Assistance Dogs

At Canine Companions for Independence, our dogs begin their journey when they are whelped in the homes of volunteer breeder caretakers with whom the parent dogs live.

When the puppies are two months old, they are brought to the Santa Rosa, California Schulz campus that houses a full time veterinary staff and kennel care staff. Following examination and vaccination, the pups are placed in the homes of volunteer puppy raisers through one of Canine Companions' five regional centers.

The dogs are returned to their regional centers at approximately 14 months old and begin a six- to nine-month program of professional training. They are fully trained and introduced to the people who may become their partners.

The training of the person in the use of one of our dogs is called Team Training, and lasts for two very full weeks. At the end of the training, a public graduation ceremony takes place marking the beginning of a long-term relationship between person and dog and between the team and Canine Companions.

Graduates remain in touch with Canine Companions through regular follow-up programs, workshops and reunions.

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