Consider a Therapy Dog to Help Your Athletes

February 28, 2019

The Missouri Western State University athletic department recently added a six-month-old Australian Shepard therapy dog, named Myron, as a new member of the staff to help its student-athletes overcome their challenges.

Myron was added to the department recently after mental health expert and athletic trainer Tim Neal was on campus to speak to the

The idea to adopt a therapy dog came after Tim Neal, a prominent athletic trainer and sports medicine consultant with specialty in athlete mental health, came to campus to speak to Missouri Western student-athletes and staff members. Missouri Western Head Athletic Trainer Blaise Kriley then worked with a member of his staff, Athletic Trainer Rachel Petty, to receive Myron as a donation from a local dog breeder. Kriley believes Missouri Western is the first Division II program to have a sports therapy dog on site.

Myron is often around student-athletes undergoing physical therapy, who pet and play with the dog. “Knowing he’s here and makes it easier (for the athletes) to deal with their injury,” Petty said in an article on the St. Joseph (Mo.) News Press website.

And there are other benefits. An article on the College Planning & Managementwebsite,, states: “The simple act of petting a dog is shown to reduce blood pressure. Lower levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, and an increase in oxytocin are also associated with pet therapy and contribute to respiratory and cardiovascular health.”

Are you interested in finding a therapy dog for your athletic department?

Here are tips from an article on factors to consider when selecting a dog:

Therapy dogs must:

  • Be well tempered

  • Well socialized

  • Enjoy human touch

  • Comfortable in busy or stressful settings

  • Not shed excessively

  • Love to cheer others up!

There are training and temperament testing for therapy dogs that are important to review, and the article on the College & Planning Management website refers to the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test. “This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners,” the article says. Another good resource is

SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

Lockers That Work

Looking for lockers for your team rooms? All-Star sport lockers from List Industries have raised the bar with their quality, functionality, and durability. All-Star locker feature List’s exclusive Hollow-T framing system that has ½” 13-gauge flattened expanded metal sides for maximum ventilation, safety, and rigidity. Plus, interlocking body components create a sturdy sports locker that … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Moving Up to the Pros

After years of success serving the college athletic market, G2L Window Systems got the call up to the pros. A G2L system was installed in one of the suites at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. G2L Window Systems feature frameless, open-air design that allows fans to enjoy the sounds and smells of … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Record Boards Suited for the Diamond

Baseball and softball season is just around the corner, so this a perfect time to think about the best way celebrate the accomplishments of these teams. Austin Plastics & Supply offers a large variety of record display boards designed specifically for baseball and softball. Most focus on individual season and career records for pitching and … CLICK TO READ MORE...

MSSU’s Design Continues to Inspire

To this day, Samson Equipment’s completed project at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) remains one of the company’s favorite state-of-the-art weight training facility remodels of all time. Now, the layout serves as inspiration for other athletic departments that wish to fully customize their weight and conditioning facilities and become #SamsonStrong. In the video below, see … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Kansas City Chiefs Show Commitment to Safety

For over 35 years, Allen Wright, Director of Equipment for the Kansas City Chiefs, has watched the sport of football evolve as one of the hardest-hitting sports in the world. With that comes his constant concern over whether he is providing his team with the best possible gear, especially when it comes to helmets. That’s … CLICK TO READ MORE...