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From Battlefield to Best Friend: Ryan Matthews and the Healing Power of Dogs

Ryan Matthews
Photo Credit To: Ryan Matthews

How a Military Background Shaped a Renowned Dog Trainer’s Approach to Canine Therapy

In a world where dogs often hold the title of man’s best friend, one trainer is harnessing the unique power of canine companionship to heal wounds—both physical and emotional. Ryan Matthews, a former military working dog handler, has transitioned his experience from the battlefield to the realm of therapy dogs, offering a fresh perspective on how dogs can help humans overcome trauma and find solace in their furry friends.

Matthews’ journey began during his time in the army, where he worked closely with military working dogs. Witnessing the unwavering loyalty, bravery, and deep bond between these dogs and their handlers inspired him. Recognizing the transformative impact dogs can have on human lives, Matthews embarked on a mission to bring healing to those in need through the power of canine therapy.

Combining his military background with his training expertise, Matthews has developed a unique approach to working with therapy dogs. By tapping into the incredible intuition and empathy dogs possess, he enables them to become partners in the healing process. Through carefully structured training sessions, Matthews empowers both the dog and the individual seeking therapy to create a safe and nurturing environment.

Ryan Matthews

Photo Credit To: Ryan Matthews

“One of the proudest accomplishments is my come out story about who I am, what I’ve been through, and being very vulnerable to share,” Matthews reveals. Through a TEDx talk titled “Overcoming PTSD using dog training techniques,” he shares his personal journey of healing and highlights the profound impact dogs can have on mental health. By sharing his story, Matthews hopes to inspire others to find solace and support through the therapeutic power of dogs.

Matthews’ work goes beyond individual therapy sessions; he also focuses on training therapy dog teams. By training individuals and their dogs as therapy teams, he expands the reach of his approach, enabling more people to benefit from the healing power of canine companionship. Matthews firmly believes that dogs possess an innate ability to sense and respond to human emotions, making them invaluable partners in the healing process.

As the world begins to recognize the boundless potential of canine therapy, Matthews envisions a future where therapy dogs are embraced as integral members of healthcare teams. From veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to individuals battling mental health issues, he believes that the non-judgmental presence and unconditional love of therapy dogs can offer comfort, support, and healing. His vision for the future, where therapy dogs are seamlessly integrated into healthcare teams, has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach mental health and healing. As Matthews continues to train therapy dog teams and touch countless lives, he remains a beacon of hope for those who are in search of comfort and healing, proving that dogs truly are our best friends in every sense of the word.

Ryan Matthews is at the forefront of a movement that explores the profound connection between humans and dogs. Through his dedication to training therapy dogs and sharing his personal journey, he is transforming lives and instilling hope in those who need it most. With each therapy dog team he certifies, Matthews paves the way for a world where the healing power of dogs becomes an integral part of our collective well-being.

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