Canine Companions promotes independence through powerful human-canine partnerships

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) — Leading the service dog industry, Canine Companions expertly trains puppies to become skilled assistants for adults, children and veterans with disabilities. Furry Assistants are paired with clients for one-time, free support.

Canine Companions begins training service dogs as puppies. During each puppy’s first year of life, volunteers socialize the young animal to a variety of people, sights, sounds and environments, making sure they learn over 30 commands.

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Once past the “puppy phase”, the volunteer brings the dog to the professional training centers of the Compagnons Canins to learn more advanced commands.

Depending on the training received, an adult dog is specially paired with a child or an adult.

“We know that once you’ve lived with a service dog, it really enhances your independence, and it’s so important to continue that relationship,” said Jeanette Kaliska, service dog mom.

Canine Companions seeks to foster a transformative relationship through the power of a human-canine partnership.

“They’re there for me, and I feel like they’re an extension of me, part of my heart and soul,” Kaliska said. “I know if I want to do something, they’re there, and I can do it.”

The service is extended to adults with physical or hearing disabilities, children with physical or cognitive disabilities who need the assistance of an animator, veterans with physical or hearing disabilities or PTSD, and more.

“Imagine for those of us who don’t need a service dog, having to ask someone for help to open a door or pick up a fallen item, or maybe you can’t not hear your name being called or a fire alarm,” said Michelle Williams of Canine Companions. “It’s really impactful to have these service dogs, and I think it’s wonderful to remember how important they are.”

Learn more about Canine Companions here.

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