Unique Services to help children

Children are our future dog owners and it is of utmost importance that they are taught how to respect all animals from an early an age as possible. Dogs Helping Kids believes that dogs can both enhance children's lives and help children. We offer the following unique services:-

The DHK School Dogs

The DHK School Dogs are highly trained dogs who are of impeccable temperament, have undergone in-depth positive reinforcement training and who then have been rigorously assessed to clarify that they are competent and safe to work in the school environment. The DHK School Dogs consist of the following groups :-

Educational Assistance Dogs
One-One Support School Dogs
Personal Support School Dogs
P.R. Dogs

The roles of the School Dogs in the educational environment will be many. Some of the dogs will be able to offer all of the roles, some will have specialised in one role only. These roles consist of the following:-

Classroom Canines
Listening Canines
Reward Canines
Therapy Canines

For more information about our School Dogs please refer to our School Dog section.


Educational Talks for Schools, Colleges and Youth Groups

These educational talks are offered to all schools and colleges, and cover the following topics:- what is a dog, how to be a responsible dog owner, explanation of the five welfare needs of a dog (as set out in the Animal Welfare Act 2006),  house rules when living with a dog, prevent a bite, reading dogbody language, the use of positive training for dogs, and how to have fun with your dog. Each talk is very interactive and will be accompanied by our Educational School Dogs to demonstrate clicker training in action. Our School Dogs will also meet and greet the children and show the children how to approach and stroke a dog properly.

To find out more about The Five Welfare Needs click here

Educational Courses for Teenagers on Dog Training and Behaviour

These courses have been created for teenagers on dog training and behaviour to teach teenagers a new skill and to help them through what can often be a difficult time in their lives. We specialise in teenagers with challenging behaviour, such as emotional, social or behavioural difficulties. From 2005 - 2010 we ran a one year course at the North Devon College (now known as Petroc) with 14-16 year olds who had been excluded from mainstream school. We currently run courses for teenagers on all aspects of dog training and behaviour. Our teenage courses are supported by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (A.P.D.T.) and endorsed by The Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (I.M.D.T.).
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Child Ambassador Programme

The Child Ambassador Programme (or C.A.P. for short) is a programme unique to Dogs Helping Kids. During 15 weekly hour long sessions with our highly skilled DHK School Dog Teams, children become confident, empathic, learn a new skill (dog training) and develop a deeper understanding of being a fabulous dog owner. This will then transcend into other facets of everyday life whereby children will become more outgoing, happy to work as part of a team, develop great social skills, and become amazing dogs trainers and ambassadors for both dogs and the charity. The C.A.P is aimed at children of the ages 10 and 11, when they are coming to the end of their primary education, to help give them the confidence they may need to progress successfully into secondary education and beyond. We will also invite each Child Ambassador to a new CAP to undertake ‘pupil led learning’, by encouraging the Ambassador to help DHK teach the new children on the CAP and also help to cater for the welfare and wellbeing of the School Dog during the programme.

School Dog Workshops - Preparing for and Learning about School Dogs

Our Two Day School Dog Workshops have been designed for educational staff and anyone else who has a keen interest in learning more about working a dog in a school or college environment.There is currently no legislation in this country on having a dog working in an educational environment and we feel that there is so much to learn before a dog even walks through the school gates. Meet some of our Certified DHK School Dogs, learn about DHK and how our School Dogs work in educational establishments, learn how to prepare your school/college for a dog, and learn how to introduce a dog correctly. We will also provide general advice on breeders, different breeds of dogs, life skills for puppies, puppy behaviour problems, and positive force free dog training. Dogs working in schools, colleges and libraries can be amazing - learn the D.H.K. way!

To find out more about The 2019 DHK School Dog Workshops click here.

Intervention Service for Teenagers in the Devon Area

We provide an intervention service for vulnerable teenagers in the Devon area who are anxious, depressed, severly lacking self worth and confidence, at risk, or with social deprivation. Our highly trained Support School Dogs have been carefully selected for their calm, very quiet, very gentle natures, and are trained to work on a one-one basis to provide unconditional love and support. This service can only be provided on referral by either the school/college, social services and other services such as CAMHS or NDPLS. We will also require written consent from either the parent or the carer of the teenager who would like to work with one of our Support School Dogs. Our Support School Dogs provide a unique way of working with vulnerable, at risk teenagers and can both reach and help them in ways no other intervention service can.  The owners of these Support School Dogs will have an in-depth knowledge of dog training and behaviour and be able to provide fun, interactive, educational dog training sessions to encourage confidence, empathy and teach a new skill - that of dog training. We hope to support these young people by putting them on a better life path, boost their confidence, and increase their self esteem, with the help of our DHK Support School Dogs.



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©DHK Dogs Helping Kids, Registered Charity

Callanish, Eastacombe, Tawstock, Barnstaple,
North Devon, EX31 3NX