Helping Hounds

Your dog can change the world for another dog

Duration

Each session
25 minutes

Location

Monread Community Centre Naas
Kildare Locality if it suits you

Cost

Free

Position Overview

Having dogs that are comfortable in their own skin and happy to interact with their own handlers is vital in helping other dogs who are not so comfortable with the world.

In sessions your dog will be kept at a safe distance from all other dogs from both a physical and mental wellbeing standpoint. While your dog is helping another dog by just being there we also want them to learn something in the session. Namely that even though another dog is uncomfortable in the world and around new things, that your dog can chill and calm things down. Also that you (their handler) is always there to help.

We give you a set of pre-defined exercises to work on in the session at a distance from the other dog. This provides your dog with practice in distracting environments and around other dogs.

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What Does a Session Entail?

It really depends on the other dog. If they are at a point where they are working on walking past other dogs then we have both parties walking politely at a safe distance from each other working on focus on handlers and redirection skills.

If the other dog is not at this point yet then we have you working on focus and attention with your dog or perhaps even playing calm games such as scentwork and brain games while the other dog works on being ok in the environment.

You will get a full break down of what is expected for a session beforehand and your trainer will change things up as necessary during the session. We will never put your dog in a situation where they are uncomfortable or stressed.
 

How Much do You Have to Do?

You only need to do sessions that want to and that suit you. There is no requirement to do any more. If you agree to join the Lend a Helping Hound programme you will be added to a list of other Helping Hounds. Each week we will send out a message to the group of any sessions coming up this week. if you are available to help let us know, if you are not available then just ignore the email.

For the most part sessions will run on Saturday mornings at 9:30 - 9:55, 10:05 - 10:20, and 10:30 - 10:55. There will be rare sessions in surrounding towns for dogs that are too scared to travel but these will be highlighted in the email and you are under no obligation to agree to go to these if they don't suit you. The furthest sessions would be Celbridge or Kildare town as an example. 
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Who is Suitable to Become a Helping Hound?

There are very few requirements to become a Helping Hound.
 
  • Your dog can walk calmy with you in public (you don't need perfect leash walking)
  • Your dog does not react to other dogs barking in the distance
  • Your dog does not get obsessive in looking at or trying to get to other dogs to say hello
  • You are comfortable spending calm fun time with your dog
  • You are looking to help others in need of some support

Become a Helping Hound Hero.

Sign up to join an amazing group of people and dogs helping others to become better canine citizens.

Get in touch to sign up