What is The K9 Project?

I setup The K9 Project in 2008, realising a dream of working with people and animals in a unique way.

Bringing to the role my many years of experience in Health, Social Care and Education settings, working across public, private and charitable sectors, my qualifications include social work, project management, dog behaviour and training, NLP, Adult Education and supporting learners with ADHD.

I have successfully run a training and consultancy business for 20 years but now focus mostly on all things K9 Project.

Our many dogs who have helped us along the road travelled by the K9 Project are all ex homeless, abandoned or handed over dogs. They did not always get the best start in life. They are our constant inspiration, showing us that we all have a role to play in the world, everyone has something to offer, and we can all achieve – given the opportunity.

Izzy – ADHD Consultant.

Izzy is bright, lively, hyper energetic and very clever.

She is a multi skilled mixed breed dog, found wandering the streets and ending up at a rescue centre where she found us. She is especially skilled at doggy parkour, scent-work and finding food. She is currently writing a book called “You, me and ADHD”.(more about that here )

Her role is anything to do with running about, climbing trees, supporting young people with ADHD and making us laugh.

Izzy

ADHD Consultant. She is bright, lively, hyper energetic and very clever.

Billy

Billy is a collie from Ireland, probably spent his first year living a lonely life in a shed.

Billy – Anxiety Management Specialist.

Billy is our Anxiety Management Specialist. A collie from Ireland, probably spent his first year living a lonely life in a shed.

He finds much of life a challenge but loves people and other dogs. He is sweet, gentle and loving.

Billy works well in the quieter sessions and is our key dog on the reducing anxiety around dogs programmes.

Milo – Project dog in training.

We are not sure yet quite what role Milo will take in K9 Project activities and programmes. He is after all still just a puppy !! 8 months old, large as life, full of fun. He came from living a rural life in Romania, next to a railway line with his mum and brother and sisters. Rescued at 12 weeks he will be a big boy when he is fully grown, and he is a bundle of fun, with lots of lovely qualities. He loves to play and to explore the world, and we are sure his special skills and qualities will present themselves to us in due course.

Taz

Taz

Teya

Teya- Walk Your Worries Away Advisor.

Our newest team member is Teya. Teya came from a harsh life in Cyprus to the UK in 2018.

She is a beautiful friendly girl who is our Walk Your Worries Away Advisor, her main skill is doing just that!

We are taking our time, allowing her to settle in and reveal her particular talents.

What we do.

We work alongside the dogs to create a diverse range of programmes.

Why dogs? We all know dogs are great fun, they live in the moment, provide instant feedback, are non judgemental, do not care if you are fat or thin or if you can read or write, and can be both calming and motivating in equal measure. Providing a visual learning aid they are very much at the centre of anything we do. They open the door to learning, and then we can step on through. They somehow allow people to be themselves, without judgement, and make us feel good.

Our programmes usually last from 6 weeks and up- we offer a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities. We focus on whatever is needed for the group- life skills or employability skills for young adults-building confidence for children who struggle with relationships in school and/or are bullied- understanding and managing ADHD for children and parents together.

We work a lot with young people with Special Educational Needs (SEND) – be it dog phobia work, building life skills, encouraging physical exercise, learning dog handling and safety. Risk management, hand to eye coordination, taking responsibility, engaging appropriately with the public- there are lots of lessons to be learned from being with dogs.

We also work with people suffering from significant anxiety- being with the dogs has a calming and stress releasing effect, and gets us outside- sometimes for the only time that week.
If you do not see anything that you need- feel free to contact us – we like to be flexible in our approach (link here)

What people say about us.

“Once again you and your lovely dogs have worked their magic. We left an anxious Jack with you and you bought back a Jack who looked like the weight had been lifted from his shoulders. Thank you”. Anna Jacks mum.

“The animals helped bring the group together, they offered an excellent tool for comparison to children and for prompting discussions. The activities using the dogs seemed to really build the children’s confidence and self-esteem and they were able to show responsibility and empathy for the different characters of dog. It was such a positive, lovely experience to be part of and to celebrate these children’s achievements rather than focussing on their issues. It was good to see representatives from school come along, so they could also see these children in a positive environment.” Catherine Carman Family Worker

It’s just easier with the dogs here Miss” Craig 11.

“When talking about the sessions with David, he could easily transfer the learning from dogs to people. We had a lot of good chats about why people may sometimes be upset by his behaviour. This allowed a nonthreatening opener to conversations which had been difficult in the past. When the more hyper dog Izzy came to visit, David instantly recognised his own behaviour in her. She was crazy and excited when there was no focus or structure but when asked to do a task she enjoyed (sniffing out her toy) she was hyper focused and really skilled. In David words “She’s just like me!”. We could then talk about what his crazy behaviour might be like for his teacher but also what were his special skills. Dee Dee -Davids mum.

She always comes back from you happy, with a smile” .Pat, grandmother to an autistic young woman who does not speak outside the home.