Due to Corona Virus please note all our face to face community activities are currently on hold.

Click here to find out how our new virtual dog therapy sessions can help keep people with dementia and their carers connected during lockdown.

For dementia support please call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 hour freephone dementia helpline: 0808 808 3000

Dementia Family Dog

NEW service launched!

This free education service offers reliable information for families living with dementia who seek guidance for a potential or existing pet dog. Professionals in the canine industry can also learn about dementia to enhance understanding and support for families and their pet dog partnership. Click here to find out more.

Dogs at home

Assistance Dogs

Dementia Assistance Dogs are trained to live at home with families, where a person has an early stage diagnosis and lives with a full-time carer. Pilot programmes in Scotland and Australia are demonstrating this model brings joy, companionship and practical help to both immediate family and their network. If you would like to know more please click here .

Dogs in the community

Community Dogs

This pioneering animal assisted intervention programme involves goal-oriented visits from a Dementia Community Dog and Handler who, working alongside a healthcare professional, can help people with dementia feel more independent, confident and connected in their community. For more information on our Community Dog programme please click here .

Dog Day Events

Based at dementia community centres, Dog Days are fun group events bringing together people with dementia and their carers, with trained pet dogs and Dog Day volunteers. These monthly events encourage communication, positive reminiscence and joy as well as helping build social connections.

As part of this three year project we are working with different dementia partners to pilot Dog Day events in England (Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire) and Scotland (Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Helensburgh).  We will be evaluating how the events run in these test locations and hope to use this learning to roll Dog Days out further afield in the future.  

For more information on our Dog Day events please click here.

How it works

We are training up a special Dementia Dog family  to explore the practical, emotional and social ways that dogs can help people to live well alongside dementia - both at home and out and about in the community.
Both our assistance and community dog programmes are developed in close collaboration with the families and individuals we support. Delivering these outcomes takes a unique combination of skills and experience drawn from the founding partners; Alzheimer Scotland and Dogs for Good.

While small-scale, this 3 year pilot project aims to build evidence-based learning with the potential to replicate on a wider scale as funding becomes available.

Currently the dementia assistance dog programme only exists in Scotland and Australia, through our collaboration with Assistance Dogs Australia and HammondCare.

From opening doors to fetching medication pouches, our Assistance and Community Dogs learn key skills to help structure routine and social connections for people living with dementia.

Starting at just 8 weeks old, each dog undergoes 2 years of specialised training by the Dogs for Good team.

The final stage of their advanced training takes place in Scotland, from our base at HMP Castle Huntly open prison.

Here, working in partnership with Paws for Progress and Scottish Prison Service, we have established the UK's first prison-based assistance dog training programme.

Who we are

We are a collaboration between Alzheimer Scotland and Dogs for Good, combining professional expertise to pilot and develop new services for people living with dementia. Our collaboration is called the Dementia Dog Project and is funded by charitable donations.

Get Involved

Though our team is small we have big ambitions! If you would like to consider getting involved, here are the three key ways:
- Would you or someone you know benefit from some trained dog support?
- Fancy volunteering at a Dog Day event, or as a boarder for trainee assistance dogs?
- Can you help raise funds to allow us to continue our work?
If so please follow the links below, we'd love to hear from you.


Raise funds

Our blog

The place where you share our latest news

What Volunteering for Dementia Dog Means to Me

We asked Ann Brown what volunteering with Dementia dog meant to her. How did you first get involved in volunteering…

Helping our Dementia Community Dogs adapt during lockdown

A catch up with our Dementia Community Dog handler, Julia So how has lockdown impacted on your usual day to…

How a dementia dog changed my life

When Henry first heard about the Dementia Dog project, he didn't know it would have such a life changing impact…