Mía is a female Labrador retriever that was purchased at the Diana Campo dog breeder in Madrid for AAT therapy and companion purposes in 2012. Since then, when she was only two-months old, she has been the insignia dog of The Canis Majoris Foundation carrying out duties such as visits to the various centers that are associated with the foundation. She currently lives with Izaskun.

Her origins, lineage, selection of breeder and family were all carefully studied before being selected. Among the selection criteria applied, we observed that she was a docile and sociable animal with good clinical parameters and low propensity to illness.

Since becoming an active member of the Foundation, Mía receives training and will continue to do so for the rest of her life as a therapy dog once she has been socialized at a basic level.

From a very early stage she received training through specific games, where she was taught to accompany, listen and give love without requiring anything in exchange. As this process has advanced Mía has gained confidence as a therapy dog with a strong build and an agile and active demeanor, of good character and intelligence, skilled learner, sociable, patient and friendly.

The Labrador retriever

The Canis Majoris Foundation promotes various activities of Animal Assisted Therapy and therefore owns several therapy dogs. Despite this, in order to work with this type of animal it should not be forgotten that they are, above all pets which must be looked after and pampered. The dog is part of a therapy unit and as such, mustn’t be exploited or used. The true added value provided by the dogs to a project like this is that they  adopt an affective attitude and great bonding with the person and the extraordinary reactions that this produces for both, their owners as well as the people they live and work with on a daily basis.

However, the world of AAT is in constant evolution and the benefits for users has been demonstrated in therapies with dolphins, horses, donkeys and monkeys, however this is not apt for all pets. In the case of dogs, they must have a balanced character and be capable of learning complex tasks quickly and easily. These kinds of animals cannot be distracted in any situation and they must be capable of coping comfortably in any situation without showing any signs of aggression. Among the breeds which best respond to therapy work are the Labrador retriever, the Golden Retriever, the German shepherd along with other smaller breeds such as the Jack Russell.