Before you begin the application process, it is important that you read this information and give it some serious thought. The following information is given to you so that you realize everything that is involved in applying for and having a Hearing Dog, Autism Assistance Dog, or Program Assistance Dog.
- We typically require a fenced area attached to the home.
- Due to the difficulties of having a dog work around distractions, Hearing Dogs and Autism Assistance Dogs must be the only dog in the home. This is not applicable to Program Assistance Dogs.
- Hearing Dogs are only placed with clients over the age of 18 years.
- You will be required to attend obedience training classes or hire a private obedience trainer as prescribed by your Dogs for Better Lives professional trainer.
- We select dogs from area shelters based on temperament and age, not size, sex, or appearance.
Please carefully consider the following points:
Our professionally trained dogs require:
- Minimum of one full year as a training year for both of you
- Total commitment and willingness to work with your dog daily
- The ability to place practice sessions ahead of other pressing demands
- Stopping whatever you are doing to work with your dog when he/she is confused or does not work properly
- Being patient and positive with your dog
- Play time and rewards for a job well done each and every time they work for you
- Exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis
- Taking sole responsibility for the care of the dog so that the dog will bond with you
- Family members to refrain from giving the dog attention until the dog has completely bonded with you
About our Dogs
All of our Dogs receive extensive program work and obedience training. Hearing Dogs are trained to alert to sounds by making physical contact then leading you to the sound. Additionally, our Hearing Dogs are also trained and certified for public access. Program Assistance Dogs can provide a calming effect, allowing the professional to better serve or treat their clients. These dogs do not have public access except when accompanying the professionals and their clients in order to provide assistance to the clients.
Our standards and criteria for determining whether or not a dog is suitable for access to public places are very high. Only dogs that can ignore other dogs, handle being exposed to busy, noisy and crowded environments as well as comfortable with all types of people are appropriate to be in public.
When we match a Dog with a client, we look at a variety of factors: the needs of the client both for work at home and in public, lifestyle and energy level and the confidence the dog has in new environments and situations.