Get to know the dogs at the center of our cause
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Pups are handled from birth and notes are taken on their markings, personality and disposition. At around ten days old each pup is fed a very small quantity of goat’s milk along with their mother’s milk. The pups are handled and weighed regularly. Once they start solid puppy food each pup is given their own dish and are NEVER allowed to push and shove for food. Food aggression is not allowed. Spoon feeding is done in the group to learn names and manners. Treats are given to one dog at a time as their name is called.
At three months the pups are moved to a heated/air conditioned puppy house where they have access to the outdoors. At this time they are still under the watchful eye of staff or volunteers. Slowly the litter is separated and the pups are moved to other kennels on the property. All kennels have access to runs for the dogs to go outside to exercise.
Training for Balance
To support their owner, our dogs learn to be steady in their harnesses and to match their gait to their handler’s speed. Our Great Danes learn to halt and brace in case their handler were to fall and to stand still so their handler can use the harness to pull themselves up. Our dogs learn to turn right and left and to ease themselves through doorways, elevators, aisles, checkout counters, under restaurant tables, etc. The dogs learn to concentrate amid distractions such as lively children, meat counters, squirrels and other daily encounters. They are able to relax and fall asleep almost anywhere, e.g., meetings, movies, lectures, work, etc.
By their first year, our dogs should be 'Canine Good Citizens' with a firm base of obedience, both on and off lead, and should accept anything the general public has to offer.
We have a very low percentage of 'Perfect Pets' but when we do, they are adopted by caring people who are usually our staff or volunteers.
Matching You with a Service Dog that Meets Your Needs
Our team at the Service Dog Project facility spends significant time with each service dog to learn about their personality and mannerisms. Extensive notes are taken on each pup regarding everything from their sleep habits, learning abilities, and personality type such as openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and compulsiveness. When matching a pup, we'll give potential recipients an extensive questionnaire to learn about their personality, walking style, home environment and more. Our questionnaire is followed by an in-person visit, which helps us match potential recipients to a Great Dane that most compliments their personality and needs.