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences we offer a university course in AAI, which gives 15 credits. This course gives professional handlers theoretical and practical competence in AAI. .

In addition we educate volunteers with their dog in AAA, also here both theoretical and practical together with the Norwegian Kennel Club and the Red Cross. The test of the dogs is an algorithmic test where we look at several different traits in the dog, and the owner has to fill out a questionnaire about how the dog acts in the normal daily life.



ABIF is an independent institute for social science research and consulting in Vienna. Since 1999, abif provides research and evaluation as well as the development of methods and curricula. Its focus point is on labor market and working world as well as education and health topics. On national level, abif’s clients are ministries, municipalities, the Austrian labor market service and other institutions. Additionally, abif participates in many European Union Projects, mostly in the area of (further) education.

In the project “Therapy Dog Training: European Standards” abif is responsible for quality management, evaluation and monitoring.

Monira Kerler is political scientist and research fellow at abif. She is experienced in international cooperation and quality assurance. She is responsible for the operative implementation of the project in Austria. You can contact her via email kerler@abif.at

Homepage http://www.abif.at/englisch/about.asp?IdPageLv1=10



K.Geletta - k.geletta@wspkorczak.eu

M.Nawarecka - m.nawarecka@zwierzetaludziom.pl, A. Bagdach - agata.bagdach@gmail.com

Rainer Wohlfarth - rainer@tiere-begleiten-leben.de, Bettina Mutschler - bettina@tiere-begleiten-leben.de

Line Sandstedt - post@azs.no, Mari-Louise Asp - ml.asp@online.no

Monira Kerler - kerler@abif.at