Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Lindsey Kooistra

Second Advisor

Holly Grieves


The purpose of this capstone experience was to develop a program for emotional relationship training to create a human-animal interaction (HAI) with a dog and their owner. Along with promoting the importance of mental health and engagement in occupations. The program focused on helping the dog provide emotional support to their owner through participating in the training of the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. This outline helped deepen the bond between dog and owner and allowed them to become more connected as a team. There is a gap in knowledge between the use of animal assistance in therapy and the benefits of the relationship between animals and humans. Education and awareness were provided on the different certifications of animal therapy and the benefits of deepening the relationship. Throughout this capstone experience, participants in the program were given opportunities to meet the needs of both the dog and their owner and build toward their desired goals.