PALS is a unique cutting edge programme which has been developed from the inside-out by those who understand the debilitating effects of mental health problems. Animal behaviourists, experienced assistance dog trainers, mental health professionals and practitioners are all part of the team involved in the programme.
The PALS programme focuses on the partnership between the Veteran and the dog. Veterans learn and practise skills that are useful in everyday life, using modern professional dog training techniques with a proven scientific basis.
The programme consists of a number of elements including: individual tuition, workshops, seminars, residential and group activities.
The residential aspect of PALS is just one part of the programme; hosted in a safe environment and provides an opportunity for training and activities that enable Veterans to improve life-skills, build networks and ultimately increase their mental well-being leading to more independent living. And we have fun too - everyone looks forward to the residentials!
Each Veteran takes part in the training of their own dog, which is an essential element of the partnership as no one can exactly replicate someone else’s symptoms, reactions, and body chemicals.
This method in turn creates a stronger bond between the Veteran and their Assistance Dog as well as giving the Veteran the elevated feelings of accomplishment as they are a major part of teaching their own dog.