Our service dogs are individually trained to enhance their partner’s life and assist them to be more independent.
All of our dogs must have excellent manners and follow basic obedience cues, as well as specific tasks to mitigate their partner’s disability.
Breeds of Dogs
Susquehanna Service Dogs primarily uses Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and crosses between the two. We carefully select our dogs to have a calm temperament and a solid health history.
Who Can Benefit
Our service dogs can be trained to assist children and adults with a variety of disabilities. They can assist people with physical disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries, polio, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, stroke, seizure disorder, and other similar disabilities.
Some dogs can be trained to support people with psychiatric disabilities, autism, and PTSD. We also train hearing dogs to assist people with hearing impairments.
SSD trains service dogs for military veterans.
The actual cost of training and placing each service dog is over $30,000. However, we only require our partners to pay a $5,000 fee for service. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available for residents of Pennsylvania, based on federal poverty guidelines.
Types of Dogs We Train
- Service Dogs
- Each service dog is individually trained based on the unique needs of their partner. Rather than relying on other people or assistive devices, a person may be able to rely on their service dog instead. Learn more about service dogs
- Mobility 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. Learn more about mobility dogs
- Autism Dogs
- Autism dogs are specially trained to assist a person with autism to improve their social interactions, expand their communication, and alleviate stress. These dogs can add consistency to a person’s day and support them to handle various transitions throughout their day. Learn more about autism dogs
- Dogs for Post-Traumatic Stress
- Our dogs are trained to minimize or completely mitigate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTSD). In addition to performing specific tasks, the dogs also give the person something to focus on rather than negative or fearful thoughts. Learn more about PTSD dogs
- Seizure Response Dogs
- Seizure response dogs respond to their partner during and after a seizure. These dogs are not trained to alert to a seizure. Learn more about seizure response dogs
- Hearing Dogs
- Hearing dogs alert their partners to specific sounds in the environment, such as the person’s name, an alarm clock, and the doorbell. Learn more about hearing dogs
- Facility Dogs
- Facility dogs are specially trained to support children and adults in a facility setting, such as a school or courthouse, as well as within medical and behavioral services to support people receiving services from social workers; speech pathologists; physical, occupational, and behavioral therapists; psychologists; psychiatrists, and others. Learn more about facility dogs
- In-home Service Dogs
- In-home service dogs provide the same assistance as service dogs do to children and adults with disabilities. However, in-home service dogs do not have public access and only provide assistance in their partner’s home. This type of dog is beneficial for someone who needs the assistance of a specially trained dog in their home but does not want to have a dog with them in public. Learn more about in-home-service-dogs
- Companion Dogs
- Companion Dogs are well-trained companions for both children and adults with various physical, cognitive, or psychiatric challenges. They provide comfort, companionship, and at times some skills in the home environment. Companion Dogs also may provide motivation. Companion Dogs typically do not provide many physical tasks for their person or family and they do not have public access rights. Learn more about companion dogs