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Mental Health Assistance Dogs

Despite being deeply invested in all aspects of canine and animal behaviour, Kirsten has a particular interest in assistance dog training for mental health support. Having spent over 10 years working with some fantastic, well-known charities, whose specific aim is to provide canine support to those suffering with PTSD and associated mental health issues, Kirsten has gained an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in the field. The ways in which an assistance dog can support someone suffering with mental health issues are endless; this may include initiating routine, providing medication reminders, interrupting rising anxiety, grounding techniques and simply providing comfort and reassurance.

Focusing on a combined approach of positive-reinforcement and bond/trust-based training, Kirsten works with dogs and their owners to establish a solid relationship of trust, respect, understanding and confidence between them. This secure relationship is proven to enable dogs to learn and develop their skills much faster and more efficiently; in much the same way as a toddler or small child. Through this method, the dogs are enabled to manage their own behaviour and make choices, rather than simply responding to cues.

Due to the important and intricate nature of this field, it is imperative that training and methods are mastered as early on in the process as possible. Kirsten will work with you from the very first step of your assistance dog journey, to ensure a successful and life-long partnership of support.

Additionally, Kirsten lectures for many canine associations and individuals, educating dog trainers on working within the field of mental health assistance dogs. For more details on this service, please enquire at for more details.

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