The Psychological Benefits of Spending Time with Dogs is a 4-part talk that goes beyond dogs. It sets a context of environmental concern and proceeds into the mental health benefits of spending time in nature. The presentation follows these contexts with several specific benefits of spending time with dogs including companionship, playfulness, learning occupational skills, and enhancing empathy, confidence, and cross-species friendships. The Mary Ellen Humane Education Society is described and its Shake-a-Paw program aims to provide youth who are struggling with mental health issues with these benefits by teaching them to train hard-to-adopt dogs. The neural and hormonal basis of attachment to dogs is aligned with attachment theory, a "safety bridge", and new findings of changes in oxytocin levels correlated with human-dog affection.
This was a talk given on February 27, 2017 as part of BC Psychological Association's Psychology Month. The video comes in 4 parts, total length of about 1 hour & 30 minutes. To link to each part, click on each part from here - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
The powerpoint to accompany the video talk is available on the Mary Ellen Humane website's Evidence tab.