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(Animal Centred Education)

ACE (Animal Centred Education) has been developed by Sarah Fisher. This started with her work with the dogs at Battersea dogs home and has continued to evolve from there. ACE benefit’s dogs of all ages, breeds and abilities, helping them to reset, develop skills, overcome struggles and by meeting their emotional and physical needs. ACE is very much about choice, allowing the dog to have a rewarding education where they can choose to participate and engage while learning valuable life skills. This experience is beneficial for both the dog and their guardian by strengthening that relationship and helping them to better understand each other.

Free Work is a big part of ACE which has many benefits for the dogs but also helps the guardian to make observations, allow them to identify their dogs needs and give them ways to best support their companion. Free Work consists of ‘stations’, laid out for the dog to freely explore and interact with. Examples of these stations could be licki mats, snuffle mats, rugs, mats, foot stalls and items with human and animal scent. Free Work should be a rewarding experience for the individual and so it is important that they have choice throughout. This rewarding experience engages the senses by using different items and surfaces to explore, walk over and step onto as well as different scents to gather. Each Free Work session will be designed with each individual in mind to ensure it is appropriate and meeting their needs. Changes can be made to ensure it remains a rewarding experience.

ACE can benefit dogs and their guardians. Some of these benefits include:
- Making observations
- Watching how the dog moves
- Supporting a dogs movement and mobility
- Allowing dogs choice
- Learning the individuals preferences 

- Giving dogs an enriching experience
- Building on the relationship between dogs and guardians
- Engagement 
- Supporting the dog with struggles they may be facing
- Learning skills
- Confidence building
- A way to decompress and reduce stress
- A foundation for education
- Allowing dogs to be in control of their education

Becky is an ACE Associate tutor, incorporating ACE techniques in classes and sessions, as well offering 1-1 sessions and workshops. If you would like to find out about upcoming events, to book a 1-1 session or find out how ACE Free Work may benefit you and your companion, please get in touch. 

To find out more about ACE and the benefits, please visit 'ACE Connections' on Facebook

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