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.
We will accept client's with other disabilities on a case by case basis. 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 Service Dogs are trained by volunteers in Nova Scotia. We currently train our Service Dogs in Bedford. Health Mutts has graciously provided us training space for our lessons. Our main focus is our EDS Service Dogs but we assess we dog that enters our program for suitability as a PTSD Service Dog and for other special skill sets. Not every dog is cut out for every job. We have been very fortunate to receive donated puppies from CKC Registered 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, 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!
If you are a CKC breeder that would be interested in working with us, we would love to hear from you! We are grateful to have wonderful working relationships with a few different breeders.
Our preference are breeders that do genetic health testing, early neurological development with their puppies, and can provide vet references and pedigrees. We wants to ensure the best quality dog for our training program so that we can have the highest chance of success.
Our preferences are breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Poodles and Leonbergers. However, many different breeds would be suitable and we'd be more than happy to talk with you. Due to the fact that we train for a variety of types of Service Dogs, we require breeds with different characteristics.
All of our training is positive reinforcement based. Our Instructors follow LIMA and are always doing training and professional development. Our dogs are not kept in a kennel system during training. They live in a home with their Puppy Raiser or Trainer until such time that it is ready to graduate with a client. Upon placement with a client, we transition the dog into their home. We maintain ownership over the dog for the life of it or until released from the program. If for any reason the dog is unable to work or remain a part of our program, we will work with the breeder to ensure the dog's ownership is transferred to either the client or their family upon retirement, back to the breeder, or another suitable home. We do not sell our dogs. If a dog is removed from the program, the breeder is notified.
We evaluate OFA Hips and Elbows and do not graduate or work dogs that are not up to our high standard. We prefer to neuter/spay at 2 years old. If dogs do not pass our health tests, we will not place them with a client as a Service Dog.
Although we don't expect donations or reduced purchase price, we are very appreciative of those breeders who are able to do this. By donating a puppy, you are allowing our program to train more service dogs and provide them at no cost to the individual. For dogs that are donated or discounted, we provide them with a special thank-you upon graduation. All breeders will receive an honorable mention at the dog's graduation.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at Info@K9PAD.org ATTN: Training Director. We would love to hear from you.
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 a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant and an Associate Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant. 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 3-6 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.