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Our Dogs

Our Dogs

Hearing Dogs

Hearing dogs

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.
Partnering with a Canine Companions hearing dog can increase feelings of security and self-confidence by heightening awareness of environmental sounds.
After being placed in the home, the graduates “customize” the dog’s alerting pattern to their own particular environment and needs. Examples include: alerting to incoming e-mail messages at work, timers on microwaves, dryers and other appliances, and dropping keys.

To Receive a Hearing Dog:

  • Be at least 18 years old and deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Request an application.
  • Find a friend or family member to be a training assistant.
  • Apply. This process involves several steps designed to ensure success.
  • Once the application is accepted, attend a two-week Team Training class at Canine Companions Northwest Regional Training Center in Santa Rosa, CA.
  • After the training session and a graduation ceremony, attend ongoing training and follow-up support services at a regional training center.

Canine Companions hearing dogs and follow-up services are free of charge.

Facility Dogs

facility dogs

Facility dogs are expertly trained dogs who partner with a facilitator working in a health care, visitation or education setting.
Canine Companions facility dogs are trustworthy in professional environments and can perform over 40 commands designed to motivate and inspire clients with special needs.
Facilitators are working professionals responsible for handling and caring for the facility dog. Additionally, facilitators are committed to long-term employment where they directly serve clients with special needs a minimum of twenty hours per week.
One of the most valued qualities of the facility dog is the unconditional love and attention it gives to the clients and patients with whom it interacts.
In an educational setting, a facility dog helps engage students in schools and special education classes.
In a health care environment, activities such as grooming, feeding and playing fetch with a facility dog can aid patients in medical rehabilitation and psychiatric programs.
A well-mannered and highly trained facility dog encourages feelings of calm and security for clients in a visitation setting such as a courtroom.

To Receive a Facility Dog:

  • Obtain approval for the use of a facility dog from your employer.
  • Request an application.
  • Apply. This process involves several steps designed to ensure success.
  • Once the application is accepted, attend a two-week Team Training class at a Canine Companions training center.
  • After the graduation, Canine Companions provides on-going support and follow-up services.

Canine Companions facility dogs and follow-up services are free of charge.

Skilled Companion Dogs

Skilled Companion Dogs

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 companion dogs are 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.
Disabilities served include, but are not limited to, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, autism and Down syndrome.
A Canine Companions skilled companion is bred to be calm, reliable, affectionate and reduces the recipient’s reliance on other people to complete simple daily tasks.
A Canine Companions skilled companion can also serve as a social bridge to people who are not used to relating with a person with a disability.
Not only does this kind of assistance make their physical lives easier, it boosts confidence and feelings of self-sufficiency.

To receive a skilled companion:

  • Choose a facilitator for the team.
  • Request an application.
  • Apply. This process involves several steps designed to ensure success.
  • Upon acceptance, the participant and the facilitator must attend a two-week Team Training class at a Canine Companions regional training center.
  • After the training session and a graduation ceremony, Canine Companions provides on-going support and follow-up services.

Skilled companion dogs and follow-up services are free of charge.

Service Dogs

assistance dogs

Imagine having a dog that could turn on lights, pick up dropped keys or open a door. Canine Companions for Independence 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.
A Canine Companions service dog not only assists with physical tasks, but also provides social support. During a two-week training session, participants learn how to effectively handle an assistance dog to maximize use of the 40 commands.
Disabilities served include, but are not limited to, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, arthritis and cerebral palsy.

To Receive a Service Dog:

  • Be at least 18 years old. If disabled due to injury, be one-year post-injury rehabilitation.
  • Request an application.
  • Find a friend or family member to be a training assistant.
  • Have a support system in place to facilitate a successful assistance dog partnership.
  • Apply. This process involves several steps designed to ensure success.
  • Once the application is accepted, attend a two-week Team Training class at a Canine Companions training center.
  • After the training session and graduation ceremony, attend on-going Canine Companions training and follow-up support services.

Canine Companions service dogs and follow-up services are free of charge.