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Mia is a Labrador Retriever, which was acquired in the breeder Diana Campo, in Madrid.  She was acquired as an animal assistance pet, in February of 2012.

At that moment she was only two months old.  She is the insignia dog, for project Canis Majoris, and conducts tasks as visiting animal, undertaking the animal assistance in the various centers in which her works are required.

Her breeder selection, line, origins and genetic ascendency (family) were carefully studied. In the main criteria it was observed that she was docile, obedient and sociable, with good clinical parameters and little propensity to illness.

Since she is an asset for the Foundation, Mia is trained as a therapy dog, only after having been socialized at the basic level. 

Since very early, she was trained with specific games, she was taught to give company, to listen, and not ask for anything in return. As this process did advance, we discovered in Mia an assistance dog with strong structure, agile, active and with a well balanced character, with a high intelligence and a good propensity to learn complicated tasks, sociable, patient and gentle.

One of the main elements which were studied, for the best of the therapies possible, was the relationship that must exist between man and animal. The success in the therapy is based in large part, in the good synergy between both. This is a principal value in our very important link with the assistance animal, and Mia gives the best of her to accomplish it.

The Labrador Retreiver

Next to Dolphins and Donkeys, dogs are the most popular therapy animals, even though we have been introduced to therapies with horses and monkeys.  In addition to helping people with disabilities, Foundation Canis Majoris also oversees the protection and well being of the dog, the other main protagonist in the project Canis Majoris. Dogs are not only therapy animals, but they also carry the role of company animals. Their trainers and owners protect them excellently, and they provide for them the necessary care advised by the veterinarians. Furthermore, dogs form part of the therapeutic unit, and should not be mistaken for exploitation, under any circumstance.

The true added value which dogs provide to a project like this one, is that they carry on the affective attitude, and closeness towards the human being.  The reactions they create daily, in their owners or their caretakers are extraordinary.

To undertake therapy tasks, nonetheless, one cannot rely on just “any” company animal.  Its a task which requires dogs with a specially balanced character, and which are able to learn complicated orders, in short time and with a certain user friendliness. These types of dogs cannot get distracted easily, and must be ready to develop proper responses, in the company of people or other animals, without presenting aggression whatsoever. Among the races of dogs which best respond to animal assisted therapies are the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever and the German Shepard.