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Youth Campers Train Service Dogs at Susquehanna Service Dogs’ Camp

Young adults take over training service dogs for Susquehanna Service Dogs during SSD’s 2012 Dog Camp. Campers ages 10 to 14 work hands-on with an SSD dog to help train the skills the dogs need to assist people with disabilities. Campers also learn clicker training and basic dog care.

Harrisburg, PA (PRWeb) July 19, 2012 – This week at Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD), the sounds of clickers, SSD’s tool to train service dogs, can be heard all around as service dogs in training learn new skills with their trainers. However, these are no ordinary trainers. They are the 12 young adults attending SSD’s 2012 Dog Camp.

During camp graduation on Friday, July 20 at 3 p.m. at SSD’s space in the Harrisburg Mall, the campers will show off the skills they have taught their service dogs.

At SSD’s Dog Camp, young adults ages 10 to 14 learn clicker training, the positive training method used by SSD. Under the guidance of SSD’s professional staff, each camper works hands-on with an SSD dog and helps to train the skills the dogs will need to assist a person with a disability. Additionally, campers practice basic dog care, including bathing, grooming, ear cleaning, nail clipping, and teeth brushing.

At the end of the week, campers practice in a real-world setting by taking the public access test used to certify service dogs.

SSD’s space in the Harrisburg Mall is located upstairs next to Game Stop. For more information on SSD, call 717-599-5920 or visit www.keystonehumanservices.org/ssd.

Since its inception in 1993, Susquehanna Service Dogs, a program of Keystone Human Services Children & Family Services, has placed more than 200 service dogs with people who have disabilities. SSD dogs assist children and adults with mobility, hearing, and psychiatric disabilities, as well as people with autism and military veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Each dog is professionally trained to meet the individual needs of their partner and completes tasks such as opening doors, picking up dropped objects, assisting with daily dressing, or pulling a manual wheelchair. The program is fully accredited by Assistance Dogs International and is a part of the United Way of the Capital Region. SSD relies on donations and a dedicated group of volunteers, many of whom raiser the dogs that will go on to change lives, to fulfill its mission of “Opening Doors and Changing Lives.”

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SUSQUEHANNA SERVICE DOGS
OPENING DOORS, CHANGING LIVES

The official registration and financial information for Keystone Children & Family Services an agency of Keystone Service Systems and Keystone Partnership may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

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