“Canine Therapy uses dogs to promote health and healing.  Like other animals, dogs are accepting, comforting and non-judgmental, making them ideal therapy companions.”

-Unknown Author


At New Vision Wilderness, our canine therapy program uses Golden Retrievers very strategically to teach our clients how to work on healthy relationships with the ultimate goal being transferable attachment.  Transferable attachment is practicing relationship tools with the canines and then transferring those skills learned to healthy human relationships.  The unconditional love and loyalty that canines provide make them the perfect animal to work with when practicing safe relationships.

When coming to New Vision Wilderness, students are gradually introduced into the canine program with the initial focus being on their own safety and self-care.  During this time they are encouraged to participate in canine activities and are able to interact daily.  Once students are ready, they are able to take on the role of canine caregiver.  As the canine caregiver, they are responsible for practicing our CASA model which stands for commitment, acceptance, security, and attunement.

Research suggests that through caring for and interacting with a dog, there can be many benefits, including:

  • Decreased stress
  • Increased physical activity and healthy play
  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Increased focus and attention through experiential learning
  • Improved communication and social skills
  • Learning appropriate ways to treat self and others
  • Unconditional love, affection, nurturing and empathy
  • Increased self-esteem and feelings of empowerment
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Elevated mood
  • Raised levels of oxytocin
  • Reduced loneliness and bigger sense of purpose
  • Setting and respecting boundaries
  • Motivation to stay in treatment and participate fully in therapy

-CRC Health Group

Meet our Canine Team


Diesel came to New Vision Wilderness in October 2016 at about 3 years old. He is a lover and can’t stand to be away from his pack.  He also likes to push the boundaries often and needs assertive communication and consistency, which are great teaching lessons for our students. His favorite activities include swimming, playing fetch, and observing the squirrels. He is a big boy weighing close to 85 pounds, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to be a lap dog. Diesel really seems to love his job and knows that he is serving a purpose.


Cali came to New Vision in March of 2017 after spending several years working with students at CALO. While Cali may be small, weighing only 65 pounds, she can be very strong and energetic which challenges the students who work with her. Cali loves to hike, chew on sticks and cuddle up next to students. She does a great job with mirroring things that are going on with her group and pushing students therapeutically. Cali loves her job and being in the woods and we are extremely grateful to have her as part of our team!

New Vision Wilderness - Canine Therapy Canine AthenaAthena

Athena is a member of the north woods crew in Wisconsin since May 2017 and has come to us after working at another CALO program in Virginia.  Athena is a sweet heart and loves to cuddle. She is also strong willed and keeps our students on their toes trying to figure out her needs and how to best get all of her energy out. Athena has a lot of love to share with the students in the woods and is a great fit for the team!

New Vision Wilderness Canine KingstonKingston

Kingston was born in October of 2014 and has been with New Vision Wilderness since September of 2015.  He has worked in many of our groups, starting out in Wisconsin then transitioning out to our Oregon branch.  He is our most experienced wilderness canine and has worked hard on all of his relationships with our students.  He tends to put in as much effort as the caregiver who is working with him.  He also gives great feedback with his body language that can be pointed out by our staff.  This is great substance for metaphors in everyday life.  Kingston really enjoys his play time when he is able to run free and begging for people snacks is another favorite hobby.  Thank you Kingston for teaching valuable lessons while also being a great canine companion in the woods.  Keep it up!!

New Vision Wilderness Canine TuckerTucker

Tucker is an amazing, energetic golden retriever at about 3.5 years of age.  He is not our biggest canine, but he sure has strength.  All of his energy makes him the perfect fit for a high energy group in our Oregon location.  Tucker loves to chase and catch snowballs during the winter months and then lay close to the fire to curl up for a nap.  Tucker is great at his job in both challenging and comforting the students in need.

New Vision Wilderness Canine TuckerNova

Nova was born on November 12, 2016 under the Supermoon which is where his astronomical name comes from, “Supernova.” He is a great pup in the woods with his mellow, easy-going personality.  He loves working with the students and will do anything for a treat or simply some play time.  His presence is known in his group and he brings a sense of both fun and safety to the students.


How To Contact New Vision

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