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Susquehanna Service Dogs The Dogs
Service dogs should fit seamlessly into their partners’ lives. A service dog should enhance their partner’s life, assisting them to be more independent, and should not add stress or become a burden. SSD takes special care to select dogs that require a minimum of maintenance by their partner. Our Labrador Retrievers tend to have a history of few health problems and they require limited grooming and physical care. They are known for their calm temperament and willingness to tolerate long periods of waiting patiently for their human partner.
In order for our service dogs to be certified, they must exhibit excellent manners, follow basic obedience cues and go potty on cue. They must display good social behavior (no aggression, no begging, no undesirable playful activity, etc.). All of our dogs much master basic obedience skills, including sit, stay, come, down, stand, heel (on the left side), side (on the right side) and back. They must perform these cues on and off lead. Service dogs can be taught to respond to voice cues and hand signals, and tasks must be performed on the first cue.
With the assistance of a service dog, balance dog, hearing dog, facility dog, companion dog or in-home service dog, individuals can lead more independent lives. These dogs may reduce or eliminate their partners’ reliance on assistance appliances and can enhance their partners’ ability to move about in public places by performing tasks that may otherwise have hindered their partners’ movement or required human assistance. Individuals are able to increase their interaction with other people and their environment.
- Service Dogs
- Service dogs are trained to assist children and adults with a wide range of disabilities, including physical and psychiatric disabilities and autism. Each dog receives individualized training, depending on the unique needs of their partner.
- Balance Dogs
- Balance dogs assist individuals who have a disability that interferes with their ability to walk. Because individuals’ needs vary, each dog is specially trained for the specific needs of their partner. Balance work is just one of many tasks service dogs can be trained to perform.
- Hearing Dogs
- Hearing dogs assist their partners by alerting to specific sounds in the environment. With the assistance of a hearing dog, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing do not need to rely solely on visual signals and are able to live more independently. For individuals who lost their hearing later in life, it is also helpful to be reminded of everyday sounds by observing the actions of the dog.
- Service Dogs for Service Men and Women
- SSD trains service dogs or hearing dogs especially for the unique needs of military veterans. We have experience with a wide range of disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Facility Dogs
- Facility dogs assist physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists or social workers supporting adults and children with physical, emotional and behavioral disabilities. Facility dogs have been very effective working with children and adults in a school or therapy setting. These dogs are specially trained for the particular tasks they will be asked to perform. We have had great success placing facility dogs in school settings.
- In-home Service Dogs
- In-home service dogs provide the same assistance as service dogs do to children and adults with disabilities. However, these dogs to not have public access and only provide assistance in their partner’s home. In-home service dogs are beneficial to individuals who need the assistance of a specially trained dog in their home but do not want to have a dog with them in public.
- Companion Dogs
- Companion dogs are specially trained dogs that are placed with a family with a child with autism. These dogs are only available to families living within one hundred miles of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, including all or part of Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, Lancaster, Lebanon and York Counties.