Creators On The Rise: COVID Kept Magnus The Therapy Dog From Visiting Hospitals—So His Handler Took Him Online

Welcome to Creators on the Rise, the place—in partnership with world creator firm Jellysmack—we discover and profile breakout creators who’re within the midst of extraordinary development. 


Before the pandemic, Magnus the yellow Labrador and his handler, Brian Benson, had been common guests to New York City’s hospitals and faculties.

Magnus was initially bred to be a service canine for the blind, however when that didn’t work out (as is sometimes the case), Benson’s household adopted him. Right away, Benson tells Tubefilter, they noticed he had an unflappable, uniquely enjoyable temperament, particularly round kids.

The household determined to have Magnus examined for remedy canine potential–a check he handed “with ease,” Benson says. Unlike service dogs, remedy canines aren’t skilled to help a particular particular person with medical or different disability-specific duties. Instead, they’re taught to volunteer in a spread of environments–all the pieces from veteran services to nursing houses to psychological well being wards–the place they supply a relaxing, affectionate presence.

Once Magnus was licensed for remedy, he and Benson grew to become a well-recognized sight at native services. Each week, they visited hospital wards to consolation clinically and terminally ailing sufferers, and traveled to varsities to satisfy college students coping with emotional points and studying disabilities.

But, like many issues, Magnus and Benson’s journeys had been derailed when COVID kicked in. With hospitals and faculties abruptly closed to guests, Benson opted to take Magnus’ expertise to a brand new locale: the web.

@magnusthetherapydogWhat stresses you? 😳 ##dogsoftiktok ##dog ##familycomedy ##doghumor♬ Im Stressed – TikToksSoundGuy

Benson, a longtime visible results artist, launched Magnus’ digital profession in February 2020 with lighthearted, comedic posts on Instagram (the place he now has 224K followers). Later that very same month, Benson started importing equally comedic brief movies to TikTok (1.3 million followers). And lastly, in March 2020, he began Magnus’ YouTube channel, the place he’s since uploaded content material to the platform’s TikTok competitor Shorts at the least as soon as per week.

Magnus’ channel started to take off in January 2021, going from 3 million views in December to 7 million in January, 17 million in February, and eventually 46 million in March. It’s additionally grown from 7,000 subscribers in December to, now, greater than 175,000.

Benson doesn’t know which video triggered the channel’s sudden development, however its largest video but is a Nov. 18 add the place Benson and Magnus photocopy an image of Magnus’ paws inside Benson’s hands. That 11-second video has introduced in additional than 30 million views.

The channel’s subsequent largest, with 5.7 million views, is a 15-second bit the place one in all Benson’s daughters jokes about Magnus’ bike-riding capabilities.

Benson says that up to now, Magnus’ rising recognition has opened the trail to longer-form, doubtlessly instructional content material about remedy canines and the impression they’ll have on the individuals round them.

Check out our chat with him beneath.

Magnus’ month-to-month YouTube subscriber and consider counts have skyrocketed since early March. Data courtesy of Gospel Stats.

Tubefilter: Tell us just a little about you and Magnus! How and why did you find yourself getting Magnus?

Brian Benson: Magnus is a five-year-old yellow Labrador who was initially bred and raised to turn out to be a service canine for the blind, however like lots of people, Magnus had a profession change. He didn’t find yourself turning into a service canine, so I adopted him to turn out to be our household pet when he was just a little over a yr outdated. He match completely into our household. I took three months off from work after I adopted Magnus so we might spend time not solely coaching, however most significantly bonding and a growing a strong line of communication. This robust basis has been the bedrock of what makes Magnus such an incredible remedy canine.

Tubefilter: For those that is probably not acquainted, what’s a remedy canine? How did Magnus turn out to be a remedy canine?

BB: Where service canines and emotional assist animals present assist to their respective proprietor/handler, remedy canines present assist and repair to others. Therapy canines can have a huge effect on an individual’s life by offering each psychological and physiological help. Animals have a strategy to scale back individuals’s stresses, fears, and anxieties in a means that’s laborious to explain.

From the second I introduced Magnus residence and I noticed the best way he interacted with my two younger daughters, I spotted he was completely different. It’s simple to show a canine to take a seat, keep, down, etcetera. However, the one factor that you just can not educate a canine is empathy. This is the place Magnus actually shines. He has a pure potential to learn individuals and perceive what they want. Everyone who encounters Magnus can not assist smiling and feeling relaxed. He has a relaxing nature about him that relieves any stress or anxiousness.

After a lot analysis, I discovered a good group in my space that gives remedy canine certification programs. Magnus was first evaluated by one in all their grasp trainers to see if he would even qualify to be in this system. After passing that with ease, Magnus and I then accomplished a six-week certification course that now permits us to go to varied locations that want pet remedy groups.

Magnus and I primarily deal with hospitals and faculties. In the hospitals, we go to each terminally and critically ailing kids and adults. We additionally go to with their grieving relations and the overworked hospital workers who look after them. In addition, we additionally go to with scholar of all ages, with a deal with college students who’ve emotional points or studying disabilities.

Tubefilter: Your channel has just lately seen a noticeable enhance in subscribers. Do you understand which video or occasion triggered this improve?

BB: I’m actually undecided if a single video or group of movies have been the explanation for our fast development on YouTube. I hope the expansion is because of the truth that individuals actually join with Magnus, and that via our movies, he accomplishes what he does on an in-person go to–which is to make individuals blissful and smile!

Tubefilter: How, why, and when did you resolve to begin making YouTube content material? Why do you focus totally on Shorts movies?

BB: When COVID hit, all in-person remedy visits had been completely placed on maintain as a consequence of well being and security issues for each the individuals we might go to and for the handlers as nicely. This compelled us to seek out different and unconventional methods to succeed in individuals and luxury them.

This is why we determined to begin social media accounts on the entire main platforms–YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. This allowed us to succeed in an enormous viewers of individuals in want; individuals who had been depressed, in ache, and feeling misplaced. The brief type content material appeared to be the easiest way to seize peoples consideration and supply a lighthearted, comedic burst that they appeared to essentially want with a purpose to raise their spirits.

Tubefilter: Has your latest engagement uptick modified something for you? Do you have got any new plans or objectives on your content material profession?

BB: The latest surge in engagement has solely motivated me to create extra content material. I get messages from individuals all over the world on daily basis saying that our content material has actually assist them via some very darkish occasions. This is precisely why we need to hold doing this: to consolation individuals and assist them throughout their time of want. As lengthy because the response to our content material is optimistic and folks hold wanting extra, we’ll hold producing movies.

Tubefilter: What’s your favourite factor about making content material on YouTube?

BB: The optimistic responses and the messages we obtain really make the entire lengthy hours and laborious work value it. All we ever wished to do was assist others and this has turn out to be our strategy to pay it ahead and attempt to do good on this planet.

Tubefilter: Are you primarily targeted on making YouTube content material, or are you engaged on content material for different platforms as nicely?

BB: We really beginning our first account on Instagram. After that, we expanded to TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and finally Triller and Dubsmash. We understand that every platform caters to a unique viewers, so it’s essential to solid a wider internet with a purpose to attain and assist as many individuals as attainable.

Tubefilter: What’s subsequent for you and your channel? Do you propose to broaden to longer-form movies?

BB: We have thought of increasing into some longer-form movies. Loads will keep inside the comedy space; others could cater to canine coaching ideas and recommendation (which we get requests for lots), others could also be extra behind the scenes of Magnus’ day-to-day life.


Jellysmack is the worldwide creator firm that detects and develops the world’s most proficient video creators. The firm’s proprietary video optimization expertise and information drive social viewers development, unlocking new income streams and amplifying monetization.

Currently residence to over 150 influential Creators together with PewDiePie, MrBeastBrad Mondo, and Bailey Sarian, Jellysmack optimizes, operates, and distributes creator-made video content material to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. Jellysmack-managed content material boasts 10 billion world month-to-month video views and a cross-platform attain of 125 million distinctive U.S. customers, making it the most important U.S. digital-first firm in month-to-month social media viewers.

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