Friday, 30 October 2015

Halloween Safety Tips!

Halloween is a favorite holiday for many people! But most pets don’t necessarily enjoy fright night quite as much as we do, and there can be extra dangers lurking for them that we should help them avoid.


Here are a few tips for keeping your pets happy and healthy on Halloween:

Keep the candy bowl away from your pets
Candy is never a good idea for any pet, and chocolate in particular can be very dangerous for dogs and cats thanks to a toxic chemical called theobromide. Put the candy bowl where your pets can’t reach it and be sure to lock the cupboard door so they can’t scavenge.


Careful with the costumes 
We may love dressing ourselves up, but if we asked our dogs they’d agree that they’d just as soon not wear that canine superman outfit you think is so cute. If you absolutely must dress your pet up, consider a simple themed bandanna, or at least make sure the outfit is not constricting, uncomfortable or harmful to the animal. Dog costumes often cover so much of the body that their ability to express important canine body language signals to us or other dogs is compromised, which can lead to unnecessary, avoidable instances of aggression or bites.

Not happy mummy!

Don’t take your dog’s trick or treating with you 
Even if you’re confident that your dog will be able to handle it. There are too many unknown factors on a night like Halloween, and even if your dog is well-adjusted, some others you encounter may not be. Plus, seeing a bunch of four-foot tall Yodas and goblins can unnerve even the most placid dogs.


Keep your dogs’ away from the door during trick or treating hours 
Again, even if your dog is a good, well-mannered greeter, your smaller guests are not always prepared to see dogs bounding down the hallway or sniffing their candy bags. Just play it safe and keep your dogs locked away in another part of the house for those couple of hours.


Ensure electric cords for holiday decorations are out of reach of your dog
Especially if they’re chewers. Nibbling on a hot wire won’t turn out well for anyone.


Be sure lanterns with live flame inside them are also kept out of reach
They can get easily bumped or knocked over, leading to fire hazards.


Halloween's a great excuse to make sure your dog is microchipped
Given all the crazy sights and sounds of the evening, many dogs end up running away each year.


Keep your pets indoors on Halloween and in the days surrounding it 
There are just too many jerks around sometimes, so play it safe and don’t tempt fate. Sadly, black-coated animals are at higher risk of becoming targets for troublemakers on Halloween, so take extra precautions if you have one.


Head out for your afternoon or evening walk with your dogs’ well before trick or treaters start hitting the neighborhood
No reason to risk a frightful encounter with Buzz Lightyear and his noisy, flashing guns and jetpacks.


Desensitize ahead of time
Be aware of how stressful the repeated ringing of the doorbell can be for dogs. If you haven’t already, take some time to desensitize your dogs to the sound of the doorbell or knocking in the weeks leading up to the big night so that they’re prepared.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Working farm dogs find new homes and a new life

Many Australian farms have at least one working dog, be it a kelpie, a cattle dog or some other breed and while they are valued for their work, many are abandoned or put down each year. 


Carey & Di Edwards began Australian Working Dog Rescue International (AWDRI) to save rescue dogs from council pounds and shelters around the country. They save them from the threat of euthanasia, retrain them when necessary, and re-home them appropriately:

"Approximately 250,000 companion animals are euthanized each year in Australia. 120,000 of these are dogs, and 50% of them are classified as working dogs i.e. 60,000 a year." 


Dogs are Australia's unpaid farm workers. Rain, hail or shine they're out there doing what they do best. But not every dog is cut out for this work..
  • Border collies are intelligent, sensitive and eager to please.
  • Australian cattle dogs are courageous, loyal and tireless.
  • Kelpies are known as smart workaholics - even in the heat and the dust.
  • Two years ago at the Casterton Kelpie auction, Tom, a prized stud dog from Tasmania, fetched a world record price of $12,000.
  • But not every dog can be a Tom from Tasmania.


So, when a working dog is unwanted, AWDRI and other organisations like it step in. AWDRI gets about 10 re-homing requests a day. Sometimes it's because the dog can't be controlled, a farmer is selling up, or someone is shifting house or having a baby. Not every unwanted dog finds a home and Di Edwards said getting a call from the council pound was tough.

"It's gut-wrenching sometimes, having to pick which ones you can take, but it all depends on the temperament of the dog and the foster home that you might have available to take those dogs," she said.


Living life on the end of a chain

At any given time, AWDRI could have 200 to 300 dogs fostered out waiting for permanent homes. Even so, Ms Edwards is fussy about where they go:

"We get all prospective adopters to fill out a thorough questionnaire," she said. "We have a home check done where we have a volunteer go and check out their fencing, meet the prospective adopters and also check out the condition of any existing pets - just to make sure that they are going to look after any new pup properly."


Steve Sudero and Taleigha Emmerson from Yarra Valley Working Dogs are doing similar work with dogs down on their luck.

“Some simply aren't cut out for work - they're slow learners - and others get injured or pregnant, and keeping them on the farm isn't always an option. Some of the dogs have lived their life on a chain and they haven't had anything done with them and the people just get annoyed with them," Ms Emmerson said. "So that's when we come in."


Mr Sudero said he and Ms Emmerson started taking in rescue dogs and training them about four years ago.

“By the time I finish with them, they come, they know their name, they lead, they're social and these dogs can make great dogs.” Steve Sudero. 

Retraining to show off intelligence

Part of the education program run by the different groups involved showing farmers and city dwellers what Australian working dogs were capable of, even those dogs people had given up on. AWDRI's kelpie, Nimble, was one of those dogs. 

"Nimble's probably a classic example of that in that she was one of those dogs that was gonna be a problem dog," Mr Edwards said. "So she came to us and we just started training her in this fashion and now she's become an ambassador for the organisation. She does a great job at promoting what we do, in that someone's unwanted pet can become something as good as this."


Mr Edwards said many dogs, deemed untrainable, ended up getting shot on farms.

"Typically, on the farm, it's known as, 'What happens on the farm, stays on the farm' and lots of the dogs that wouldn't work, they'd be either drowned or shot," he said. "It doesn't sound like a very nice thing, but that's an extra mouth to feed out there. Most farmers, we find they're like most people: they love their dogs."

Mr Edwards tells prospective owners who live in the city that it's important to exercise the dog's mind when it comes to working breeds.


"They're always thinking, they're always wanting a job to do and it can be working sheep or doing agility, flyball or any one of those dog sports or just simple tricks in the backyard which makes their mind tick over," he said.

For Ms Emmerson, letting go of the dogs which have been in their care at Yarra Valley could be a bittersweet moment.

"We love seeing that transformation from a dog that's not wanted to a dog that someone's applied for and really, really wants," she said. "The best is when they jump in someone's ute and go, 'See ya later' and they just go, and they don't look behind; they're ready for their new journey."

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-26/working-dogs-not-cut-out-for-farm-work-find-new-homes/6883536 

Tui, the sniffer dog - helps to count tiny harvest mice

A sniffer dog is being trained to detect the presence of harvest mice, one of Britain’s smallest and most elusive mammals, in a novel approach to conservation

No one really knows how many harvest mice there are currently in the British countryside, but that could be about to change with the help of a flat-coated retriever called Tui.


Tui is a sniffer dog that has been trained by PhD researcher Emily Howard-Williams at Moulton College, Northamptonshire to detect the scent of the secretive rodents.


This novel approach to small mammal conservation has been funded by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES). The charity believes numbers of harvest mice (Micromys minutus) have significantly declined over the last 40 years, due to changes in farming practices and habitat loss.

“Given that other mammals on farmland are experiencing a decline in numbers, there is serious concern that the same is happening to harvest mice,” says Howard-Williams.

But, problematically, there are no reliable studies to prove this or what the species' population status is today. Because of their minute size and secretive nature, explains Howard-Williams, harvest mice are a lot harder to find than bigger mammals that leave more evidence of their activity. 


Currently it is very time-consuming and notoriously difficult to find and track harvest mice, even for a trained expert. The most common method involves identifying their presence from the nests they weave among tall grasses and reeds, but it is also possible to survey bait pots for faecal matter and hair tubes or analyse owl pellets for remains. Physically trapping individual mice is another option, however this is very labour-intensive and not always reliable.


“None of these methods have any great success over larger spaces for gauging harvest mouse numbers, so there is a clear need to develop an effective monitoring method for this species,” says Howard-Williams.

Then there is the added complication that it is not known how many nests each mouse builds, so when a nest is found it suggests the animals are present, but not how many are in the area.

Tui the wonder dog

Enter Tui, a flat-coated retriever bred from working gun dogs, whose extraordinary sense of smell, Howard-Williams hopes, will help develop a much less time-consuming and more accurate method of finding and cataloguing harvest mice compared with traditional survey methods.


Howard-Williams was inspired by working with conservationists in New Zealand who used detector dogs to sniff out black petrels. And another encouraging project has seen two English setter dogs successfully detect kiwi birds.

“Tui was quite challenging to train as she was easily distracted to begin with. A lot of time was spent training to build up her concentration levels and direct these towards the ‘game’, but in a controlled manner,” Howard-Williams tells BBC Earth.

Training a dog to find the scent of a live animal is much more complex than a chemical substance as it involves bringing lots of elements together. But Howard-Williams says she was confident at Tui’s reliability at recognising harvest mouse scent.


If this method proves better than others, it is hoped it could become a mainstream survey technique for harvest mice. And if dogs are trained to particular scents, the method could work with any species, as long as the animals’ scent can be collected.

This use of sniffer dogs could be the start of a revolution in mammal conservation, as the PTES is already supporting work where dogs are sniffing out pine marten scats more easily than people can see them, and an ex-police dog that can detect water vole burrows without disturbing the animal. According to Howard-Williams: “Done well, with highly trained dogs, this method could be really useful."

Dogs snub people who are mean to their owners

Most dog owners will tell you that their pets are loyal, socially intelligent animals. Scientists in Japan showed domestic dogs avoid people they have seen behave unhelpfully to their owners, using a cunning test.


The experiment was designed to see whether dogs can evaluate humans interacting with one another over an object. The result showed most dogs avoided taking food from someone they had seen behaving negatively to, which in this case means ignoring, their master.

 

During the test, dogs watched their owners try to retrieve a roll of tape from a sealed, transparent container, and then turn to an actor sitting next to them to request help.
  • In the first scenario the “nonhelper” actor refused to help and turned away.
  • In the second experiment, the “helper” held the container steady when asked for help, while the owner opened the lid and retrieved the object.
  • And in one further “control” test, the actor turned away but was not asked for help by the owner.
  • For each scenario, a neutral person sat on the other side of the owner, and did not interact in the activity.
Immediately afterwards, the actor and neutral person offered the dog food. Dogs tended to avoid the “nonhelper” actor, who had behaved badly to their owner, and more frequently took a treat from either the “helper”, the “control” actor or from the neutral person. However the dogs did not take food more often from the "helper" compared with the "control" actor or neutral person.

 

54 dogs from a variety of breeds and their owners participated in the study, which was published in the journal Animal Behaviour in June this year. Dogs’ avoidance of someone who had behaved negatively to their owner suggests they might understand third-party interactions, known as “social eavesdropping”.


Humans are the most prolific social eavesdroppers. We often help one another for no obvious benefit. This helps us operate in what the research team call “large-scale co-operative societies”In humans, this sensitivity to interactions between others begins very early. Six-month-old babies can evaluate others based on their social behaviour, one study has suggested, showing preference to "helpful" over "nasty" characters. 


It is known dogs are very sensitive to human actions directed at themselves, but it has been debated whether they are able to evaluate their party interactions. The new study adds to the evidence that they do just this. The scientists point out the fact that the dogs’ owners were involved in the interaction could have influenced the result, writing: 

“Attachments between dogs and their owners can be strong, and the former may be particularly sensitive to how other people treat the latter.”

So if you’re a dog owner, you can take comfort in the idea that if someone is mean to you, you’ll have at least one “friend” by your side.


Dogs can tell if a person is untrustworthy

Dogs may not seem terribly bright when they're chasing their own tails, but in many ways they are clever creatures. In particular, they are very socially aware, both of humans and of each other. Many studies have reported that they can sense human emotions. 

Recent research has found that they can tell the difference between happy and angry faces, and even show jealousyIt now seems that they can sense when a person is untrustworthy. Once a dog has decided a person is unreliable, it stops following the cues they give.


It's been known for years that dogs understand what it means when a human points at something. If a dog's owner points to the location of a ball, stick or food, the dog will run and explore the location the person is pointing to. The latest research shows they are quick to figure out if these gestures are misleading.


In a study published in the journal Animal Cognition, a team led by Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University in Japan presented 34 dogs with three rounds of pointing.

  • Round one - experimenters accurately pointed to where food was hidden in a container. 
  • Round two - they pointed to an empty container. 
  • Round three - the same experimenter again pointed to the container with food.
But now the dog did not respond to the experimenter's cue. That suggests, says Takaoka, that the dogs could use their experience of the experimenter to assess whether they were a reliable guide. After these rounds a new experimenter replicated the first round. Once again, the dogs followed this new person with interest. Takaoka says she was surprised that the dogs "devalued the reliability of a human" so quickly.

"Dogs have more sophisticated social intelligence than we thought. This social intelligence evolved selectively in their long life history with humans." 


The next step, she adds, will be to test closely related species such as wolves. This would then reveal the "profound effects of domestication" on the social intelligence of dogs. 

The study highlights that dogs like things to be predictable, says John Bradshaw of the University of Bristol in the UK, who was not involved with the research. As soon as events in their lives become irregular they will look for alternative things to do. And if they consistently don't know what's going to happen next they can get stressed, aggressive or fearful, he adds. 

"Dogs whose owners are inconsistent to them often have behavioural disorders."

This last part of the experiment can be explained by the fascination dogs have with anything new: "Dogs are almost information junkies", says Bradshaw, so a new experimenter is "trusted" once more.

The finding comes as no surprise to dog owner Victoria Standen. She owns a collie (pictured), which is considered to be among the most intelligent breeds. When out for a walk, the collie will sit at the point of a junction and wait to see which way to go. "I've taken to pointing which direction and after she looks that way, she looks back to me to check its okay to run off," says Standen.


What's more, if a stranger has proven to be unreliable (and not a food source) her dog is less likely to trust them.

"It has become increasingly clear that dogs are more intelligent than was once believed, but their intelligence is very different to ours", says Bradshaw. "Dogs are very sensitive to human behaviour but they have fewer preconceptions. They live in the present, they don't reflect back on the past in an abstract way, or plan for the future." When they encounter a situation, they will react to what's there rather than thinking deeply about what that entails".


Dogs then, are clearly not mindlessly listening to us when we gesture which this study provides more evidence for, says Brian Hare chief scientific officer at Dognition:

"They evaluate the information we give them based in part on how reliable it is in helping them accomplish their goals. Many family dogs, for instance, will ignore your gesture when you point incorrectly and use their memory to find a hidden treat."

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Dogs: A medicine for mental health problems?

Mental Health Service Dogs open doors for people with psychological disabilities

Heeling Allies specializes in privately training Mental Health Service Dogs for qualified individuals with neurological disorders, mental illness, developmental disorders, intellectual disorders, and other psychological conditions that rise to the level of a disability. 

Imagine having a dog that could help you become a part of the world again...

Heeling Allies, Service Dogs are highly trained to enhance the lives of their handlers by helping them to live independently. Each Heeling Allies Service Dog is tailor trained to meet the specific needs of the individual with whom they will be placed. These talented dogs are trained to help their handlers within the home, as well as outside of the home. 


Enhanced Quality of Life and Personal Freedom

Heeling Allies, Mental Health Service Dogs are trained to perform tasks that help ease debilitating symptoms of some psychological impairments. Disabilities served include, but are not limited to, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Acute Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, and Tourette Syndrome. 


Some of the tasks Mental Health Service Dogs can be trained to do for their handler.
  • Assist handler within their home and in public spaces.
  • Remind their handler to take medication.
  • Wake handler for school or work.
  • Assist in coping with emotional overload by bringing handler into the “here and now.”
  • Provide buffer or shield for handler in crowded areas by creating a physical boundary.
  • Extinguish flashbacks by bringing handler into the here and now.
  • Orient during panic/anxiety attack.
  • Stand behind handler to increase feelings of safety, reduce hyper-vigilance, and decrease the likelihood of the handler being startled by another person coming up behind them.
  • Search dwelling.
NB: Psychiatric Service Dogs are individually, intensively trained dogs for people with mental disabilities. The Psychiatric Service Dog Society has extensive information about these dogs and how to get a dog trained. Heeling Allies calls them "Mental Health Service Dogs" because of the stigma associated with the term "psychiatric"


Many of the benefits to owning a Service Dog often also include:
  • Relief from feelings of isolation.
  • An increased sense of well-being, security, self esteem and purpose.
  • Daily structure and healthy habits.
  • Mood improvement, and increased optimism.
  • Unconditional love, affection and nonjudgmental companionship.
  • Motivation to exercise.
  • Encouragement for social interactions.
  • Reduction in debilitating symptoms.
  • Greater access to the world.
  • Around the clock support.

Township Dog Training Initiative

Funda Nenja is an NGO in Mpophomeni (outside Howick, KZN) that brings together 70 disadvantaged children and their dogs for training, every Friday after school, where they learn how to care for their animals.



This remarkable project consists entirely of volunteers and has been in existence since 2009. As Yvonne Spain, one of the volunteers explains: 
It is heart-warming to see so many children having fun while bonding with their pets, learning about responsible pet ownership, dog training skills, leadership and team building.”



The dogs receive love, medical attention, vaccinations and sterilisations thanks to the local SPCA. The project has a visible positive impact on both the children and the dogs – which is evident at the numerous demonstrations given by Team Funda Nenja at events in and around KZN.
What makes this project unique is that by working with children and their dogs, it is possible to encourage the values of compassion and respect that go beyond the training ground and demo ring, into their families and communities. By teaching children how to love and care for their animals, the cycle of animal abuse is slowly being changed.



Research: Ms Drummond, a Psychology Hons student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg in 2013, conducted research on the psycho-social impact of Funda Nenja on a sample of the children attending the program. She found that Funda Nenja had a positive impact on the children's lives. Read her research here.
FNB gave this project a Moment of Delight for allowing children to bond with their dogs and ultimately pass important values on to their own families & communities.

If you want to read more about the wonderful work of this amazing program have a look at their newsletters http://www.fundanenja.co.za/news-events/newsletters/

Dogs for Cures

Dogs for Cures is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of individuals with type 1 diabetes by helping to provide trained medical service dogs to those who could not otherwise afford them. These dogs improve patient health by providing diagnostic support through their keen sense of smell, reducing complications by monitoring medical changes, and facilitating patient independence and safety.


The Dogs for Cures Foundation mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals with catastrophic diseases such as type 1 diabetes and lung cancer by providing medical service dogs that are trained to use their senses and service abilities to improve quality and length of life for patients 24 hours per day.


The Dogs for Cures Foundation is dedicated to:
  1. Training medical service dogs.
  2. Educating physicians, patients and the public about the value of medical service dogs to improve health by providing diagnostic support through their sensitive sense of smell, reducing medical complications through their monitoring of medical changes in a patient, and improving quality of life through their ability to support patient independence and safety.
  3. Improving the medical service dog industry through scientific research to validate the benefits of medical service dogs and to establish best practices in the training of medical service dogs and their owners/patient partners.
Dogs for Cures Funding
  • D.A.D training awards
  • Wildrose D.A.D Conference Scholarships
  • Dogs for Cures Workshop Scholarships
  • Webinar for continuing education and support of existing DAD teams

Research
  • Need scientific proof that canines can detect hypo-and hyperglycemia in their human handler
  • To date mostly anecdotal evidence or survey no real time tracking studies
  • Can technology clone what a dog’s nose knows?
Dogs for Cures is part of Cures Within Reach, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving patient quality and length of life through repurposing existing drugs and devices for new uses. They love including dogs in their broad definition of 'existing devices' to support patients! Learn more at: 


Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Koda Tales

Since 1877, Berry Street has chosen to work with children, young people and families, with the most challenging and complex needs, including those for whom we are often the last resort. They believe all children should have good childhood, growing up feeling safe, nurtured and with hope for the future. At Berry Street (Melbourne, Australia) many of the children have a very special story to tell about a very special dog - Koda, the border collie.

Berry Street's Gippsland Wilderness Program challenges young people to discover an inner strength and belief they never thought possible. It takes 10 young people away on a trek through some of the toughest bush and coastal terrain there is. No phones, no technology and no turning back. 

"Koda taught me how to be brave." Lauren, 13
Each of these kids has been through things like abuse, neglect, addiction, or even trouble with the justice system. During the trek they face adversity, see their challenges through and develop the self-belief to make good choices in life.

The kids have a very special companion on this journey: Koda the border collie. Koda is a certified and qualified therapy dog, and she is fast becoming the most important and popular member of the team.

Feeling the love and devotion of a best friend... priceless.

Koda is so much more than an outdoor adventure dog. Eight year old Emily has blossomed because of her friend Koda. Emily suffered severe physical and psychological trauma before coming to Berry Street. It was so bad that she just couldn’t speak about it. 

When Koda came to Emily’s counselling sessions, her comforting presence helped Emily feel brave enough to open up about her trauma for the first time. 

"I love Koda because she makes me felt safe and I can talk about my feelings and about the scary stuff that happened to me at home.” Emily, 8

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The New Breed of Service Dog: Canine Caregivers for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients

In a way, some dogs are born for this type of role. Animals are non-judgmental by nature, so they are good therapists and companions for those with dementia because they provide support and unconditional love.
For both a therapy and a service dog, a lot of being chosen for the role has to do with his or her personality and temperament. It’s important that he or she follows basic commands like sit, stay, down and heel, and doesn’t nip, bite or jump on people. Without this foundation, a dog won’t be considered for progression to the next phase of more specialized training.
It’s also important for the dog to be unfazed by the frequent mood swings that can be common for dementia patients. This will be one of the first tests a dog must pass in order to be considered a good fit for working with this type of patient.
There are specialized training programs for therapy and service dogs. The animals must prove that they can react appropriately to the various scenarios that could unfold while working with a patient. Although they may vary slightly by program, most will include the following components:
  • Leash behavior on standard and extended lengths. The dog must be obedient on the type of leash that will be used by his or her handler, and also on a longer leash where there is more opportunity for distraction.
  • Willingness to visit with a patient. The dog must demonstrate mannerisms of being friendly, gentle and imperturbable.
  • Analysis of reactions to unplanned situations and distractions. For example, the dog may be tested by having a stranger approach waving his or her arms and shouting, or by a passerby dropping an item that makes a loud noise when it hits the ground.
  • Meeting other dogs. The dog must remain focused on his or her handler if another animal approaches.
  • Response to children. It’s essential that a dog behaves well around children, not only because the dog will likely encounter them while working, but because people with advanced stages of dementia may sometimes exhibit childlike behaviors.

How Companion Service Dogs Can Improve an Owner’s Life at Home
Victims of dementia and Alzheimer’s may struggle when trying to perform daily tasks for themselves as their disease progresses. Many people trying to support someone they love with this type of condition have turned to hiring round-the-clock care for the patient, but a specially-trained service dog may alleviate the need for other, more expensive types of assistance while also providing companionship and empowerment. 
The following resources provide valuable information on how a service dog can change the life of the patient with whom he or she lives:
One of the main tasks of a dementia service dog is to get the owner home when the command is given. The dog is also trained to remain with his or her owner and call for help by barking if the owner refuses to go home, which can happen with someone suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s if he or she gets confused. The dog also has a GPS tracker on his or her collar, which makes it easy for the owner’s family to locate the pair when needed.
The dogs are trained to prevent his or her owner from leaving the house unaccompanied. This is especially essential if the owner lives alone or stays at home unaccompanied some of the time, as may be the case of someone who lives with a working spouse.
Service dogs assist with daily tasks, from waking owners up in the morning, reminding them where their clothes are, and bringing medications to the owner in bite-proof packaging.
Live-at-home service dogs can provide both physical and emotional support. In addition to always lending a listening ear, these dogs can be helpful for physically supporting an owner who has trouble with balance issues, climbing and descending stairs, and rising and sitting.
A constant canine companion can drastically impact an owner’s overall emotional wellbeing. There are three main ways a dog can positively influence his or her owner’s mental state:
  1. Living with a trained dementia service dog can provide more independence for the patient. 
  2. The owner is instilled with a sense of self-reliance since he or she doesn’t have to rely on another person to help with daily tasks. This self-sufficiency can bring about a sense of confidence and improved mood. This can be a critical factor in warding off depression and anxiety, which can be side effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  3. A guide dog can encourage his or her owner to be more social, due to the nurturing relationship established between the owner and dog, and the fact that a patient is more likely to spend time outside of the house meeting new people with the guide dog’s assistance. An owner and their service dog have the same access rights to public places as someone without a service dog. 


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