Dogs as Therapy – Meet Tess

Tess is currently in training through the PAWS-accredited scheme to become a qualified Therapy Dog. If you want to know more about the accreditation please see the following link

More About Tess


Tess is a Patterdale Terrier. At about 4 years old, she is both a whirlwind of activity and a calming influence when needed. She is my second Patterdale and before coming to live with my son and me she was a farm dog and also worked. Patterdale Terriers require a high level of both mental and physical stimulation and Tess is no exception.

Tess’s favourite things to do are to get in the fells, chase a ball, play with toys, and carry sticks. She also loves tug-of-war. Embarrassingly, she has been known to steal a ball or stick from another dog so I have to watch her carefully, just in case. She also kayaks with me. Tess goes out on long walks or running with me twice a day as well as working (therapy dog training and obedience training) to keep her mind busy.

Tess has already started to work with me in some lessons. She has shown that she can recognise when she needs to be quiet and lie down (sometimes snoozing on the job and occasionally snoring which always gives a student something to laugh at). She has also shown that when a student is anxious or upset that she can recognise this and come and sit beside them. Sometimes they need to pet her for reassurance and other times they just like to know that she is there.


Tess and Sarah

Currently, Tess and I are working out the correct level of exercise she needs in the morning so that she can focus and be calm throughout a lesson. Once Tess and I have got the lessons correct in how we work together, we will then be working on lengthening her work focus so that she can work with me in assessments. Once we have cracked that and completed other course training and skills, she can go forward with assessment for her qualification as a Therapy Dog.