Dog-assisted therapy

All of the therapy dogs we have have been rescued, often from near-death situations. For some of them, it took years of rehabilitation and therapy, before they were able to provide therapy themselves. 

They do know what you may be struggling with.

Journey into unknown

Centaur established the first dog-assisted therapy session in summer, 2010. Therapy with the help of horses was our top priority from the start. However, Centaur team engaged with animal rescue activities from the very beginning, as well. After receiving treatment and being trained, the dogs that lived in our improvised shelter turned out to be not only extremely friendly, but also miraculously inclined towards helping people.

Therefore, we were thinking: what if the dogs can become working therapists as well? Or… furrapists?

Before we could make any preparations on the therapy process, the dogs decided to take it in paw. A huge Armenian Gampr named Bassit, who had never been interested in people before, approached one of the kids who visited our hippotherapy sessions. The boy was blind, and for years his mother had been trying to do whatever it takes to restore his sight.

Bassit ran to the kid and licked his eyes. Everyone around was shocked, and we were about to stop it, but the mother insisted to keep it going. And Bassit kept licking the eyes, as minutes passed by. Afterwards, Bassit and the boy continued the ritual every therapy session, doing their own, and strange, kind of therapy.

After two month, the boy had suddenly been startled when entering the bathroom, and backed off from it. What could it possibly mean? The mother was staggered, but quickly came to realize what frightened the child. It was light. He started seeing light and shadows again.

We still don’t have the explanation to what happened back then, and it was a once in a lifetime happening. But one thing is certain: we were so inspired by the miracle, that we decided to learn how to do dog-assisted  therapy, and host the so-called furrapy sessions at our center in Ushi, Aragazotn region. Since then, we have trained over 30 dogs for therapy, and treated hundreds of people, children and adults alike, from various traumas, health and mental conditions. The benefits of dog-assisted therapy are, but no limited to:

“Centaur” AAT center

Dog assisted therapy

Here is a quick list of organizations that benefit from our dogs and who can reaffirm they’re cool! Mari Izmirlian Orphanage, Kharberd orphanage, For You Ngo’s, the State Rehabilitation Center, FAR Center for Children in Crisis, which we visit four times a week with 6 of our dogs, and 2 volunteer dogs.


After doing the dog-assisted therapy for 3 years, in 2013 we visited Warsaw, to meet up with respective NGOs and discuss the possibilities for Armenian street dogs to become professional therapists, recognized by our colleagues in European Union. We collectively decided to conduct an experiment, and within one more year we held a seminar, presenting the results of our field study to our colleagues, who visited our center.

It was thought that mixed-breeds are not suitable for therapy, and only conservative approach to AAT couldn’t be considered reliable, which meant only purebred dogs like labradors had been used in therapy. The conclusive result was that the therapy masters, having observed how Centaur rescues interacted with people on therapy ground, agreed that they outperformed their class by a great deal, which was previously simply unimaginable.

AAT is hard labour that needs strong, faithful and dedicated people. And also lots of love: without it, dogs will never be able to give patients that very special kind of warmth that they need.

Dog-assisted therapy is great at treating various

Dog-assisted therapy boosts your self-esteem, empathy, communication and socialization skills, teaches responsibility, and provides with motivation for recovery from any trauma or health condition.

Dogs fight with the feeling of isolation, anxiety and loneliness, treat speech & emotional disorders, and depression.

Forget about boredom.


Become more empathetic

Can break down the ice

Get better soon!

You think better of yourself 

The Workshop

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“Everything you can imagine is real”

 Pablo Picasso