Who we are

Canistherapeutic Training Association Hafík (below just „Hafík“) was established in 2001 in Třeboň and is focused on educating trainers who train therapeutic dogs and, first of all, on practising professional canistherapy.

Since 2008, Hafík is an accredited voluntary centre in area of long-lasting voluntary activities. Hafík is therefore the first organization qualified to practise voluntary activities by volunteers with tested therapeutic dogs. The most important aim of this long-term accredited voluntary service is helping handicapped people, seniors and helping with child- and youth-care in Czech Republic, specially in South and Central Bohemia.

Newly since 2009, Hafík is a member of the Club of Nonprofit Organizations in Czech Republic – information and education centre. The organization further cooperates with National Voluntary Centre Hestia and is a member of European Association for Animal Assisted Therapy – ESAAT.

The main aim of our organization is practising of canistherapy as one of the methods for supporting psycho-social health of people in any age. Here we take advantage of favourable effect of a dog on human health. Sometimes we talk about „dog love treatment“. The dog affects positively both experience and behaviour of human being. Canistherapy is one of zootherapy forms that, in general, includes supportive and curative application of an animal on the basis of encounter and relationship of the human and the animal. We talk about a therapy when there is a therapeutic plan set by specialist, when it’s possible to measure results of this activity and make them objective. Another activities in the presence of the dog (canis-activities) are related to feeling of happiness, joy, meaningfully spent time of the client, his positive emotional experience etc.

In general, a dog helps to reduce feelings of loneliness, reduces stress, inclination to depression, helps to keep bodily activity, prevents falling to apathy, it can become the most important thing in the whole life for a human, and it’s a source of emotionally positive experience, too. The dog represents motivation, stimulation and activation instrument for the client during various activities, games, learning, rehabilitation and so on. Ordinary obligation can become an amusement, meaningful activity (from the client view) thanks to appropriate involvement of the dog. The dog helps children for example in a development of psychomotoric functions, social skills, accepting responsibility and parental attitudes.

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