Our dementia dogs come from the charity Dogs for Good and undergo around two years of training. Initially with volunteer socialisers and trainers at Dogs for Good, and then at our Scottish base at HMP Castle Huntly for their advanced training.
Each dog learns skills specific to helping someone with dementia, such as fetching a medication pouch, waking someone up in the morning, or walking on a dual lead.
Once each dog has been matched to a successful applicant, its training is tailored to meet the individual needs of both the person with dementia and the carer that the dog will be placed with.
Prison-based dog training programme
Based at HMP Castle Huntly open prison, this innovative partnership provides an operational base for the Dementia Dog team, while enabling men in custody to develop employability skills and build a non-criminal identity to help reduce risks of future re- offending.
Participating students under custodial care complete an introductory dog training and welfare course run by Paws for Progress. Students can then work with the on-site Dementia Dog Project team assisting with the training of dementia assistance dogs.
This rehabilitative collaboration enables men under custodial care to help transform the lives of people in the community through the provision of highly trained dementia assistance dogs, while also helping transform their own futures.