Dogs for Disabled
Dogs for the Disabled
Assistance Dogs Ireland
Our puppies have a great start in life with our volunteer Puppy Socialisers who give them plenty of TLC. They will be guided along during their first twelve months to bring out the special qualities necessary for them to become Dogs for the Disabled. Then the official training will begin which includes a lot of play activities e.g. retrieving, pushing, pulling, barking to raise alarms etc. Once the dogs are at the required standard, set by the International Association of Assistance Dogs they will be matched to a suitable applicant and advanced training will commence. Apart from the obvious benefits of the dog’s technical work, the greater gift is the companionship and unconditional love the dog will give.
As part of our community visitation and home companion programme our assistance puppies in training visit people in long term residential care, special needs facilities and hospitals. This programme lets people in difficult circumstances enjoy the healing presence of animals. The wonderful sight of a playful puppy, a lick on the hand that says, “I care about you,” can once again brighten their lives. This programme also encourages interaction and promotes communication. Dogs don’t care about colour, creed, gender, age, politics, nationality or social/economic status, and they respond to love and affection and communicate on a totally different level. Dogs have a boundless capacity for acceptance, adoration, attention, forgiveness and love.
Health Benefits of Pets
Research confirms that pet ownership does bring significant health benefits. Amongst the general population, dog and cat owners have lower blood pressure, are more likely to recover after a heart attack, and are less troubled by minor complaints like headache, backache and flu
The connection was first made by graduate student Erica Friedmann, who discovered the correlation almost accidentally whilst researching survival rates from heart attack in the 1980s. Since then, numerous other studies have attempted to explain the effects with reference to increased exercise levels, personality type, and so on – without much success. The most likely explanation, it seems, remains the obvious one: that we benefit from the uncritical, more or less unconditional affection that animals seem to offer
How do Dogs for the Disabled provide support
* An obedient and constant companion;
* Retrieve, pick up and place objects;
* Aid in movements where necessary;
* Switch on/off lights in the home and at pedestrian crossings;
* Open doors and gates;
* Send for help by speaking (barking) on command or setting off alarms;
* Our dogs are trained on tasks to benefit the specific needs of the client.
The aim of Irish Dogs for the Disabled is to improve the quality of life and provide greater independence for our clients. Our puppies are specially selected for our programme and continually assessed throughout the puppy socialisation period and formal training to ensure each dog achieves the highest standards. Once fully trained they will be matched to the appropriate client, dependant on their individual needs and requirements
Assistance Dogs for the Community
Dogs for the Disabled can make a dramatic difference in the quality of life for individuals with special needs or disabilities. Not only can they assist them physically, but also these Specially trained dogs relieve loneliness and social isolation for people in long term residential care.