Canines and Transferable Attachment: Through training, protecting, feeding, and nurturing Golden Retrievers Calo students internalize attachment lessons that transfer to human relationships
No other teen or preteen treatment program in the world has a Canine Transferable Attachment program. This is wholly and completely owned by Calo and is a ground-breaking new way to teach traumatized and attachment-disordered teenagers and pre-teenagers how to attach with and care for others.
When our teens and preteens are traumatized or have difficulty with attachment, they usually present in an emotionally dysregulated state. They have little trust, jump to a defensive posture easily, and no matter how hard an adult might try to get through defenses, many of our students keep emotionally disengaged and frequently remain angry in their presentation. Our Golden Retrievers can break through many of these defenses. They are the perfect breed for work with our teens and preteens in that they are "perpetual puppies" that like to play, love, and be loved.
Almost all of our teens and preteens work with a particular, identified Golden. They feed, train, groom, and care for this Golden. They make relational mistakes with this Golden and have relational successes with this Golden. Very frequently, they become inseparable from this Golden. About a third will actually adopt their Golden permanently. In all these ways, our teens and preteens learn attachment lessons and trust through their interactions with their canine. They learn empathy for the canine and they learn empathy for their parents and guardians because they are experiencing being a guardian to their canine. We then help them transfer these lessons to their family relationships. This is done in overt communication. It is also powerfully done by simply experiencing safe attachment with their canine throughout their stay at Calo, and often with their new adopted canine at home. Many of our current and former students have cited Calo's Transferable Attachment program as the linchpin to their post-Calo success in being a responsible, trusting, empathic and reciprocal young adult.