From the initial pilot in 2007 of one 3 hour program per week, Labs ‘n Life currently offers 20 programs each week covering Schools in the Northern, Western, Southern and Country school districts.
Core Programs provide a wide variety of young people with the opportunity to experience success and gain confidence whilst learning how to build relationships. Theory components aim to improve competencies in line with the current and soon to be released National Curriculum.
Targeted students from a school, work with the same dog over a term, semester or year. Generally the selected students are experiencing significant barriers to a positive involvement at school. Work with the Labs ‘n Life “magicians” – the dogs – has consistently produced an increase in attendance and improved learning outcomes for the students.
Autism Assistance Dogs
Labs ‘n Life use future autism assistance dogs in core programs and schools, to acquaint them with young people. The dogs become accustomed to spending quality time with young people, and working positively with them. Generic training includes basic obedience, food refusal, working in harness, and anchoring. Play activities such as finding treasure, catching food, bowing, etc are used by the autistic child to give them the confidence associated with being listened to.
All of these activities are essential learnings for the young dog as they develop their intuitiveness with young people.
Labs ‘n Life Core Dogs
Privately owned dogs are utilized in the Labs ‘n Life Initiative:
- Give young people success because they are working with a dog already partially trained. Students have to discover effective communication.
- Absolutely love going to “work”.
- May be taken to conformation shows and exhibited by the young people. At the 2011 Adelaide Royal Show, 17 LNL young people exhibited their dogs, coming away with 13 places!