So Sweet Tango!

Tango, the therapy dog, keeps teachers and student so confident about themselves and stress-free.


security officer, Chevon Matthews with Tango

Andrianna Scott

Tango six years old  Bernese Mountain therapy dog weighs about 125-130 pounds.  Mrs.Moore, a science teacher, has had Tango since he was a puppy and she said he’s always been a big dog.

“He stayed the same once he changed to adulthood,” said Mrs.Moore, “Heavy weight isn’t good for joints.”  Tango has been a therapy dog for five years. He’s a regular dog, he takes classes, he earned his advanced obedience,” said Mrs.Moore.

Mrs.Moore says she trained Tango herself and he was very easy to train,  although dogs can’t become therapy dogs until one, Mrs. Moore said he was ready at about eight months.

“For a dog to become a therapy dog they have to be easy going, love to be around people, not be aggressive or scared, and willing to go anywhere,”  said Mrs.Moore. 

“I started taking obedience classes to learn from them,” said Mrs.Moore.

Tango has hobbies, just like everyone else. “He loves to do agility,” said Mrs.Moore, “[he] plays in snow and leaves.”  He also does nose work where he has to smell things.

Tango has been coming to Branch for 3 years and he usually comes on teacher work days for distressing. “The most challenging thing about training a therapy dog is probably getting them to deal with loud noises, strong smells, and teaching them to be calm when cautious,” said Mrs.Moore.

Tango helps others by bringing down a person’s blood pressure and helping lower pulse rates to normal. He also helps students with test anxiety. Special need students are more responsive when he is around and people with PTSD are also more relaxed when he is around.

“Tango was one of the therapy dogs that was called to Virginia Beach to work with victims, victim’s family and first responders [during a recent emergency situation]” and, she added, “he has sense to smell anxiety.”  

All of his hard pays off when he is out on the job.

 “He knows who to go to with a room full of people during a very difficult time,” said Mrs. Moore.