0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    La La Land Blog

    Therapy Dogs: Which Breeds You Should Consider?

    Therapy Dogs: Which Breeds You Should Consider?

    Words by Roland Jakob

     

    As most owners will attest, petting a dog can improve mental health as well as physical wellbeing. In fact, interaction with a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and release endorphins that calm and relax the mind. 

    Therapy dogs can reduce overall physical pain levels and help minimize anxiety, stress, and depression. They can play an important role in rehabilitation and care. In theory, any breed can be trained as a therapy dog, but in reality, some breeds are better suited to the role. 

    Although dogs are the most commonly used therapy animal, they aren’t the only pets that can have therapeutic effects on people. Research shows that horses, guinea pigs and even fish in a tank can have soothing and calming effects on people and children who suffer from mental conditions.

    Cats are also very popular therapy and emotional support animals. But let’s focus on canines first.

    A therapy dog needs to have the following attributes:

    • Intelligence – Intelligence not only makes training easier, but it means that a dog will be able to read a situation, determine what’s required, and provide the therapy needed.
    • Adaptable – A therapy dog needs to adapt to new situations and new people. Some dogs, especially those used for rehabilitation, will not spend too long with a single person, and all therapy dogs will need to adapt to new locations and situations. 
    • Trainable – A well-trained therapy dog not only responds to commands, but is trained to behave calmly, provide care where it is needed, and they need to learn to do all of this in loud and difficult circumstances.  
    • Focused – The therapy dog will need to retain focus throughout its work. These dogs can work in challenging situations and conditions, but they need to be able to perform their duties regardless.
    • Calm – One of the purposes of a therapy dog is to calm patients, or to prevent calm people from becoming agitated. They can’t do this or provide therapy if they are not calm themselves. 
    • Gentle – No matter how friendly and calm a dog is, it also needs to be friendly. Some dogs can weigh nearly as much as a person. If they jump up at their human companions when greeting them, it can lead to accidental injury.
    • Clean – Therapeutic environments can include hospitals and nursing homes. The dog should not carry bugs or germs into these environments, so one that is low shedding and doesn’t drool is preferred.
    • Comfortable Being Touched – The greatest benefits of using therapy dogs come when patients are allowed to stroke and pet the dog, although their presence alone can have a calming effect. The dog must be happy to be stroked and touched but remain calm.

    The Best Therapy Dog Breeds

    There are a lot of criteria required when looking for therapy dogs. Fortunately, there are thousands of breeds of dog, and many of them that meet and exceed these criteria. Some of the most commonly and successfully used breeds include the following.

     

    Labrador Retriever

    The Labrador is loyal, loving, caring, and affectionate. He is happy and gentle. It’s little wonder that he is the most popular dog breed in the US, and has been for many a year. He makes a great therapy dog because he is also trainable and remains calm.

    Golden Retriever

    The Golden Retriever has most of the same traits as the Lab, except that his shedding tends to be more noticeable because of the length of his hair. You should also do research about the differences between male and female Golden Retrievers, as some factors might influence their ability to be good therapy dogs.

    German Shepherd

    The German Shepherd has found use as a guard dog, police dog, search and rescue dog, and even a bomb detection dog. He is clever, dependable, remains incredibly calm, and he can be loving and affectionate, too. 


    Poodle

    Whether standard or miniature, the Poodle is another clever breed. He also has the advantage of being described as having hypoallergenic hair. Although this isn’t strictly true, he doesn’t shed, which is another reason for his incredible popularity.

    Border Collie

    The Border Collie isn’t just great working in the fields and tending his flock. He is eager to please his owner and everybody else around him. His attention is unwavering when working at an assigned task and he is considered the most intelligent dog breed – an excellent choice for a therapy dog.

    Beagle

    Beagles are not only friendly and easy to train but are often preferred over larger breeds like German Shepherds because they are less intimidating. They do tend to be a bit vocal, but good training can bypass this.

    Cavalier King Charles

    If you want to be sure that a dog won’t intimidate people, the Cavalier King Charles is sweet and lovable. He also has a very appealing coat and most King Charles have a strong desire to be stroked. 

    Corgi

    The Corgi meets all of the requirements of the therapy dog, and despite his slightly lazy and laid back look, he is quite spritely and energetic during his younger years. He has a smile on his face most of the time.

    Pomeranian

    The Pomeranian is characterful. He’s also small enough to comfortably sit on most peoples’ laps. He will happily make his way around a room full of people to say hello to everybody.

    Maltese

    The Maltese is another lap-sized dog that is begging to be stroked. What’s more, he uses his lap size to his advantage, finding a warm knee upon which to curl up and sleep. 


    French Bulldog

    The French Bulldog looks like he’s always smiling, and that’s because he’s virtually always happy. He’s especially happy when he’s with people, so that makes him a great therapy companion.

    Pug

    Pugs are ideal for therapy patients of all ages. They are especially friendly with children, and they’ve got quite a lot of play in them, as well, which further endears them to the younger generation.

    Yorkshire Terrier

    The Yorkshire Terrier is another small dog with a big heart. They are smart and lively, and they can be easily trained by an experienced handler. They can also enjoy some lively time when called upon.


    Choosing a Therapy Dog

    Choosing the right breed is only half the job when it comes to finding the best therapy dog. The individual animal needs to have the right mindset and character, and he needs to be trained well, too. The breeds above are just a sample of some of the breeds that excel in this area. And remember, if dogs aren’t for you, there are various other animals that can qualify as therapy pets!

     

    Love dogs? Check out our Pawesome range!

    Awesome Gift Ideas For An Eco-Friendly Valentine's Day

    Awesome Gift Ideas For An Eco-Friendly Valentine's Day

    There are countless gift ideas for Valentine’s Day; however, some of these offerings have a strong environmental impact. 


    These gifts, accessories, and wraps can sometimes be detrimental to the environment. In fact, according to some, Valentine's Day is one of the less eco-conscious celebrations. It's a bit of messy celebration, with millions of printed cards sent and collected or, in certain instances, tossed straight into the trash. The air-freighted roses, the nylon lingerie set, and cuddly viscose bears sell out around the world. Good thing there are some shops available online that offer sustainable gifts for Valentine's.


    Finance advisor, Shane Perry from Max Funding says, “Buy sensibly. It's entirely possible to have Valentine's Day without losing that romantic flair. From eco-friendly products to purchasing an acre of forests for them, you have plenty of choices.”


    To help you narrow down the alternatives, below are fantastic gift ideas that preserve relationships and nature.

    Buy a Greeting Card But Say “No” to Plastic Sleeves

    Most greeting cards are recyclable; however, many brands opt to have them packaged in plastic sleeves which is an unnecessary waste. Try to avoid plastic-wrapped greeting cards when you can opt for cards that come with recyclable envelopes for packaging your greeting cards. Choose to be green, choose eco-friendly greeting cards wrapped in recyclable envelopes.

    Also! You can always up-cycle your greeting cards and add some beautiful art within your home! 

    Our Australian-made, reclaimed wooden frame helps do just that! 

     

    Offer Potted Plants 


    The actual price of a bunch of flowers for Valentine's Day can be very steep. If an Australian greenhouse cultivates roses, the flowers need artificial light and ventilation, resulting in considerable energy consumption and carbon pollution. 


    Consider the original green gift idea a potted plant can offer if you want to give something sustainable for Valentine's Day. Since there are so many choices, you’ll find a potted plant that suits the giftee’s personality. Alternatively you can make little cuttings and plant them up in fun objects like teacups or old bottles.

     

    Love Seeds Confetti


    Save your confetti bombs and resist yourself from buying party poppers ordered from shops. They may be romantic but might also have a significant influence on the environment, plus many contain non degradable glitter. Go after heart-shaped growable eco-confetti. They are cute when scattered over, but once you leave them on the field, they'll sprout into wildflowers, like daisies and dahlias. 

     

    Reusable Eco-bags


    Show your loved ones that you truly love them by preparing their lunch as they go to work. Pack their lunch or snacks with reusable eco-bags. This little surprise will remind them to eat more home-packed meals and be healthier, especially when the bag comes in a stunning print and certified sustainable waterproof fabric. With reusable eco-bags, your sweetheart's lunch would never be as cute as ever. 

    Aside from lunch bags, reusable shopping bags are also women’s must-have!

     

    Gift With A Purpose


    The best way to promote sustainability is by buying from shops that have eco-friendly practices

    Consider stores that offer environment-friendly products and services. Choose those that give high value on the common good and not on profits alone.


    La La Land values sustainability and we look forward to living in a world that's safer and healthier. You can browse our eco-friendly category to find some great gifts for your love this Valentine's day!

     

    Words by Alexandra Beck

     

     

    Help Christmas Shine Bright With Starlight Children's Foundation

    Help Christmas Shine Bright With Starlight Children's Foundation

    As Christmas approaches we look back at what may be one of the most difficult years for everyone. Scorching bushfires, followed by floods and then a global pandemic, 2020 marks one gruelling year for so many of us. 
    Although Australia has done an outstanding job overcoming 2020's horrible hurdles, thousands of seriously-ill children will be forced to spend the Christmas season isolated in hospital causing even more pain and suffering. Many hospitals are restricting visitors to just one family members which only adds to the stress and sadness of serious illness.

    The Starlight Children's Foundation team are the heroes that are stepping up to bring these kids the gift of love, laughter and joy this Christmas by visiting their wards, virtual visits, gifting surprise Christmas packs of fun and games, and focusing on what they do best - bringing positivity to sick kids in any way they can because now, more than ever, happiness matters. 
    With current COVID-19 restrictions on hospital visitors, the need for Starlight this Christmas has never been greater.



    This is why La La Land is donating proceeds from our Christmas cards and special Starlight baubles to the Starlight Children's Foundation so they can provide the joy and positive distraction that is vital to help sick kids cope with the fear and isolation of hospital.  

    You can shop the Starlight Charity range HERE and help us bring happiness to those who feel hopeless this Christmas.

    You can donate directly to the Starlight Children's Charity Christmas Appeal HERE.

    Make Your Own La La Land Mask

    Make Your Own La La Land Mask

    Stand against the ordinary with your very own La La Land mask! We used our cotton-linen blend tea towels for the outer layer to create COVID safe medical-grade masks.

     

    What you will need:

    • Fabric Scissors
    • One La La Land tea towel - the more illustration the better! 
    • 30x40cms of plain cotton fabric or polypropylene  
    • 30 cms of elastic - you may want to have a little extra for larger heads
    • Polyester or cotton thread
    • Sewing Machine

     

    Print This Template:

       

     

    FABRIC CUT GUIDE:

     

     

     

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Use the CUT GUIDE and template provided to cut out fabric for one mask.

    2. Cut two 15cm lengths of elastic. (You may want to add additional 1-2cms depending on head size).

    3. Pin the two printed fabric pieces right side together along the FRONT CURVE and sew the curve.

    4. Place two pieces of plain fabric right sides together. Stack the remaining two pieces on either side so they sandwich the first two pieces. Pin and sew through all four layers along the FRONT CURVE.

    5. Pin the ends of the elastic to the right side of the printed fabric at the circles marked on the template. Baste so raw edges line up.

    6. Open the fabric pieces and place right sides of plain and patterned pieces together.

    7. Pin around edges making sure not to catch elastic loop and sew leaving a 4cm gap at the bottom of the mask.

    8. Turn right side out so print it on one side, plain in the other and elastic loops on either end.

    9. Turn gap in on itself and topstitch around the edge of the mask to secure.

    10. Wash mask with regular laundry soap or by hand with soap and allow to dry completely before wearing.

    11. Wash your hands, with soap, or use disinfectant with at least 60% alcohol then pick up the mask and place it over your mouth and nose catching the loops over your ears to hold it in place.

     

     

    This mask was created by Artist, Lilly Perrott's Mum - Mandy Perrott! Thank you Mandy!

     

    PLEASE NOTE: Keep up to date with the latest health advice provided by the Government and the World Health Organisation in regards to cleanliness, hygiene and how to properly wear a mask.

    Pros & Cons Of Feeding Birds From Home

    Pros & Cons Of Feeding Birds From Home

    Bird feeding is allowed here in Australia but is strongly discouraged by some bird life activists and wildlife experts. So Is it okay to feed birds from home?  To help you make that choice, we've compiled the pros and the cons.

    Read more