June 2017, dog behaviourist and assistance dog trainer, Karin Holmström Forster, announced the new Pawsitive Dogs Algarve project. To start a guide dog program in conjunction with ACAI - Alertalegria Associacâo de Cães de Assistência Internacional. www.caesassistenciainternacional.com
Karin and two dogs began their training in August 2017 in Devon, England, with Alan Brooks, one of the most experienced British guide dog trainers, with several articles and books edited, and a former Guide Dog UK regional manager.
During her stay in England Karin had the opportunity to witness the difference in the integration of the visually impaired in Portugal and in the UK.. Every day Karin saw 3 to 4 visually impaired people in their daily routines with the support of their white stick, guide dogs or human guides. Karin explains that “towns have audible crossings and crossings with texture to help a blind to feel with his feet where he should cross the road" and also adds that the government "supports the medical expenses as well as help with equipment for the blind to be able to live as normal as a visually able" and summarizes that “being blind does not mean staying at home”.
With the skills and experience acquired in her training with Alan Brooks, Pawsitive Dogs Algarve has now started the Pawsitive Guide Dog Training Program in the Algarve region in conjunction with ACAI.
Pawsitive Dogs train the dogs and ACAI register them for the Portuguese users.
In Karin’s words “having worked all my life with people in health and rehabilitation then lately dogs and their owners I feel the way I can best give back to society e giving independence and a friend to someone who otherwise may never be able to leave home on her or his own”.
Being a certified assistance dog trainer Karin will be able to train combination dogs that can not only guide the blind but also be a medical alert dog and or assisting them in other disabilities such as being wheel chair bound.”
Karin intends to train 6 to 8 dogs each year, and in order to do so she seeks partners who can support Pawsitive Dogs Algarve and help make a unique project in the region become a reality. A project with a huge impact on the lives of many visually impaired people in the region and in southern Portugal.
In addition to financial support, essential to the sustainability of a project of this nature, Pawsitive Dogs Algarve seeks partners in veterinary medicine and pharmacy as well as animal food, meaning that anyone can contribute to the fulfilment of a project with such a profound social impact.
With your support
Visually Impaired in Algarve
will receive a Guide Dog
About Karin Holmström Forster
Dog behaviourist expert Karin Holmström Forster has been working with dogs and their humans in Portugal since almost two decades.
Originally from Sweden, dog psychologist Karin always had her focus on rehabilitation. She has worked as a nurse, massage therapist, got a qualification in Kinesiology and is still running classes as a Pilates instructor.
When she got interested in the canine community she felt motivated to improve her knowledge and started intensive courses and seminars with Karen Pryor in the USA, Fernando Silva in Portugal, Audrey Finns and Gary Landsberg in the USA and Cilla Danielsson in Sweden, Victoria Stillwell in the UK and Grisha Stewart and Ian Dunbar in the USA. All are international dog behaviourists that are very well respected in their field. Karin has currently finishing a three-term course on Ethology and on Dog Behaviour & Cognition at Linkoping University in Sweden.
Today she educates new instructors both in Sweden and the Algarve. With Pawsitive Dogs , she trains dogs and their humans full time and helps with dog behaviour issues.
As an expert in her field she is a catalyst for change in dogs’ wellbeing and is a favourite speaker at dog related events. She recently was a key note speaker at an animal cruelty prevention seminar run by Safer Communities Portugal. From that an animal welfare umbrella group for shelters and individuals started, seeking information and assistance with animal welfare issues.
With her many qualifications, Karin hopes to further her involvement in dog training, especially service dogs.
In 1999 the half English, half Swedish family moved from the UK to the Algarve. Today their sons are grown up and the family is spread to the UK, Sweden and Algarve. The family includes a mixed breed of dogs, including two certified Assistance Dogs.
If you would like to make a donation. Our account is
IBAN PT50 0010 0000 5574 7260 0012 0
NIB 0010 000 55747260001 20
Write your name and GUIDE DOGS as your reference
The charity project to grant 2 Guide Dogs has just started in May 2017 and will finish when the training has finished early 2018.
The different parts of the charity project are
Raising money to allow Karin and the dogs in the three months training
Matching the two visually impaired with the two dogs
Hand-over-training for visually impaired with their dog and continual support
With your contribution the lives 2 of the 1000 visually impaired in Portugal will change!
If you really want to make the difference in the life of another person,
This is your opportunity!
We kindly invite you to
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Become a Puppy Walker* or Dog Walker**
As a company you can become a sponsor with your logo on all our marketing and links to your website
Voulunteers are welcome to help organise fundraising events.
Pawsitive Dogs are looking for help with marketing and
* Puppy Walkers help raise a puppy up to he/she is 12-15months old when they start their Guide Dog training (food and vet bills payed).
** Dog Walkers keep the Guide Dog in training during the nights and weekends when the dog is not training (food and vet bills payed). You need to live within 30minutes from Loulé center.