The Norwegian Centre of Anthrozoology (AZS) works in the field of human-animal-relationship and is an interdisciplinary association, comprising of individuals with expertise in ethology, rehabilitation, public health and special needs education. AZS works within several areas of human animal interactions, including consultancy and practice of animal assisted interventions, education, research and behavior modification and dog training classes.

The Centre has a lot of practical experience in carrying out animal-assisted interventions in a variety of settings, like schools, hospitals and nursing homes. AZS has the leading expertise on human-animal interactions in Norway, and elaborates and provides animal-assisted interventions (AAI) for different user groups. We are responsible for ensuring that health professionals who work within AAI have sufficient expertise and that the animals used are controlled and suitable for such use. Together with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences we offer a university course in AAI, which gives 15 credits. This course gives professional handlers theoretical og practical competence in AAI. In addition we educate volunteers with their dog in AAA, also here both theoretical og practical together with the Norwegian Kennel Club and the Red Cross. The test of the dogs is an algorithmic test where we look at several different traits in the dog, and the owner has to fill out a questionnaire about how the dog acts in the normal daily life.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health is an executive agency and competent authority subordinate to the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services. They have seen the value of AAI, and wanted to increase knowledge about the use of AAT, and thereby have a basis to develop frameworks that can be used as a model for several institutions in Norway. The Norwegian Centre of Anthrozoology was asked to compose a counselling brochure for institutions working with dog-assisted interventions. The counselling specifies the need of adequate education, and emphasis that dogs used in AAI each year should be examined by a veterinarian and an ethologist to ensure that they are suitable for AAI. The Norwegian Directorate of Health also made a video of AAT with dogs based on the work of The Norwegian Centre of Anthrozoology used as an example of specialized therapy at the National Health Conference 2012. This engagement clearly states that Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services recognize AAI as a supplement to ordinary treatment.

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phone: +47 64 96 60 05

Managing director is: Line Sandstedt (