For services call (855) 362-8470


Bark and Heal: Building Relationships & Building Skills

Alexander Youth Network welcomes the latest Bark and Heal class to our Charlotte Psychiatric Residential Program.

Bark and Heal is one of the many therapeutic programs at Alexander Youth Network. The canine skills training programs offers the children at Alexander the opportunity to develop individual relationships with the dog they are paired within the program. At the same time, while teaching the dogs a set of Canine Good Citizen skills, they learn how to incorporate similar skills of understanding, patience, and compassion in their own lives.

This winter four kids at our residential program in Charlotte will be spending eight weeks with Cody, Daisy, Tootsie, and Sky. Together they will work on building relationships, patience, and hope.

Meet Our Latest Bark and Heal Class:





Cody is an energetic dog who will help bring Pria* out of her shell and raise her self-esteem. The training classes will also teach Pria to ask for help when Cody is full of energy and may not be paying attention to Pria.

Gavin* was selected for Bark and Heal so he could better learn to follow directions and demonstrate appropriate reactions to his emotions. Being paired with a shy and sometimes scared dog, Daisy, helps teach him how his intense reactions might affect others around him.





Jason* and Tootsie are paired because they both are learning to follow directions. Building a strong relationship between the two of them will foster trust, a foundation they both need before listening and responding to others.

Alex* is learning how to develop healthy attachments to others. Skyy loves to give love and wants a lot of love in return. Her caring nature towards Alex will help him find a connection with Skyy, his therapists, and peers.

Bark and Heal is led by Heidi Price, Recreation Therapist under the direction of Lori Douglas, program director, and Daryl Wagner, FurBabies Animal Rescue.

Price will run the program as a permanent feature for our Charlotte Day Treatment and Charlotte-based residential program. Bark and Heal is also offered at our Beacon Hall Day Treatment, Shelby Central Day Treatment, and Shelby Pass Day Treatment.

To learn more about how to support the program at Alexander, contact Lori Douglas. All dogs in the program are currently available for sponsorship or adoption, please contact Daryl Wagner for more information.

Written by Emily Gordon.

* At Alexander Youth Network we respect our clients and their families. In order to maintain their anonymity, Alexander has changed the names of individuals and some identifying details such as physical properties, place of treatment and location.

You might also enjoy

Help us support our children and their families with a gift to Alexander.