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Guess Who’s Going To Service Dog College?

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Today Adelle began the next step in her journey to becoming a service dog.  We like to call it going to Service Dog College.  However, Adelle was selected for a special program before she actually starts Service Dog College.  So I guess she’s actually going to Service Dog Junior College first 🙂

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginnings End

Adelle Turn In Day
Good luck little girl.  I know you’ll do great!

Over the next 8 weeks Adelle will be training with young adults at the Southwest Juvenile Hall where she will work further on her basic obedience and socialization.  This is a wonderful opportunity for Adelle as it not only furthers her training, but she will also help rehabilitate the youngsters at the Juvenile Hall.  I’m sure she will make a difference in their lives just like she did with us over the past 15 months.

And The Journey Continues…

After 8 weeks at Juvenile Hall Adelle will move on to the Prison Pup Program at the California Institute for Women.  Once again she will get the chance to work on her training while rehabilitating inmates.  Here’s a little excerpt from the CST website:

In September of 2002, the California Institution for Women in Chino, CA, became the first prison within the state of California to have a Service Dog Training Program. Canine Support Teams is proud of its “Prison Pup Program” where the Chino Hills Women’s Prison Pup Program inmate trainers play a vital role in the advanced training of our service dogs for the disabled community.

The dogs are assigned to an inmate trainer at 18 months of age, after being raised in a puppy raiser home where they are well socialized and taught obedience skills. They remain at the prison for 4-6 months. CST staff provides the inmates 2 hour training classes each Tuesday evening and 3 Saturdays per month, working with the inmates and training them to become dog trainers, groomers, and technicians.

CST Founder Carol Roquemore’s ultimate joy in the program is that “The women who have been released from prison after being involved in the dog training program, have not returned to prison. Not one!”

While at the prison Adelle will learn more advanced training specific for her recipient.   Puppies are trained to assist with little things we may not ever consider being an issue. Things like

  • Turning on and off lights
  • Picking up dropped keys
  • Open and close doors
  • Push elevator buttons
  • Untie shoes
  • Pull off socks
  • Assist with pulling off a sweater or coat
  • In some cases even help with a pair of trousers

A person’s service dog can assist with standing and walking by being there to steady them or help sit down in a chair and get back up.  The dogs are there to steady their owners while being transferred from a wheel chair to a bed or assist in a restroom, which may not be properly equipped.

Once Adelle has competed her training at the California Institute for Women she goes on to…

Team Training And Graduation

CST Service dogs are placed with people who use wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or canes, have Autism, Epilepsy, Seizures, Diabetes, Combat Veterans with PTSD and more.

Each person chosen to receive a service dog from Canine Support Teams spends two weeks in team training learning how to work with his or her new companion.  Team training concludes with a public access test and graduation for dog and handler.

Graduation day is also the same day we get to see Adelle again and meet her new partner for the first time.  Graduation will be approximately six months from now and people often wonder if our puppies remember us after being away for 6 months.  If there was any doubt take a look at Dublin’s Graduation Day Video.

So that’s it.  It’s up to Adelle now.  I know she’ll do great working with her new inmate trainers.  I can’t wait to see her again in 6 months…counting the days 🙂

Have you raised a service dog?  If you have we’d love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below.

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  1. Turning on and off lights, picking up dropped keys, open and close doors, push elevator buttons, assist with pulling off a sweater or coat and the rest are really great skills a dog can have! Really nice work of you. I’m so glad to know that there are so many talented dogs. Every day, I’m more and more surprised by my bird dog – a Brittany, how smart and intuitive she is. With little help of us every puppy can show great potential. Congratulation to Adelle and you, Colby!

  2. No problem Colby! Your blog is very insightful and I look forward to seeing more posts.

  3. Thanks Zack! We’re actually going to get an update on Adelle tomorrow. Hopefully all good news. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Adelle is beautiful Colby! She is doing a great thing by helping to rehabilitate inmates. I have always felt since a young age that people and animals have a way deeper connection than what the general public thinks. By being a service dog she is opening the hearts and minds to those in need. Service dogs such as Adelle will allow people to see the rehabilitative qualities that animals have on society.

  5. Thanks! Yeah, we like the fact that Adelle gets to help so many people on her journey to becoming a service dog. I can’t wait to see her again at graduation!

  6. Congrats to Adelle! I know she’ll do great in her “junior college.” I love programs that offer juveniles a chance to get involved in something positive; we have a nice program here that does something similar and it’s so amazing to see how much joy and pride the kids take in helping to train these animals. It gives them something really positive to look forward to – I believe it’s such a great step for their rehabilitation. The ability for them to connect and make a difference is huge.

  7. Thanks Lindsay! And sorry for the late response. I’ve been pretty backed up with life away from the blog. Hopefully I’ll get back to it soon. Take care!

  8. Thanks Marilyn and sorry for the late response! It’s good to hear from you again. Adelle’s been gone for over a month now, but she may possibly stop by our house for a short while when she moves from the Juvenile Hall onto the Women’s Correctional facility. If not, we’ll see her at graduation.

  9. Thanks! We think she’ll do awesome. She was a great puppy in training! I can’t wait to see her graduate college. To be continued!

  10. Congratulations to Adelle!! I’m sure she will do well at college and will make you proud. You did an amazing job training her. She has a great career ahead of her and her future partner will be a very lucky person.

  11. Oh my word, Colby, I don’t know how you do it. You obviously have a huge, strong heart. Lucky person who will be getting Adelle.

  12. Wow, congrats to Adelle and to you! She has accomplished so much already. I wish her the best in her future work, but I know she will do great regardless.

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