Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) facilitated by Mind Your Paws, utilises the gentle friendship the Therapy Dogs provide to achieve outcomes set out by the professional, the Therapy Dog handler and the organisation Mind Your Paws is working with.
Using Therapy Dogs in interventions has been shown to have a range of benefits including;
- Improved concentration and mood
- Engagement and empowerment of self expression for young people
- Improved behavioural issues
- Improved literacy and numeracy skills
- Lowered anxiety levels
- Be in the moment, mindfulness
- Decrease in stress hormones (Cortisol)
- Increase in feel good hormones (Oxytocin)
- Safe and inviting environment
- Emotional, social and physical support
- Lowered heart rate
The Mind Your Paws Therapy Dog team consists of a registered School Teacher (handler) and a certified Therapy Dog. Our Therapy Dogs are certified through Lead The Way.
For more information about Harlow visiting you
“Forrest Parade is a new specialist primary school in Bellamack, we opened in February 2017. Kristy and her therapy dogs Ralph and Harlow have been working with our students since March. Initially the visits were planned for a few weeks. However, we quickly saw the enormous impact the dogs can have on all our students. As a result we have made the decision to continue having the therapy dogs visit Forrest Parade weekly for the remainder of the school year. Kristy has been instrumental in ensuring the success of the therapy dog program. Being a teacher herself she brings a wealth of experience in working with Forrest Parade teachers to individualise therapy dog programs for individual students and class groups. I have no hesitation in recommending Kristy and her therapy dogs and hope we can continue this wonderful relationship into the next school year.”
-Annie Keighran, Principal Forrest Parade School
PROGRAMMES WE OFFER
Mind Your Paws programs are designed to meet educational outcomes set out by the school/teacher/counsellor and our Therapy Dog handler, Kristy. Animal Assisted Education (AAE) is aimed at improving learning outcomes of individuals or groups, and can also provide assistance with a variety of problems including social,behavioural and motivational problems.
Schools around Darwin Mind Your Paws have conducted AAE programs include: Forrest Parade School, Bakewell Primary School, Mimik-Ga Centre, Henbury School, Nakara Primary School, Humpty Primary School and Batchelor Area School.
Our programs can be conducted at school, at home, or somewhere the student feels comfortable. Programs can be designed for individuals or small groups. Some examples of programs we offer include:
- Reading programs
- Responsible pet ownership
- Homework help
- Learning difficulties
- Wellbeing & Mindfulness
Harlow visiting staff at Henbury School during a staff professional development day.
Harlow helping students feel comfortable and confident when they are reading aloud.
Harlow practising her tricks with a student at Forrest Parade School. Students develop their confidence and communication skills through working with Harlow.
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Mind Your Paws Therapy Dog programs are designed to meet outcomes set out by the facilitator. Some goals include increased socialisation, improved engagement amongst clients, and increase in mobility.
Organisation and facilities Mind Your Paws have visited with our Therapy Dogs are:
- Headspace Darwin
- Sunrise Centre
- Regis Aged Care
- Royal Darwin Hospital
- Palmerston Regional Hospital
- Kookaburra Kids Foundation
Harlow and Scout enjoying time with young people at Headspace Darwin on World Mental Health Day.
Harlow enjoys spending time with the staff at Royal Darwin Hospital and bringing some joy to their stressful jobs.
Harlow is always happy to help staff promote their fundraising days at Royal Darwin Hospital.
“Ralph, in his role as a therapy dog, has most certainly presented to the young people, and staff alike, many gifts. From relaxation and happiness, whilst for others, Ralph has afforded some young people with the opportunity to become noticeably more confident in themselves, through their participation in small structured groups. Both at the hub & in the community. Similarly, when Ralph has spent time sitting in the hub’s communal lounge area, staff have frequently observed him to act as a successful ‘ice breaker’ for young people; providing them with a shared topic to chat about and so promote interaction with others.”
-Adele Northwood (Headspace Darwin)
For more information about Harlow visiting