Often we find that the dog training community is very disjointed and competitive. We are trying to change that mindset in the service dog world. Service dog programs and trainers all have a common goal: to assist people through skillfully trained dogs. Each program and trainer is different in their training methods, program format, and the demographics they serve. This means that everyone has their speciality, and the type of client they work best with.
By networking with each other, we are able to help fill in the gaps that our programs aren't built to handle. This can include support through service dog breeding programs, referring clients to programs better suited to their disability needs, and sending service dogs in training with other service dog and therapy dog programs when a specific dog doesn't fit our own program model (example: a mobility service dog program with a training dog that doesn't enjoy object retrieval may be able to place that dog as a psychiatric service dog through another program). Networking also has the added benefit of increasing program coverage to a wider audience, which can help with fundraising, finding puppy raisers, and receiving donations.
Connecting with other programs and trainers is an amazing way to learn from each other! We strongly believe that every person and program has something to offer and teach us. Want to connect with us? Send an email to email@example.com
Canine Partners of the Rockies is an ADI Accredited mobility assistance dog program that also places facility therapy dogs. All of their dogs are placed with applicants in Colorado. Their facility is located in Aurora, Colorado.
Two of their trainers met up with me to do a combined public training session in Home Depot.
Victory Service Dogs is a program aimed at assisting Veterans in training their own service dogs. Located in Colorado Springs, CO this program holds weekly training classes at their facility and also does group outings in public settings.
This program uses the training process as part of each Veteran's healing journey.
International Hearing Dog Inc. gave us a tour of their facility, had us participate in one of their puppy raiser meetings, and then gave us a demonstration on the tasks that their hearing assistance dogs help individuals with hearing impairments.
We learned a lot in our time with them since the training of hearing dogs is very different from the training of other types of service dogs.
We spent two days with Assistance Dogs of the West! The first day we got a tour of their facility, meeting with staff trainers, volunteers and puppy raisers. We also got to join on their rail trail walk with their dogs. Day two we met up with their staff to do a joint training session with the dogs at the local mall.
Assistance Dogs of the West prides themselves on top quality fully trained assistance dogs using only positive reinforcement methods. They also assist local owners wanting to train their own service dogs. We look forward to working with them more in the future
While in Phoenix, Arizona we met with The Foundation for Service Dog Support and learned about their owner training service dog program.
Everest sat in on one of their service dog intro training classes to watch them in action.
Angel Paws Assistance Dogs is a newer service dog program that trains and places custom service dogs for a variety of disability needs. They are a small program located in San Diego, CA.
We had a great time meeting up with the founder of the program and doing a combined training session at the North County Mall in Escondido.
Canine Support Teams is a nonprofit service dog program in Murrieta, CA that places fully trained service dogs with Veterans and also helps owners train their own service dogs.
Next Step Service Dogs is a nonprofit ADI Accredited service dog program located in Escondido, CA placing service dogs with Veterans and First Responders. They also assist in owners training their own service dogs.
We had the privilege of touring with each facility and meeting with staff to better understand their bigger visions for the future, and how we can assist each other in those efforts.
Topaz Assistance Dogs in Naples, Florida places Autism, Seizure Alert, Diabetic Alert, and Mobility Assistance service dogs. We are very excited for KC & Rickey to continue their training journey with this program.
Louise brought lots of smiles while networking with the first responders of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties at the Ventura First Responder Mental Health Conference. The conference allowed us to understand how to better serve first responders in our community as part of First Responder Therapy Dogs.
Autism Service Dogs of America is located in Portland, Oregon. Our founder began her service dog training journey with ASDA 19 years ago and reconnected with staff at the program. Kelly spent a day training Aspen, one of their service dogs in training, alongside two of our program service dogs.
Alliance of Therapy Dogs does hospital and residential care facility visits as well as therapy dog visits to schools and other groups. Kelly and Louise are excited to be able to diversify their therapy dog visitor demographic with this new certification.
First Responder Therapy Dogs aims to make quality therapy dogs available to all first responders throughout the USA free of charge. An average of 20% of first responders will end up with PTSD from their job, and we are excited to be a part of a program aiming to reduce that!
Gabby is headed to the National Institute of Canine Services and Training in Concord, California to be part of their First Response K9 service dog training program. She will one day be a service dog for a First Responder in need.
Gem and Grit are Golden Newfie puppies from our service dog breeding program. They headed to Ocala, Florida to join the Patriot Service Dogs prison program and one day become a service dogs for Veterans.
Guide Dogs of America's breeding program sent us Finnegan, Falcon and Florence! These amazing Lab/Golden crosses are doing wonderful in our service dog training program with their puppy raisers.
Lovebug is a Golden Retriever puppy from our service dog breeding program. He has joined Alaska Assistance Dogs in Wasilla, AK to be trained as a psychiatric service dog.
Bubba was a service dog in training with Cornerstone Companions Service Dogs until he was a year old. When they ran out of available puppy raisers they sent Bubba to us. Bubba has since been placed as a facility therapy dog at Mat Su Day School in Alaska helping students with behavioral needs.
Our friends at Cornerstone Companions Service Dogs came up for a three-day visit with their dogs to do a multi-day combined training session! Having our dogs practice training around other service dogs that they didn't know was so valuable, and everyone involved got to learn from each other.
Nalu was a service dog in training with Alaska Assistance Dogs until he was 10 months old. When it was determined that he didn't fit their program, he was sent to us. Nalu has now been placed as a facility therapy dog at Houston High School in Alaska, a school devastated by earthquake damage a few years earlier.