If you’re considering a wellbeing dog in your community, we know you’ll have lots of questions about how to make this vision a reality.
How do Dogs Connect cater to our environment’s needs?
We build a program in consultation with your internal staff, stakeholders and the primary dog carer. We gather information that we need prior to proposal submission to ensure your specific needs will be targeted.
Head to our Who We Help section above to learn more about how we can help your community.
What programs do you offer?
We have several program options that are built from our foundation packages and tailored to your requirements and environment.
Explore our packages to learn more.
What are the key benefits of the Dogs Connect program?
Whether engaging with a school, a hospital, a justice centre, or any other setting, we see common threads in the many benefits and impacts our Dogs Connect programs has within the community.
Explore the key benefits on our What We Do page.
What is the escalation cycle and how does a dog help?
The escalation cycle refers to our state of emotional being. We are always moving between different stages of escalation. This can range from a very de-escalated state of being such as minimal mobilising and emotional intensity, through to exhibiting very heightened emotional states as we move through the escalated range at different times in our daily lives. Dogs can help us to understand what these states look like just by allowing us to observe as they move from de-escalated through to escalated states. We do this in a very safe setting with dogs who are very accustomed to this routine.
What is emotional regulation and how can a dog help?
Emotional regulation refers to being able to call on strategies that involve ourselves as individuals, as well as others who can support us in being able to turn our emotional intensity up or down depending on our needs in any given moment. Dogs can help us to learn about regulation through demonstration of ways that they co-regulate with people, as well as ways that they self regulate with themselves.
How is the Dogs Connect program different from a therapy dog?
We don’t accredit people or dogs according to testing or certain criteria. There is no pass or fail. The dogs we work with are dogs in every sense of the word and there is so much we can learn by observing them and interacting with them in this state. We see many therapeutic benefits within our programs, but we don’t affiliate with the term ‘therapy dogs’. We work with Wellbeing Dogs.
Head to What We Do to learn more about how wellbeing dogs differ from therapy dogs.
What support is provided by Dogs Connect to train a wellbeing dog?
We train people, and the dogs we work with learn everything they need to by observing very clear and consistent messages from their community members.
We support on every level, and the program you engage with will involve personalised support via video training, online meetings, phone calls, and in person visits where appropriate. We also have a closed online group of support which includes staff from a range of settings who share and support via regular interactions within the group.
Our Community Dog Packages explain further how Dogs Connect supports the implementation of the program within your community.
How can I make an enquiry?
If you want to know more about our programs, discuss your requirements or ask our experts a question then our team would love to hear from you.
Please complete our contact form and a Dogs Connect staff member will reach out to arrange a convenient time to discuss your enquiry. We look forward to hearing from you.
How is a wellbeing dog sourced for the program?
The Dogs Connect program is designed to support both communities that already have a dog and those that are just beginning their journey of incorporating a dog into their environment. We have extensive experience sourcing breeds and paring your community with a dog that suits your needs. Alternatively, you can contact breeders and source your own dog. We can offer guidance around this process, please complete our contact form for more information.
How do I submit a proposal to stakeholders and decision makers in my workplace?
We have a variety of existing resources that you can choose from in relation to objectives, intended outcomes, proven outcomes, timeframes, and costs to support you during this period. We also have examples of proposal templates that may save you time when creating a written proposal for consideration which many of our existing members have adopted during this process.
If you would like to know more about these resources please contact a member of the Dogs Connect team by completing our contact form and we’d be happy to help.
What if there are people who are scared of dogs?
We treat fear with the respect and openness that it deserves. Fear is very real in most (if not all) of us and it is very important that conversations and around fear in relation to dogs are enabled in a way that people are comfortable with.
During the on-boarding process we will provide you with resources and training surrounding how to recognise and respond to fear of dogs in your community.
What is the best way to get buy-in from all members of the community?
We have supported many of our program members with this part of the onboarding process previously and have a variety of resources and recommendations that can help you during this period. The team are happy to help personalise these resources to help address any queries, concerns or requirements that are unique to your community. Reach out to a member of the team to discuss this further here.
Can we apply for funding to support this program?
Many of the workplace communities we have on-boarded in the past have accessed funding to support the implementation of this program. Whether it be in the form of fundraising, sponsorship, or government grants, we have seen many examples of this model. External funding can be sourced as part of the initial contract payment, or as part of any ongoing support for the dog related expenses such as food, bedding, accessories and vet costs.
Whose responsibility is it to pay for expenses such as food, insurance and accessories for the dog?
This is always a conversation that needs to happen internally with the relevant people in your workplace. We offer considerations and guidance in relation to many possible scenarios. The final agreement will be determined by what feels right and will work for you and your community.
How do we know if the dog enjoys participating in the program?
We do everything in line with the International Standards for Animal Assisted Intervention. Our number one priority is the wellbeing dog in any program we build. We make sure people are trained to ensure that there is a very authentic two-way connection between the dog and the people, and we teach people how to always strike a balance between the key factors that keep a dog happy and healthy.
What if the dog passes away or the primary dog carer moves on from our workplace?
We teach communities how to build all of the necessary processes and structures so that if another dog needs to be incorporated into the community for whatever reason, it can be done very easily with minimal input required from us. We will offer support, but we know that if we do our job thoroughly, you won’t need us.