Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Matching Process

The matching process begins after the dog's service category type has been determined. Applicants' needs, personality and lifestyle are reviewed and a preliminary match is made. Each dog receives the same basic skills training for its service category, but it can be trained to meet specific needs its partner may have.

For example, a dog may be trained to work on either the right side or left side, depending upon its partner's needs. One dog was trained to bring a cold cloth out of the refrigerator to his partner to assist his partner with recovery from seizures.

Once the dog completes advanced training, an individualized team training schedule is developed which includes intense training for 1-2 weeks to teach the partner how to utilize the dog's skills and to initiate the life-long bond between human partner and service dog.

This training may take place at the training facility and/or in the community. Some training may take place in the recipients home if the recipient lives in the greater Wilmington, NC communities.

The recipient generally will have an opportunity to meet the service dog's foster family during training.

The joy of meeting their former foster puppy's service dog new partner makes the months of training and heart wrenching "giving-up" process all worth it!

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