Our Service Dogs are custom trained for each handler. After we receive an application, we discuss with the client his or her specific needs. We ask, “what do you want your dog to do to help mitigate your disability?” We inquire about the general disposition of the client to help determine what breed (or mix-breed) of dog would best suit the individual as a dog handler. Then, we initiate a search to identify the appropriate dog for the handler’s needs. We seek young adult dogs (10-18 months old) so that we can know the dog’s general disposition, eliminate the time to raise a puppy, reduce the turn-around time, and to be able to assess the dog’s physical health before we enroll it into our program. We bring the dog to our facility and train it specifically for the client. At the end of the training time, which is typically 3-6 months, the client comes to our location for a 3-5 day handler training course. The class culminates in the Public Access Test. We offer free lifetime-of-the-dog support via cost-free enrollment in scheduled classes for continued practice or to provide the platform to resolve any issues which may arise.
T.E.A.C.H. (Train & Educate A Canine Helper)
T.E.A.C.H. is a professionally guided, owner trained Service Dog program. Students and their dogs enroll in a course which is held over three weekends that are approximately six weeks apart. The curriculum includes high standard social compliance training to prepare the dog for work in public places AND the identification, development and training of individual tasks which the dog will perform to mitigate the handler's disability. Practical training includes public excursions to department stores, outdoor park settings and restaurants where students are coached in how to handle a Service-Dog-In-Training. Students go home with their dogs and practice the skills they learned. Maintaining a training log helps the students to meet the required training hours. Keeping a journal helps the student to track progress and to know when to seek help from the Committed Canine instructors (who may be contacted via email or telephone, as necessary). The final weekend culminates in the Public Access Test where students and their dogs are evaluated in three unique locations, across 14 different required elements.
Professional Therapy Dog
For teachers, counselors or therapists who would like to utilize a highly trained dog in their practice, we provide dogs which have nearly the same level of training as a fully functioning Service Dog, but which do not meet that definition because they are not partnered with a disabled individual. The training for the dog and the dog’s ultimate handler (the teacher or therapist) is similar to the Service Dog standard, however the task list is focused on “social” interaction skills and behaviors which help to foster physical, speech or occupational therapy as well as psychiatric intervention.
We gladly respond to initial questions via email or telephone. If you would like additional time to consult with us about Service Dog use, laws, placement, managment, breed selection or anything else that you may find important to learn on your road to learning about whether a Service Dog is the right option to mitigate your disability, we offer a telephone consultation service. Your first thirty minute telephone call is free of charge. Then we welcome you to utilize our consultation option.