Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Paws for Progress

Animal Assisted Interventions that Benefit Humans and Animals

Last month Dr Amy Miele, Coordinator and Lecturer for our new distance learning MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour (http://edin.ac/1nZEkol) had the pleasure of attending a fundraising event organised by Tynewater Dog Training on behalf of Paws for Progress. As Amy is currently developing our new Anthrozoology course, she is very interested to hear about projects that use an evidence based approach to animal assisted interventions, and Paws for Progress is a perfect example of this.

Paws for Progress is a not for profit organisation dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing of people and animals through positive human animal interactions. One of their pioneering projects is the Dog Training Rehabilitation Programme, which was established in collaboration with the Scottish Prison Service in 2011. This programme involves pairing students from the Young Offenders Institution in Polmont, Scotland, with rescue dogs from local dog rescue organisations. The young men learn to train these dogs using positive reinforcement techniques, which greatly improves their own behaviour and future employment options, as well as being of obvious benefit to the dogs. The dogs show improved behaviour and wellbeing, and are also provided with an increased chance of successful adoption.

Paws for Progress also work with various other groups in the community, including young people with additional support needs who struggle to engage in education. These positive human animal interactions can help to build confidence and develop social skills as well as enhance mood and wellbeing.

To find out more about the work that Paws for Progress do, visit their website at www.pawsforprogress.com.

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