The Paws & Affection team brings service dogs in-training and staff to your school/organization/group for an educational and interactive learning experience. Read more about our two programs below.
1. One Hour Presentation
- Disability awareness
- Service Dog etiquette
- Dog body language and basic training
- The role of service dogs in our community
Our presentations are tailored to every group’s unique needs and age-range. If appropriate, the presentation will conclude where the audience can calmly meet and pet one of the Paws & Affection service dogs in-training.
2. COMMUNITY K9 LEARNING MODULE (SERIES OF 4 VISITS)
This month-long program allows students to learn about service dogs through hands-on participation in the training process of a Paws and Affection dog. Each week, students enter the world of service dog training under the guidance of a professional dog trainer. This program is limited to small groups of ten students or less, allowing students to work together in teams with a P&A canine partner. Students enjoy bonding with our dogs and benefit from practicing positive reinforcement, patience and cooperative teamwork, too!
Week 1: The Role of the Service Dog
Students gain a deeper understanding of how service dogs help people with disabilities, while also learning some essential principles of caring for and teaching these special animals. Students gain better awareness of disability-related rights and challenges, while learning best practices for respectful interaction with a person that has a service dog.
Week 3: Body Language and Communication
Examination of the specific ways in which dogs express emotions. Students compare differences in human and canine body language in order to understand and practice more effective communication with dogs.
Week 2: Positive Reinforcement in Learning
Discussion and exploration of the importance of positive reinforcement in animal and human learning through dog training games and exercises. Students gain greater understanding of the negative impact of stress and fear on learning, and how positive reinforcement strategies may be utilized in their own lives.
Week 4: Canine Development and Care
Students learn and practice tasks essential to caring for our dogs, including proper grooming, equipment and daily care. Students develop a broad understanding of how a dog’s needs change over time, and what we can do to meet these needs.