From the category archives:

Service Dog Training

Service Dog Magazine

by Sue on May 21, 2011

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I have a friend that runs a publishing company. She is always trying to come up with new ideas for a new magazine.

Which leads me to ask the readers.

If a magazine geared towards Service Dogs and ESA’s and their owners, would you subscribe to it? Would you submit stories to it? If you were a trainer or sold Service Dog goods, would you advertize in it?

Sussie and Gunny


Traveling with your Service Dog

by Sue on May 17, 2011

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Just recently I had a reader ask me how she could allow her dog to relieve itself while on a 30 hour non stop train ride cross country. I suggested that she train the dog to use a potty pad and make sure the dog is consistent before even attempting the trip.

But this led me to a question for the readers. Would you take your dog on that long of a non stop trip?


Paralyzed Marine paired with service dog

by Sue on May 2, 2011

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Paralyzed Marine paired with service dog

Golden retriever has thousands of Facebook friends through Milk-Bone ad campaign that chronicled his training
By Sue Manning – The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Noble is a four-legged Facebook star with thousands of friends. Sam is a 23-year-old Marine who was paralyzed in a car accident.

After months, the two have been matched.

Noble, a golden retriever, was raised from a pup and trained as a service dog as his online fans logged in every day, sharing stories and offering words of encouragement.

Sam Farr, 23, of Oceanside joined the Marines right out of high school. He was on duty in North Carolina two years ago when the car he was in went out of control and over a cliff, partially severing his spinal cord.

It would be a month before he woke from a coma in a Georgia hospital. He was paralyzed, unable to use his hands or walk. During Farr’s rehabilitation, volunteers from a group called Canine Assistants visited the hospital with service dogs that would lick Farr’s hand. When Farr was asked if he’d like a dog, he said yes.

It was more than 18 months of hard work for both before they met a few weeks ago.

“He jumped straight in my lap and started licking me in the face,” Farr said. “They brought two other dogs. I had to continually give the other dogs treats to get them to respond to me. With Noble, I didn’t have to do that.”

Only after they knew it was a match did Canine Assistants tell Farr about Noble’s Facebook fame. “They asked me if I knew anything about Facebook and I said, ‘I am the king of Facebook.’” Farr promised Noble’s fans he would figure out a way to keep them posted. “They have nothing to worry about. Dogs are one of the greatest creatures on God’s planet. I will take care of him like he takes care of me,” Farr said.

Her son knows the value of friendship, said his mom, Crystal Farr. After the accident, Farr’s three best friends went to school to learn how to do IVs and take care of him in an emergency. “Sam loved that they did that for him,” Mrs. Farr said.

Farr said he hopes he and Noble can go to school, and they are planning a Caribbean cruise. They’ve only known each other a few weeks, but Farr said Noble already knows when he’s feeling bad. “He’ll come to my room and lay his head in the bed next to me and make sure I’m doing OK.”

For Farr, the hardest part of being paralyzed is going out. “Sometimes I feel there’s no point, like it’s a waste of time because I can’t do the things I used to do.”

But he and Noble have been to the mall, the movies and a restaurant, and going out is starting to have more appeal.

Mrs. Farr said her son is constantly dropping things. She used to retrieve them, but now Noble does. “He’s so fantastic. Sometimes I forget he’s a dog because he reacts so much like a human,” she said.

Mrs. Farr is comfortable enough now to go back to work as a CPR instructor for the American Heart Association.

Noble’s Facebook page, chronicling his journey to becoming a service dog, is part of an ad campaign for Milk-Bone. He has over 34,000 friends and counting.

A copyrighter on the campaign, Will Decher, summed up the feelings of those who got to know Noble over the months: “You can teach a dog tricks, rules and commands, but you can’t teach a dog how to have a Noble heart.”

Sussie and Gunny

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Do you know someone that trains Service Dogs for individuals?

by Sue on April 28, 2011

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I am collecting a list of Service Dog trainers. If any of our readers knows of someone that trains Service Dogs for individuals, could you please send me their information?

Send it to


Sussie and Gunny


Get a Degree in Service Dogs…

by Spot on November 10, 2009

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Well you can’t get a degree in service dogs but you can take classes in topics like

Human-Dog Psycholog

Pup-Child Development

History of Emerging Dog-Human Culture

and a complete curriculum of classes from Bergin University of Canine Studies, home of The Assistance Dog Institute. Also be sure and check out the  publications they have available for viewing online. Who would have ever guessed there was a university for both people and dogs.


It took a lot of work to become a service dog – Dubuque Telegraph Herald

by Spot on October 25, 2009

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Being a Service Dog written from the dog’s point of view

See the original post here:
It took a lot of work to become a service dog – Dubuque Telegraph Herald

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Putting Puppies Behind Bars

by Spot on September 2, 2009

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Gloria Gilbert Stoga is the founder of Puppies Behind Bars, a canine training program that partners puppies with prison inmates. At the end of their training, the dogs are placed in the outside world, either as bomb-sniffing animals or as service dogs, providing daily assistance to wounded veterans.

Here is the original post:
Putting Puppies Behind Bars (For A Go… – NPR

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Help from the ears of a dog

by Spot on September 17, 2008

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By Mike Baird (Contact)

ALICE — Single mom Candice Marie Benavides’ biggest fear has been that her 4-year-old might need her at night and she won’t know it. Born deaf and unable to wear her hearing aids to bed, the 24-year-old has had her daughter, Leana, sleep with her.

But now Benavides can rely on better hearing than any human ears.

On Sept. 8 after a more than three-year wait, Benavides began bonding with Cookie, an 18-month-old mixed-terrier being trained as a hearing and service dog. The final day of weeklong training in Austin was cancelled because of Hurricane Ike-related problems. But Tuesday, a trainer brought Cookie to Benavides to settle into her new home.

“I love her already,” Benavides said. “And having her here will help me feel more independent and confident about myself,” the nursing home business office coordinator said. “Now I will be able to know that when I go to bed at night, or when I’m out somewhere, there will be no unheard sounds or voices.”

Cookie is one of more than 500 dogs trained in the past 20 years at the Texas Hearing & Service Dogs facility in Dripping Springs to help people with hearing loss and physical disabilities.

The companionship and unconditional love benefits of the dogs are beyond the technicalities they learn, said Sheri Soltes, founder and director of the non-profit program. “It’s technology you can hug.”

Each dog goes through a $17,500 year-long training, which includes three months of weekly in-home and in-public training with an instructor.

Read the rest of the story here


Dog teaches Mich. teens new trick: responsibility

by Spot on September 10, 2008

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Information from: Livingston County Daily Press & Argus

The dogs assist people with hearing disabilities, people who use wheelchairs, and people who have mobility impairments and other ailments. This particular program hits a personal note because Maltby school counselor Dian Kolis, who has Parkinson’s disease, uses a Paws working dog named Ivan at the school.

Kolis, who has been with the district since 1986, had to quit working for several years when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and had trouble keeping her balance. She returned to the school in 2006 after several Oakland County schools raised enough money to get her a service dog.

The teenagers trained the dog through repetition and took him to training classes.

“I didn’t expect that it was going to be this tough,” Tori Price said.

Both of them said the time commitment was the most challenging part, and sometimes they took shifts caring for Austin.

Sometimes they had to sacrifice activities they might do with their friends because they couldn’t leave Austin alone. Tucker used to come home at lunch to play with Austin. He also liked taking Austin to a friend’s home where there was a football field room to run.

“We met a lot of good people,” Tori Price said. She said people would stop them and tell inspiring stories about how these dogs had changed their lives.

The sad part came Aug. 19, when the family had to turn Austin over to the Paws organization for final training.

Tori Price said it helps to know that Austin will be doing something good for someone. She hopes to meet Austin’s owner someday.

Bonnie Price said she’s proud of her children.

“It’s a big commitment, and they really embraced it,” she said.

The family’s dog days aren’t over. They are planning to purchase a black Lab puppy as a family pet, and put their dog-training skills to use.

Read the entire article here


Service Dogs: Serve Many People’s Needs

by Spot on August 18, 2008

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Service Dogs: Serve Many People’s Needs
Contact: Adam Cothes, Publicist, WinePress Publishing Group, 360-802-9758,

ENUMCLAW, Wash., Aug. 15 /Christian Newswire/ — At one time the term “guide dog” brought to mind a picture of a larger-breed dog walking alongside a blind man or woman as he or she maneuvered through crowded streets, crossed intersections and took public transportation. Today, no longer limited to the blind and visually impaired community, these faithful companions are known as “service dogs.” Dogs of all sizes and breeds alert the deaf to phone calls, doorbells and emergencies, calm the mentally ill and offer comfort to seizure sufferers. Others, called “therapy dogs” visit sick children and adults in facilities where the furry assistants are welcomed and greeted with hugs.

When Linda Smith developed MS she and her husband Don decided to adopt a puppy to raise as a service dog. From an eager, yipping group of puppies they chose a clumsy, quiet Golden Retriever with a soft funny-sounding bark and christened him Tucson. Tucson learned to assist Linda in standing, fetching laundry and barking when she needed help. Soon, however, with the help of a new medication, Linda’s health began to improve. With less need for a service dog, Linda and Don began serving disabled children and kids with learning disabilities with the help of Tucson. “Tucson the Terrific,” as he became known, is now a certified therapy dog and a READ (Reading Education Assistant Dog).

The joy that Tucson has brought to Linda and the children that he serves inspired her and Don to write their first children’s book, “Tucson the Terrific”.

“Tucson invites the children to follow him on a real life adventure,” Linda says.

The story tracks Tucson’s fear that he might not ever be adopted because he is different, his sadness as Linda no longer needs all his help and the joy of finding a new exciting purpose helping children with special needs. Don and Linda hope that the book will inspire young readers to feel good about themselves. “God has a purpose for everyone no matter how dark the circumstances seem to be.”

“Writing this children’s book has been a labor of love,” Don Smith says. “We have shared much laughter and a few tears. We hope our book brings joy to many children and their parents.”

To order, visit or call 877-421-7323. For a review copy or to schedule an interview please contact Adam Cothes at 360-802-9758 or