The Pixel Fund is kindly supporting Dogs for Good’s Family Dog service. Family Dog benefits families who have a child with autism and is delivered through workshops and aftercare support. The service advises families how to train their pet dog to help the child cope better with daily life and facilitate a calmer home environment for the family as a whole.
Parents attend a series of 3 all-day workshops that are held throughout the year across the UK. The workshops explain how to train a dog and create safe relationships between the child and dog. They also introduce families to interventions or behaviours that a pet dog can be trained to perform in order to increase the child’s ability to handle everyday situations. After attending the workshops, parents can access further guidance via ongoing aftercare support from our Family Dog Instructors.
Jacob has a tendency to have meltdowns at bath and bed times. I used to dread every evening. Using advice given at the workshops we bought a toothbrush and toothpaste for our pet dog Sam and gave Jacob the responsibility of cleaning Sam’s teeth. Seeing Sam enjoying having his teeth cleaned has helped Jacob realise that brushing your teeth is not scary. He is now willing to clean his own teeth. After bathtime, Sam sits on Jacob’s bed which helps Jacob to settle and calm down. Thanks to this new routine that the Family Dog Instructors advised us to implement, Jacob’s evening meltdowns have decreased enormously. I don’t dread evenings any more.
We receive a high volume of enquiries about our service and have long waiting lists for our workshops. The Pixel Fund’s support will enable us to help 1,000 families through workshops and aftercare support. We will be able to increase the number of workshops we run and improve the quality of life for more children and families affected by autism.
To be supported in training a pet dog to fulfil its potential as a loyal and dependable companion for an autistic child is a vital service for families like ours.
On behalf of Dogs for Good