Our mission is to provide high quality Service Dogs at a low cost for those in Nova Scotia diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Autism, and related disabilities to enable those who require a Service Dog to mitigate disabling symptoms and needs, both at home and in public.
Training Methodology: K9PAD's training approach uses positive reinforcement, adhering to the LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive) methodology, with an emphasis on achieving high standards of behaviour and skills.
Respect and Dignity: K9PAD strives to provide an environment free from racism, sexism, homophobia, discrimination, and bias, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.
K9PAD envisions a world where Service Dogs are trained using positive reinforcement and are easily accessible to those who may suffer with disabling symptoms caused by their disability. We train for various needs, with our focus being on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. We are proud to support our Military community.
K9PAD provides fully trained Service Dogs to approved clients that meet our eligibility criteria. We provide the Service Dog to the client at no cost. We do charge a $2000 equipment and training fee. This fee is due before graduation. These Service Dogs remain under K9PAD ownership. Our two primary focuses are Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Clients must undergo Team Training.
We do not adopt out any of our retired or released dogs. They remain with their handler or puppy raiser when retired, or are adopted by a committed volunteer when released.
Unfortunately, we do NOT test or certify Service Dogs/Service Dogs in Training that have not completed our training program. In order to challenge our certification evaluations, teams need to apply and be accepted into our training program. We are unable to provide support for non-K9PAD Service Dogs.
In 2016, K9PAD was incorporated as a federal non-profit. In 2021 we became a Registered Charity: 65390299RR0001. Headed by a board of directors, our entire program is made up of volunteers.
We do not have a permanent location. We are currently borrowing a training space at a private residence in Hammonds Plains. Training is also conducted around HRM and in public places.
Our Service Dogs are trained by volunteers in Nova Scotia. Our main programs are for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (regardless of background) and Autism. We use purebred dogs from ethical breeders. Genetic health testing and health guarantee are very important to us. This also gives us the best chance of knowing the size, temperament, and health of our dogs when they complete training.
Each of our dogs goes through extensive training. Socialization, Obedience, Manners, Leash skills, Service Dog Tasks, Team Training, Husbandry, Conditioning, and Enrichment are just some of the aspects of our training program.
We are almost always looking for Puppy Raisers and Trainers to join our team. Are you just interested in the early socialization stage? Or are you keen on learning to train Advanced Tasks? Contact us to see which positions we are looking for!
Our EDS Service Dogs can be trained for a variety of tasks. We understand the complexity of our EDS Client's health and that there are often other diagnoses that accompany EDS. We will work with the client to determine which specific tasks that we can add to the general EDS mobility tasks.
Our PTSD Service Dogs are more than a great companion. They are so much more. Tasks can vary from client to client. Examples of tasks may include guiding to exit when the client dissociates, grounding during anxiety and panic attacks, and alerting or responding to heightened arousal levels.
In 2021, we launched our pilot program to train Autism Service Dogs. Our Client Support Team can discuss the client's needs, our abilities to assist the client, and the tasks that the client requires of the Service Dog. Please contact us for more information.
Each one of our Service Dogs undergoes specialized training. During the second half of their training, we determine which tasks they will be trained for. Every Service Dog received individualized training.
Our Instructors are well-versed in science-based training. We utilize clicker training to train all of our dogs. Our clients and puppy raisers learn about clicker training mechanics and how to apply our training methods. K9PAD is focused on LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive).
Two of our instructors are certified through the IAABC (International Association of Behaviour Consultants) as Certified Dog Behaviour Consultants and IAABC-Accredited Dog Trainers. They are working towards various certifications in the industry. Our Instructors also attend various workshops, lessons, and other forms of continuing education. With a strong interest in behaviour and wellness, our Instructors are focused on the well-being of all of our Service Dogs and Service Dogs in Training. All of our training team are encouraged to continue learning through various avenues.
Team Training is the portion of training where a client learns the ins and outs of being paired with a K9PAD Service Dog. This time spans roughly 3 months. It begins before the client meets a potential match (near when the Service Dog is finishing up their advanced training). The client learns all about K9PAD, our training methods, learns how to handle a dog, wellness and husbandry, and so much more. Once the client meets their potential match, they learn all of the necessary cues and handling skills. They attend private and group lessons at our training facility in Hammonds Plains, NS, as well as throughout Halifax area for public access skills. The team does sleepovers to ensure that the match is working. Once the client is confident working their new Service Dog in all situations and pass our evaluations, they challenge the Nova Scotia Service Dog test. Once all of the requirements are complete, they attend a Graduation Ceremony. The first 6 months after graduation means lots of follow-ups and communication with the Instructors. Every year, the team must recertify through K9PAD in order to maintain good standing. They are required to attend a 6 sessions every year to keep skills sharp. For the working life of the Service Dog, the Training Staff will ensure that they support the team should any issue arise. Once a client receives a K9PAD Service Dog, they become a part of the K9PAD family.
Your support and contributions will help us to train Service Dogs and provide them to the client at no cost. K9PAD is a volunteer organization and there are no paid positions. We are very thankful for every dollar donated. Your contribution will assist us in covering our food costs, veterinary bills, toys, and other supplies that our dogs require.
Donations of $50 or more are eligible for an official donation tax receipt. If you donate by e-transfer, ensure that you email us with your name, email address, phone number, and mailing address to donations@K9PAD.org