Communicating with your dog - how to strengthen your bond
At Dogs for Good, we know that extraordinary things happen when people and dogs come together; we see it with every life-changing partnership we create. We know that if you get it right for dogs, you get it right for people and it all starts with good, two-way communication. So, here are a few things to chew over and get you started.
https://www.dogsforgood.org/good-advice/how-to-improve-communication-with-your-dog/od, two-way communication.
Celebrate Assistance Dogs!
As we celebrate International Assistance Dog Week, Dogs for Good is proud to be an Accredited Member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI), the global authority in the assistance dog industry.
Founded in 1986, ADI fosters a collaborative global community dedicated to the highest standards of excellence for the assistance dog industry. This is a vital mission as we all strive to do everything possible to ensure the wellbeing of both people and dogs. Training assistance dogs is a time-consuming, complicated and highly skilled activity, particularly when any scale is involved. Nevertheless, few national governments have clear standards or regulate assistance dog training work, which is why ADI decided many years ago to do something about that to protect the interests of people and dogs. ADI has created a clear set of standards, agreed by the 190 member organisations and regularly reviewed, that ensure the needs of the dogs and the clients we support are met.
In past blogs we have explored the importance of getting things rights for the dog – building on the belief that a healthy and thriving dog will be a happy one. That involves ensuring the assistance dog has the right veterinary and welfare care and encouraging the dog to express itself and build a bond with a client based on an understanding of the needs of the dog.
Likewise, as a charity training assistance dog partnerships, we have a duty to ensure we create a supportive and safe environment for our clients to learn to live with their dog. The ADI standards create a brilliant framework for us to do that and cover all key areas including training, dog welfare and wellbeing, client support, administrative support and governance. Clients getting a dog from an accredited member of ADI can be assured that they will get the right support and training to ensure they can build a thriving partnership with their dog.
Creating the ADI standards is a consensus-driven process involving staff and volunteers from amongst our member organisations and other experts who bring other specific skills and knowledge that can inform the outcomes. These standards are translated into an assessor-led accreditation process that enables assistance dog organisations to prove that they are meeting the standards in all areas of their work. The ADI assessors’ group is made up of the most experienced assistance dog trainers in the world – all picked for their knowledge of every aspect of assistance dog training and support. Organisations that can prove to assessors during an accreditation visit that they meet the rigorous ADI standards are given accredited status for 5 years.
Being part of a high-quality and widely recognised international assistance dog network means we can share ideas and good practice and that helps every organisation to learn and become more effective and efficient. There is a huge amount of knowledge within the ADI membership and the global community is constantly sharing information and ideas that benefits every assistance dog client across the world. Over the years, as Dogs for Good has developed new services, we have benefited hugely from the experience of other organisations and likewise, we have been able to share what we have learnt, for example on training assistance dogs to support people with dementia and their carers, with other organisations so that ultimately more clients from across the world can benefit from having an assistance dog.
There is much to celebrate during International Assistance Dog Week, not least Dogs for Good’s pride in being part of ADI – a global community that is constantly striving to do everything possible to create great people/dog partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
Covid Recovery Appeal - Help us recover from the effects of the pandemic
The pandemic has had a profound effect on the lives of everyone. Many of our clients have needed our help more than ever before. We responded quickly and found new ways to deliver safe and effective support during a very challenging time. But the challenges are by no means over. We now urgently need your support to help us recover from the impact of the pandemic and start helping the many people who are still desperate for our services.
During the lockdowns, we were unable to place as many of our amazing dogs as we’d do normally. The result is that we now have a large number of people still waiting to be matched with one of our life-changing assistance dogs.
Can you help us? There are so many people out there whose lives could be transformed by one of our assistance dogs.
People like Zoe, who has a very special bond with her ‘knight in fluffy armour’, assistance dog, Sheila.
Zoe is 23 and has hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which means she suffers with joint dislocation and intense pain on a daily basis. In her late teens, Zoe became a wheelchair user and found herself isolated from friends and social activities.
“Sheila arrived at a very dark period of my life and healed me in ways I didn’t know I needed. I can’t thank her or Dogs for Good enough.”
Zoe and Sheila’s partnership is life-changing in so many ways and Sheila has earned herself the name of ‘Wonder Dog’. Last year, life became even more difficult for Zoe when she received a new diagnosis of Functional Neurological Disorder, which causes spasms and means her arms are now paralysed for minutes, or hours, every day.
“Once more, Sheila has adjusted what she can do for me, and with the help of my Dogs for Good Instructor, has been trained to lift my arms back into my lap when they become paralysed,” she explains.
Sheila has changed everything for Zoe, who can’t imagine life without her ‘knight in fluffy armour’.
Can you help us help more people like Zoe?
The pandemic also had a hugely detrimental effect on our usual fundraising activities and a gift from you will help us recover from the financial struggles we are now facing. It will help us go on to train more life-changing dogs to support the people on our waiting list who have been desperately waiting since before the pandemic. With your help, we can support more people to independence – just as we were able to help Zoe.
Whatever you can give would be so gratefully received.
How your gift will help …
£4.69 can support the cost of a working dog for one day.
£15 could cover the cost of an assessment for a dog in advanced training.
£32 can pay the vets fees for a general health check for a dog returning to training.