Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Canine Companions for Independence hearing dogs are specially bred Labrador and Golden Retrievers who alert partners to key sounds by making physical contact such as nudging the leg or arm. Among the many sounds hearing dogs are trained to recognize and respond to are the sound of a doorbell, alarm clock, someone calling a name or a smoke alarm.

Here at Canine Companions, we believe in the joyful, transformative power of the human-canine partnership – in every form!  More than one-third of dogs released from service dog training have gone on to serve as therapy dogs in their communities.  We think that’s incredible, and we are proud that through our therapy dog certification pilot program, we can continue to support and engage these volunteers while providing suitable released dogs with impactful jobs.

Imagine having a dog that could turn on lights, pick up dropped keys or open a door. Canine Companions service dogs are partnered with adults with physical disabilities to assist with daily tasks and increase independence by reducing reliance on other people. A service dog can pull their partner in a manual wheelchair, push buttons for elevators or automatic doors, and even assist with business transactions by transferring money, receipts, and packages.

Facility dogs are expertly trained dogs who partner with a facilitator and work in a health care, visitation or education setting.

A Canine Companions facility dog is trained to perform service dog commands including picking up items, opening doors and providing calming pressure across the client’s lap or body. Their trained skills can be utilized to enhance therapies, promote participation and reduce anxiety for clients in professional environments. A Canine Companions facility dog is bred to be calm, reliable and affectionate in order to assist in the development of independent living skills.

People with disabilities might have trouble reaching a light switch, picking up a dropped pencil or opening a door. Imagine having a dog that could do all of that and more. Our skilled companions are dogs trained to work with an adult or child with a disability under the guidance of a facilitator.

A facilitator is typically a parent, spouse or caregiver who handles and cares for the assistance dog, encourages a strong bond between the recipient and the skilled companion dog, and is responsible for the customized training needs of the dog.

Canine Companions recognizes the urgent and growing need for programs that provide support to veterans with disabilities. Many of the brave men and women returning home from combat with disabling injuries experience a litany of new challenges.

Often, they face difficult transitions back to civilian life as well as uncertain futures with new disabilities. Canine Companions assistance dogs can help veterans regain independence, pride and hope. Beyond much-needed physical assistance, the love, loyalty and positivity of a canine partner can make a profound, lasting impact on someone dealing with difficult emotions that are hard to communicate.

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