Happy New Year and Welcome to the Paws & Pause Winter Newsletter
Featuring: Trainee programme updates, project launch with Black Thrive, enrichment ideas and expansion updates!
Introducing resident Trainer and Day Care Assistant Iona!
"One of the reasons I became a dog trainer is because I know how rewarding owning a dog can be, but also that it can be frustrating at times. I want to help dog owners experience less of that frustration and lots more of the emotional reward that comes with having a canine companion. On top of my lifelong experience with dogs, I worked in a special needs school where my role included facilitating dog therapy sessions for children with complex mental health needs. The difference in the pupils’ behaviour during the therapy sessions was incredible to see. I wanted to help share the profound emotional wellbeing that dogs can bring with everyone, but I thought I'd start with dog owners! I am so excited to now be working with Paws and Pause and I already feel like part of the team, who’ve all been really welcoming and supportive. My training methods are centred around positive reinforcement and choice-based theory, building a trusting relationship between dogs and their owners through a combination of physical and mental stimulation, obedience training, reward-based enrichment, play and rest. At day care, I have been looking at providing an outlet for natural behaviours to meet the dogs’ needs. We’ve been playing lots of games of “go find it” with smelly treats, a valuable activity as it releases lots of endorphins, reducing stress levels and calming the dogs as they sniff out the treats." Top training tips – cheese! Dogs love the stuff. Use cubes of cheddar cheese as a high-value treat when teaching your dog a new skill or behaviour (or, even better – squeezy cheese in a tube. Mmm!)"
We are proud to announce that in 2021 we will be working with Lambeth organisation Black Thrive to deliver ten traineeships providing employment support for Black people in recovery.
This great initiative is part of Black Thrives Employment work to test and evaluate creative solutions to employment for Black people living with health conditions. We really excited to be apart of this and feel super lucky to be chosen by their panel to work alongside Black Thrive and learn from them and the other local organisations involved.
One of the reasons we were interested in this project was that looking at the Dog Care sector there is a devastatingly lack of diversity, when you browse the 'team' pages they're nearly always overwhelmingly white (us included) and it's time that changed. We'll be sending out project updates more info for referring partners soon!
We were able to recruit lots of new trainees onto our programme at the end of 2020 who can't wait to get back to their placements once Lockdown is lifted, and who are engaging in online support and workshops in the mean time. A huge welcome to Marianne, Catherine, Emily, Molly, Sangeeta and Julie!
We have also said a very heart warming farewell to the wonderful Joe, who has been our Instagram Guru over the past few months, and Lisa who has gone on to work at a local vets practise. We're SO PROUD of them both for completing the programme and all the hard work they've put in!
Our new trainee Molly (below!) already has her own craft business and got to v
isit us and the pups a few times before Christmas. Check out her Instagram page and gorgeous crafts! @mollybeegb
‘Iona's DIY Diggy Dog Box’ Enrichment Activity:
Enrichment is all about providing an outlet for your dog’s natural behaviours. All dogs instinctively love to sniff and dig, but that’s not ideal when they’re digging up your plants in the garden. Why not make them an enticing diggy dog box by sourcing an appropriate-size cardboard box for your dog and filling it with some of their favourite toys, scrunched up bits of paper, pieces of fabric, cardboard tubes (etc) and then sprinkle over some delicious-smelling treats. To increase the difficulty, you can always hide the treats by wrapping them in pieces of paper, cardboard or fabric. Ask your dog to sit and wait while you prepare the enrichment, and then use it to reward them for their patient behaviour!
HOT OFF THE PRESS! ... SECOND DAYCARE SITE COMING SOON..!
We're currently in the process of securing a second day care site in the area to help accommodate all the new pups in South London, watch this space for updates and openings! We cannot wait to meet more of your pups and create an amazing new space for our four legged friends and new trainees!
We're always interested in hearing about new venue locations across South London, so do let us know if you may know of any additional sites that may peek our interested!
The Paws & Pause team x