Our Community Dog programme is based on Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) techniques. This is the term given to interventions where a trained dog and specialist practitioner work together, in conjunction with a health or education professional (eg therapist, support worker, teacher or healthcare provider), to promote improvements in the physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning of a person.
These interventions are designed to meet particular goals to support that individual’s needs. Goals can be very varied and may include helping a client with:
- Self esteem
- Social interaction
- Mobility, fine and gross motor skills
- Health – improving exercise , diet
Our specialist handler works alongside the health/education professional to design an engaging programme of activity with the dog, aimed at helping the client move towards achieving their goals. Progress is monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.
Watch AAI in action at Round Oak School
AAI is a well-established practice in many parts of the world, but is less advanced in the UK. At Dogs for Good we are at the forefront of its development in the UK, building on the knowledge and experience we have gained through our Assistance Dog and Family Dog services, and our collaboration with international partners.
We are a founder member of Animal Assisted Intervention International, a new international practitioners’ organisation, which has created global standards of best practice
As we continue to develop our Community Dog programme, we can bring our services and knowledge to a greater number of people who can be helped in small one to one sessions or feel the benefits of working in small groups.
Using Animal Assisted Intervention we can help people facing real challenges experience the benefits of dogs in a therapeutic, focused and individual way.