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Scent & The Assistance Dog - the development within PTSD. Presented by Robert Hewings

  • Thursday, March 30, 2017
  • 2:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 30, 2023
  • 3:00 PM
  • Recorded Webinar


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  • Public registration

Presented by Robert Hewings

It has been long established that the dog can provide many health benefits to mankind, in guide work, assistance and therapy work, even education. With our world becoming ever-more stressful and mental health more understandable and common place, we are now beginning to talk about and discuss those things that only a generation ago were seen as ‘best kept quiet’

How can we now train and allow our canine partner to help us assist those who suffer mental health issues?  As a retired police dog trainer of over twenty five years, and now an assistance dog trainer, I wish to take you on a personal journey that highlights the amalgamation of two very different training disciplines - A brief description of how scent work can be used to combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Webinar Objectives

  • Identify the advantages of the human/dog dyad as an aid to wellbeing
  • Understand the methodology of anxiety alert 
  • Apply the value of scent dog training within the assistance dog world 
  • Realize the importance of ‘multi-agency’ methods of training
  • Know the ‘golden-thread’ of therapy/assistance dog training dog training

About The Presenter

Robert Hewings is a highly experienced, qualified Canine Trainer and Management Consultant with a solid background in the design, development and delivery of bespoke programs for pet and service dog training institutions. He is also a qualified pet dog behavioral consultant. Rob is a part-time lecturer at Bishop Burton College (Hull University) U.K., where he specializes in Canine Training and Behavior, and Bergin University California USA, where his subjects include scent training for the Assistance Dog.

Following on from an exemplary career as a dog handler and dog trainer with the Metropolitan Police spanning a 30-year period, he has now taken the decision to follow his passion, and channel his experience into ‘Training and coaching dogs, to help their people!’

To realize this ambition, alongside his varied experience as a Police Dog Instructor, Rob began a learning journey that was to become life changing, not only for himself but for others. His academic career started with a BSc in Canine Behaviour and Training, then an MA in Professional Practice Police Dog Training, and he is now engaged in a Doctorate of Professional Practice Service Dog Training, where two leading projects within the doctorate have been:
  • Ambient scent can affect the emotional learning and memory of the dog,  how  this be used to benefit the successful placement of the assistance dog?
  • Human anxiety attacks, nightmares and night terrors. Is there a scent cue for the assistance dog?
Rob has designed and developed a training program where the scent cue is a unique step forward in the training of the Assistance Dog for Anxiety attacks, and in providing comfort and support when the handler is suffering nightmare or night terrors.

Rob is the education consultant with the International Working Dog Association, a board member of Southern Diabetic Retrievers Louisiana USA, where his training programs and course design are being used in diabetic alert. He is currently engaged in the design, development and instruction of an epileptic seizure alert training program working in partnership with a local authority. The methodology for this canine training is based upon his knowledge and experience within search and assistance dog training.
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