What are Courthouse Dogs?


Courthouse Dogs, dog therapy

Courthouse dogs are living proof that dogs are best friends to humankind. Since they are far more domesticated than other animals, their lives have become intertwined with humanity. Now, we can train dogs to use their talents to benefit human lives. A courthouse dog is similar to a service dog in how they both assist humans, but courthouse dogs are trained to help, prosecutors, and victims through all stages the legal process. Courthouse dogs bring physical and psychological relief to those who are involved in legal and judicial proceedings.


Like all future canine assistants, courthouse dogs undergo extensive training programs before becoming certified to extend support to humans. Adult dogs over age of two years are viable candidates. Some courthouse dogs when they completed a two-week training programs. Other courthouse dogs were raised with the intention of becoming a courthouse dog since they were puppies. Once these dogs fully mature, they go on to attend training programs that last for over a year long. If the dogs excel at demonstrating the appropriate behavior and temperate, then they become official courthouse dogs and their service begins.

Courthouse Dogs Lend a Helping Paw

Courthouse dogs help people by accompanying them during trials. The dog’s presence and calmness can soothe people into testifying with greater ease that they wouldn’t have felt if they had testified without the dog near by. The mere act of petting an animal is therapeutic; it has been proven to reduce blood pressure and slow down heart rates in both the human and the animal being pet. These effects can alleviate pain caused by withdrawal symptoms in people who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. That kind of relief is especially helpful to people who have to recount traumatic experiences to a room full of strangers whose opinions will ultimately dictate their case’s final decision.

Best Friends, courthouse dogs

Think of the Children

Courthouse dogs are invaluable when it comes to comforting children in courtroom environments. By simply lending their companionship, courthouse dogs provide comfort to children who’ve become entangled in the legal system. Children feel calmer with courthouse dogs at their side because these dogs create a sense of familiarity and comfort that courtroom environments typically lack. During trials that deal with child physical or sexual abuse, courthouse dogs are highly useful. Thus, courthouse dogs are excellent at making young children feel grounded in the middle of a chaotic, stressful experience that they might have yet to understand.


Photo Credit:  istockphoto.com


Gerald Owens, has a vision – to create an online community that embraces all aspects to having and caring for pets. Our mission is to provide pet “guardians” with accurate, relevant information on how to have happier and healthier animal companions.