"We were introduced to K9PAD after a traumatic experience with buying a service dog who came to us untrained in every aspect, despite stringent research beforehand. After our very first meeting when our service dog was too scared to even leave my side to go to the trainer, I was almost ready to give up on having a service dog for my autistic son. Fast forward 1 year and our dog is a totally different dog and once given permission to say hi, runs and licks our team trainers with excitement and love ♥ Our dog is a huge part of our family and the key to our son having some independence and a lifelong friend.
K9PAD work closely with each other as a team to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and that our dogs are getting the very best training and support. Without K9PAD coming into our life a year ago I can guarantee we would have an adorable well loved pet rather than a fully trained service dog who is a support for our son.
If you are looking for a service dog or a team to help you train, this is the team to support, their dedication to you, your dog and your family is beyond amazing.
If you are looking for a brilliant cause to donate your time or money to, please pick K9PAD. They are a lifeline to so many families who are often not in a position to support financially or with time but can only live a full life with a K9PAD dog in their life." - Jenny
“ What can I say when words are truly not enough... thank you, thank you, thank you for all your expertise, guidance and ongoing support... you are the best!” - Susan
"When I became disabled, I felt like I lost everything. I lost my ability to do things I loved like riding horses, which was my passion for as long as I can remember, and was in so much pain it made even the simplest task of picking things up excruciating. Somehow, I stumbled upon K9PAD at Dog Expo and reached out to them for help. Fast forward a few years later, not only do I have a Service Dog who helps me in my day to day life, but I also have a new family. From the start I was treated as a family member, not just as a client. Throughout the experience with K9PAD, I have grown to love dog training when working with my dog Oliver, and now have a new passion and purpose in life. The program is now helping me take the steps towards becoming a dog trainer myself so I can assist the program and help provide dogs to others in the future, just as they did for me. And while I lost absolutely everything to my disability, I gained so much more. More than I could have ever asked for. I owe Oliver and the K9PAD trainers my life." - Jenna
"I don’t post very often, but I was encouraged to share my positive experience with my Doodle, Winnie, in training. My German Shepard, Bentley, was diagnosed with hip dysplasia ending his SD training. Needless to say it was a punch in the gut and completely devastating. It was an even bigger blow for my PTSD, setting me back weeks in my advancements through therapy (many of you can relate). Staff at K9Pad were overwhelmingly supportive, providing me with reassurance and encouragment. They had already strategized an action plan, providing options and suggested I start over with Winnie, my golden doodle.
Winnie was a goofy puppy, more interested in chasing her tail than guiding me through the multi dimensional realms of PTSD, let alone watching my back and keeping me grounded.
Somewhat reluctant, knowing there were other options, I started training Winnie, while continuing to train Bentley at home (not just a stuck point, but because we had a bond that I know all of you can relate to).
Through her training, Winnie showed little interest (so I thought). I felt she was more interested in the other dogs than training. Occasionally she’d refuse treats, or take a nap while Ranger would power through! Discouraged, I began to get frustrated, but again, J&K continued encouragement, as if they had experience with dogs....
I began to slowly see change and progress, and just accepted her for who she was, goofy, fun and a great distraction from PTSD.
Well, just yesterday, while outside for an off leash walk in the middle of nowhere, we came upon a dead pheasant which both dogs were extremely interested in. It took some coaxing to get them away, especially Winnie. On our way back I knew we had to pass the pheasant again which was going to be a 10/10 on the distraction scale.
Unsurprisingly Winnie excitedly started to run ahead so she could sniff up all that knowledge she could get from a decomposing bird.
With zero expectations, I called her back and told her to come to my side... she did. She returned and spun around standing by my side, looking up at me. We continued walking, no leash, no treats, but she maintained eye contact. As we passed by the irresistible aroma of dead bird, Winnie was completely switched on, hugging my side, trotting like a horse, all while making repeated eye contact. Once we got passed, I gave her praise, released her, on off she ran to catch up to Bentley.
I was thrilled. All the work, effort, and training and we finally crossed that line. I know you can all relate, we are like minded people caught in a loop of trauma & disabilities, but when we achieve moments like this with our furry companions, it’s more than just a breakthrough, it’s a roller coaster of emotions and personal achievement which can encourage & discourage our progress.
K9Pad does not get the recognition deserved, but it has been pivotal in my recovery from PTSD, which, in my experience, is as important to my recovery as the professional therapy I receive from the OSI Clininc.
We’ve all been through ups and downs, so I hope my experience offers some encouragement and expresses gratitude to K9Pad for being more than just service dog training. It is full of compassion, support, validation and encouragement, all of which are necessary for our success. It is run by like minded individuals who volunteer their time and money, which is why we are successful. I can only hope my vast and ever increasing collection of collars & leashes gives back to the organization that has given so much." - Greg