Brought to you by:

Training Dogs to Make a Difference: Animal Assisted Interventions Activities

February 11

2:00 pm PT

This talk is eligible for CEUs from: IAABC, KPA


During this workshop ideas will be shared for how to train dogs to participate in creative activities for each category of animal assisted interventions and for pet play. Animal Assisted Education (AAE) has been an evolving field. Come learn some techniques that help prepare dogs that integrate into education programs, from reading dog work to games with trained dogs that help with literacy goals. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) includes working canines who pair with licensed therapists and their patients. Learn about how dog activities can assist a variety of therapy settings (occupational, physical, mental health, etc) and how training them for these roles can be developed.

Animal Assisted Specialty Programs (AASP) is the newest category defined by Animal Assisted Interventions International (AAII). Dogs in this field work in goal-oriented programs that incorporate specially selected and trained animals to work in professional fields outside of animal assisted education and therapy or in conjunction with these licensed professionals. Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) incorporate specially selected and trained animals to focus on the motivational, recreational, social, and general well-being of the populations they serve. Get some ideas for activities that are fun for kid camps, pet-visiting at senior facilities and children’s hospitals, and bonding with pets. These can range from teaching a dog to chin rest on someone with pressure to giving “hugs”. Any and all of these above training and activities can also be used by pet owners as part of a comprehensive enrichment program for their own dog.

Animal Assisted Interventions International (AAII) standards and best practices will also be reviewed with emphasis on canine welfare and well-being throughout the suggested activities. Evaluation of a dog’s temperament and preferences as part of their selection process will be reviewed. Recommended breaks, considerations for canine mental well-being and stress management techniques will also be discussed. Training techniques and language that take into consideration the impact on the populations served will also be discussed.

Presented By:

Jennifer A Rogers, Founding Director of PAALS

Jen (she/her) has over twenty-seven years of combined professional experience with marine mammal, zoo, equine, assistance dogs training and therapeutic programs. She is the Founding Director of PAALS, the only Assistance Dog International (ADI) accredited based program in the state of South Carolina. She has a BS in Biology from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the National Education of Assistance Dog programs, and AZA Management of Enrichment and Training programs. During her time working with exotic animals she was part of a team who developed internationally recognized standards for training and implemented facility wide enrichment programs. She also worked alongside researchers for projects on social behavior, field population studies, and physiology of marine mammals.

Jen is certified in Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, EAGALA, as an equine specialist. Jen is also a founding board member of Animal Assisted Intervention International, AAII that evolved from her work on ADI’s committee for animal assisted interventions. She has created and implemented animal assisted intervention programs for children in summer camps, afterschool programs, at-risk youth, soldiers with PTSD, and incarcerated individuals and has presented internationally on standards for these programs. She is a mentor for trainers at the Animal Behavioral College and a recipient of the South Carolina Veterinary Association’s Humanitarian Award of the year for her work in serving people with disabilities through her work with service dogs and community programs. Jen is also on the ADI North American board of directors, working on the international education committee, co-chairing the airlines accessibility campaign for NA, and leading a trainer’s standards subcommittee for the international standards committee.

On a personal note, Jen lives in Murrells Inlet, SC with her husband and three of their children. Harley, a black lab who partners with Jen as an animal assisted intervention specialist and his younger brother, Jessy, a golden retriever also share their home with two cats, Jinja and Joventa.