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About Us

Echut – Dog Training and Therapy

Echut Center is located in Sde Tzvi and was founded with two main goals in mind: the empowerment of different societal groups and the rescue of dogs.

Echut's activities are focused upon two interconnected and mutually enhancing fields: the training of assistance dogs and dog-based therapy and treatment programs. Echut offers service dog training and therapy services to a wide range of populations in order to advance change and improvement in their daily lives. In addition, Echut offers a variety of treatment programs aimed at promoting different populations with the assistance of a special team of dogs. After being rescued from different dog shelters or animal associations, dog training is carried out in the Echut center.

The Echut center is managed by Carmit Barzilay and Roy Levit.

Carmit Barzilay

  • B.A in Education and Theatre from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Dog Training Certificate from “My-Dog Training School.”, in association with the Hebrew University and the Bet-Dagan Veterinary Hospital.
  • “Assistance Dogs” Training Certificate from the Israeli College for Training Professions

Roy Levit

  • Animal Therapist certificate from Sapir College
  • Dog Training Certificate from “My-Dog Training School.”, in association with the Hebrew University and the Bet-Dagan Veterinary Hospital
  • Manager of the My-Dog Training School Impound

Echut services the following areas:

Assistance and therapy dog training: Anywhere in Israel

Dog therapy for institutions (Empowerment Programs): Anywhere in Israel

Dog therapy with individual customers: Tel-Aviv, Center district

Training Service Dogs

Echut trains service dogs and therapy dogs aimed at assisting people with physical or mental disabilities, as well as providing caregiver assistance with animals.

Training takes place in the Echut center which is located in Sde Tzvi, and only following consultation and diagnosis with the goal of matching the required dog.

Echut has set itself the goal of allowing any person with special needs to own a service or therapy dog who can help him/her in everyday life. To this end, Echut operates on two levels:

  • Increasing the awareness of the great need in training service dogs and therapy dogs.
  • Recognizing these dogs as assistance dogs in public spaces.

What is a service dog?

A service dog is a dog which has gone though special training in which it has been specially trained to assist a person with a physical or mental limitation, in activities related to this limitation.

What types of service dogs do we train in Echut?

  • Dogs for people with a physical disability – service dogs trained to perform complex operations to help a someone who uses a wheelchair or moves around on crutches.
  • Hearing/alert dogs – dogs trained to assist the deaf or the hearing impaired with the capacity to alert both indoor and outdoor sounds.

What are the capabilities of a service dog?

Indoor assistance: lifting, bringing objects, opening and shutting cabinets, pressing buttons and more; mobility aid outside; Aid activities outside the home; Emotional support; Warning; Help in distress

What is a therapy dog?

A dog trained to help a therapist working with a wide range of people and/or intended to help relieve an individual's emotional daily hardships.

  • Therapy Dogs trained to work alongside a therapist: visit people while they are hospitalized or present in rehabilitation centers, nursing homes or elderly assistance centers. They may also visit kindergartens and schools for special education.
  • Therapy dog specially trained to provide emotional support – specially trained to assist an individual from a variety of populations including: at risk, mentally challenged, autism, seniors etc.

What is the training process for service dog / therapy dog?

  1. An introductory meeting with the customer in order to match expectations and construct a work plan accordingly.
  2. Locate a dog suitable to the work plan
  3. Orientation period that includes meetings with the client
  4. Integrating the dog in the family's house with close supervision for a predefined period of time.
  5. Periodical monitoring meetings for a predefined period of time.

We believe that assistance dog training creates the harmony to which we aspire in our work. We get to save dogs from the bitter faith of living within a non-profit organization or on the street, and thus contribute to their well-being. We have to help people improve their lives and to bring light and joy to them.

Contact: Carmit – 0524-898565

Dogs Assisted Therapy

Echut has operated in the field of dog-based therapy since 2008 and has developed a variety of dog-based promotion and therapy programs, adapted to a wide variety of populations, which it operates throughout the country.

Who is suitable for treatment?

Treatment is provided for groups, families, couples, and individuals: children, adolescents, adults, seniors | Special needs population or at risk children and youth

What is unique about Echut's dog-based therapy?

Echut's dog-treatment therapy is unique and based on personal meetings with the dogs, as part of the patient-dog-therapist triangle. Programs are based on a combination of principles from the fields of treatment and dog-training and aim to create a therapeutic model uniquely suited to the type of treatment. Our therapeutic model incorporates practical dog training.

Echut's therapists are fully-trained dog trainers or therapists and have extensive experience in dog-based treatment.

Whitch dogs participate in therapy?

The dogs we use in the therapeutic sessions that we run are therapy dogs, the vast majority of whom were rescued from dog shelters and then trained at the Echut center.

Dogs therapy – private customers

Dog therapy is a psychological treatment method that contributes, develops and intensifies emotional, communicational and motor skills. The tripartite therapeutically relationship created in during the treatment is unique and based on intimate meetings with different dogs that are part of the patient-dog-therapist relationship.

From whom is dog-based training suitable?

The therapeutic approach we adopt provides adequate response and treatment for children, teenagers and adults dealing with a variety of emotional and social difficulties, hardships, crises and reduced quality of life

What are the treatment options?

Individual care – Animal assisted therapy allows an individual to look inside him/herself and witness his/her powers and abilities while at the same time it strengthening and prepares them to deal with hardships.

Dyadic therapy: Parent-child – often hardships originate from poor communication with one's parent/s. In such cases, better results can be achived when working together with the parent. In addition, parent-child relations can be mediated by a therapist who guides the therapeutic process.

Parental guidance – once every pre-determined number of sessions, a consultation meeting with the parents is held in order to update the parents regarding the status of the child and the progress being made in the course of the treatment. In addition, the meeting is intended to provide the parent/s with practical tools that will allow continuing the treatment process in the child's everyday environment.

Family therapy – a family should function as a stable system that is ready to produce a continuous and honest dialogue between its members. Family therapy with animals provides tools for creating such dialogue by restructuring of family roles, hierarchy and authority. Family members learn how to produce organized and positive communication via cooperation.

Whom are the caregivers Echut?

Echut's therapists are trained in providing treatment and have extensive experience in dog-bases treatment.

Our Therapeutic Clinic is on Herzl Street, Tel Aviv.

Contact Roy – 052-3277973

Dogs therapy for institutions

What is group therapy?

Group therapy is a treatment based on a group that shares similar life difficulties. Echut has developed unique programs for promoting special needs and at-risk populations through a group dog training process. In these programs the group serves as a tool that enables empowerment and helps individuals by promoting behaviors and testing themselves with the help of the dogs. The therapist helps the group's members identify their shared and personal hardships, while building their joint and individual capabilities in both the treatment and in everyday life.

Who is the target audience for Echut's promotion and treatment programs?

▪ Individuals with special needs and physical limitations (disabilities, blindness, deafness)

▪ Individuals with special needs (mental and other syndromes)

▪ The Communication impaired

▪ Children and youth with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity

▪ At risk children and youth

▪ The mentally ill

▪ The elderly

▪ Personnel in education, treatment and management.

Promotion and treatment programs specifically tailored to the type and characteristics of the population and the group of participants.

Contact: Mirav Braun, director of treatment programs, tel: 054-4212440