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

Click here to read about our new virtual therapy sessions we have been trialling during lockdown.

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

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 .

Campaign update

We would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you to all of you who supported us so generously to help keep Dementia Dog Project #InThePicture. We are delighted to have reached our fundraising target which will help secure a future for us in Scotland. As a charitable project we are still welcoming donations to support this life changing work. Thank you.
Please click here to make a donation.

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.

Over the past three years, we have been based at HMP Castle Huntly open prison near Dundee, working with the Scottish Prison Service and Paws for Progress CIC to help train our family of Dementia Dogs.

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

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…

Exciting new collaboration unveiled with the Scottish Prison Service.

Today at HMP Castle Huntly, together with partners the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) and Paws for Progress CIC, we are…