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Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence® is a non-profit organization that breeds and trains puppies to be assistance dogs. Volunteers care for our breeder dogs and nurture newborn puppies for eight weeks. The puppies spend the next 14-18 months with volunteer puppy raisers who provide basic obedience training, socialization and care. Their instructors then teach the dogs to master over 40 commands in six to nine months. After training is successfully completed, the dogs can go through Team Training and be matched with adults, children or veterans with a disabilities, or professionals assisting clients with special needs.
Service Dogs: Imagine having a dog that could turn on lights, pick up dropped keys and open a door. 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.
Hearing Dogs: Hearing dogs are 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.
Facility Dogs: Facility dogs are expertly trained dogs that are partnered with a facilitator working in a health care, visitation or education setting.
Skilled Companions: Our skilled companions are trained to work with an adult or child with a disability under the guidance of a facilitator.
Assistance Dogs for Veterans: Canine Companions recognizes the urgent and growing need for programs that provide support to veterans with disabilities. These 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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