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The Program

PAWSitive Helpers is an interactive program that pairs hard-to-adopt dogs with adolescents in the community.  Adolescents will spend up to four hours a week learning about dog-related topics and training their assigned dog.

girl with dog

How PAWSitive Helpers will benefit the dogs:

  • Basic training through guidance of trainer

  • Teach dogs to interpret human cues

  • Modulate negative behaviors that impact likelihood of adoption

  • Increase attention the dog receives throughout the week

  • Offer socialization with adolescents

  • Build trust with humans in a safe and positively rewarding environment

  • Improve social, cognitive, and motor development with training and play

How PAWSitive Helpers will benefit adolescents:

Adolescents involved in the PAWSitive Helpers program will learn the following:

  • Help build empathy

  • Make and complete goals

  • Build attachment

  • Improve self-esteem

  • Teach problem-solving skills

  • Provide a sense of purpose

  • Improve communication

  • Increase patience

  • Offer positive socialization

  • Improve expression of feeling

  • Reduce feelings of isolation & loneliness

Dog Eligibility:

  • Dogs selected for the program will be considered "hard-to-adopt" and have characteristics such as being black, large, older, pit-mix, hyper, shy, and/or having behavioral problems though not aggressive to other dogs or humans.

  • Dogs will stay in the program the entire program and will attend all training sessions.

  • Dogs will be temperament tested by Brenda Aloff and staff prior to the group starting to determine eligibility for the program and to identify specific training needs.

See Upcoming Programs for information about current programs.  If you're interested in signing your child up for the next PAWSitive Helpers program please contact Angela Lijewski at 989-832-2165 or pawsitivehelpers2016@gmail.com.

Partners in Change: Psychological & Community Services, PLC

720 W. Wackerly, Suite 11

Midland, MI 48650

amlijewski@midmichpsych.com