Many Havanese are certified Therapy Dogs. These dogs have been trained to provide support to others in a variety of settings, such as schools, hospitals, care facilities, and following a disaster or traumatic event. Evaluation, training, and certification are done by a number of organizations, and therapy visits are done under the auspices of the certifying organization.
Challenges for the Dog
The dog should readily accept attention from strangers and provide a calm presence. Not much physical exertion, but the work can be emotionally taxing on the dog. The dog should be able to adapt to slightly stressful situations and a variety of unfamiliar surroundings.
Challenges for the Handler
The handler must be the advocate of the dog, recognizing the type of visits appropriate for the individual dog, such as working with children (such as library or school visits), people with disabilities (such as a care setting), people who are ill (such as hospices), etc. The handler should also recognize whether their dog needs quiet time away from other pets in the house to "recover" from a visit. Low physical exertion for the handler.
The dog should have basic manners, such as from CGC-type training.