Latest news from Paws for Progress

Our thanks

We’re really pleased to tell you that Paws for Progress has been operating successfully since August, at HM YOI Polmont. We thank the Scottish Prison Service and the University of Stirling  for supporting us through our development. We are very grateful for the guidance and practical support we have been given by the staff at the Young Offenders Institution (YOI) who could not have been more helpful – a real credit to the Scottish Prison Service.

We’ve been looking forward to filling everyone in on more details about how the course is going, but as it is early days yet, we’re going to hold on until we’ve reviewed the results from the pilot stage. However, we can tell you that we’re really pleased with the progress of our students, human and canine alike! And we’d like to tell you a little bit about the dogs who have been involved in Paws for Progress who are still waiting for homes…

The trainee dog handlers working on the course have written the descriptions below, to tell you more about the dog they are paired with on the course. The handlers are very keen to help find their dogs loving homes, and have prepared these descriptions from their experiences caring for and training the dogs during course sessions.

Paws for Progress: The Dogs

Rosie’s handler says

Rosie is a Staffy cross. She is about 2 years old and brindle in colour. She is an ADORABLE little bundle of joy, full of energy and excitement. Rosie can also do a lot of tricks and commands. She likes a lot of treats and cuddles. I think she would be best going to a loving family with kids over the age of 6. At the end of the day Rosie likes to relax and curl up in her bed.


 Lexi’s handler says

Lexi is a cross between a Great Dane and Labrador. She is only 11 months old and is quite a big dog. Lexi is black with a white chest. She is a good, loving dog with a great nature. She loves a good play-around and a good clap and scratch, and loves all the attention she can get. Lexi is a great dog to be with, she is so easy going and lots of fun. She has a lot of energy and loves to play with her toys and loves going for good walks and runs. She is really coming on with her training and showing what a great dog she is. Lexi needs a lot of loving and whoever takes Lexi on needs to give lots of time to her, as she is still young and learning, but she is a really lovely big dog to be around and have.

Tia’s handler says

Tia is a white Staffy cross with a big adorable black patch on the left side of her face. She is full of energy but can be calm when she needs to be. She really is a big sweetie and a joy to be around once you get to know her. She loves long walks and running and playing with her chew toys. She is more for an owner with previous experience of dog ownership or someone who has grown up around dogs.  With Tia you have a good, loyal companion for many years to come who you will go on to have some great experiences with. She is a joy to walk with and a joy to spend time with. I hope someone out there can find a place in their heart and home to give a loveable dog a loving, caring home.

Harvey’s handler says

Harvey is a 2 year old Staffy cross. He is a sandy tan colour with a white belly, paws and nose. Harvey is short in height but has a great muscular build, in fact I’d say he has a body from Baywatch. Harvey’s great appearance comes with an even better personality, he is a very friendly dog, both with people and other dogs (and has never shown the slightest sign of aggression). Harvey is a very energetic dog and loves to play, he really enjoys playing ‘tug’ and ‘fetch’ with his rope toy. He also loves to learn and is a very fast learner. Harvey can do lots of really cool tricks and is learning more all the time. Harvey also loves to go for long walks and really enjoys a good run, and he’s very fast for a wee tank! Harvey requires a lot of time and attention but he’s such a great dog and worth every second. Harvey would love to find a nice loving and caring family to adopt him, who have plenty of time to spend with him and to walk him on a regular basis. Harvey is a very likable dog and you will fall in love with him very quickly. If you think you can give Harvey all the things he requires, please adopt him, you won’t regret it. And one last thing. Harvey’s most favourite thing in the world is…. PEANUT BUTTER! He absolutely loves it and it makes an excellent treat for him when he’s been a good boy.


Bruno’s handler says

Bruno is a sandy coloured cross breed. He is 3 years old. He is full of energy and always seems happy to see you. He has a loving personality and loves to play and get treats. He is a little bit unsure of new people but once he gets to know you he is very confident and fun. Bruno so deserves a loving home, he is coming on so well, he loves being with you and never takes his eyes off you, he is so loving and playful. He would be best suited to a home with people who would have lots of fun with him. He would also be great with other dogs.


 Jake’s handler says

Jake is a large cross breed, with a ginger / brown coat and lovely amber eyes. I think Jake is a fantastic dog with lots of energy and is a quick learner. He looks really great, with a crackin coat and eyes. I think Jake would be best suited to a home where he will have attention all day every day and won’t be left alone as he can sometimes get nervous. He’s always wanting to play around with you, but he is an amazing fast learner and is doing great with his training. Jake is about 8 months old and is all round like a big kid. Just love him!


Quito’s handler says

Quito is a black and tan cross who is only 14 months old. He is a very energetic dog and loves to learn new tricks for treats. When using the clicker Quito learns VERY quickly. He is a strong fit dog who loves to explore his surroundings.

He is a very happy go lucky, bouncy chappy who is also very loving. He loves attention but most of all, he likes to be kept busy. He doesn’t usually sit and chill for more than 5 minutes, he needs to be entertained! I feel that Quito needs to be rehomed into a youngish environment. Not with children that are too young, as he is bouncy with so much energy, but young adults would be perfect. They would have the appropriate energy, both to handle Quito and keep him entertained and happy the way he deserves.

Will’s handler says

 Will is a very handsome lurcher, who is 3 years old. He is really coming on with his training, and will work for treats or toys. His favourite thing in the world is playing with toys, he is really fast and is also very good at catching! I think he would be best suited to a home where there is a big secure garden where you can play with him. Will also loves to chill out and still makes sure he looks good when he’s lazing about relaxing too! He is a great dog to walk with, he stays right by your side and leans his head in to you. I hope he can find a home where he will be happy.

Holly’s handler says

Holly is a black, white and brown staffy cross. She can be a bit worried by new people at first but once she gets to know you she is very sweet and loving. She loves playing tug of war and going for long walks, and would be a good dog to go running with. She can get excitable sometimes, but just ask her gently and she calms down, she is so keen to please you. She is really good at all the tricks (like sit, lie down, stay, walk nicely and recalls), in fact she is quite a show off and is best in the class at doing the ‘leave it’ trick! She likes to get in close to you and snuggle up to go to sleep. Holly is a really good dog and needs a good home with someone who understands her and can give her the love and cuddles she deserves.

Our students work very hard with the dogs, and really hope they can help the dogs find new homes where they can have happy futures. We will be in touch again as soon as we can, with more updates on our development….

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About pawsforprogress

The first prison based dog training programme in the UK, Paws for Progress was introduced to HM YOI Polmont in August 2011, and continues to operate successfully, improving the outcomes of the young people and dogs involved. Paws for Progress was incorporated as a Community Interest Company (CIC) (SC469108), to build on the overwhelming success of the pilot project. Our aim is “to enhance the well-being of people and animals by promoting and supporting, by whatever means, positive and effective interactions between them”.

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