A Service Dog can bring life-changing assistance to someone with a disability. We're here to help.
Dawgs 2 Heal is an organization of trainers and volunteers who work to provide highly trained dogs to assist autistic children and adults.
We currently train service dogs for all autism spectrum disorders. In the future we may expand to other assistance dog needs.
Most of the dogs we place are puppies coming from several respected breeding programs. They have been trained and molded from birth with one specific goal: becoming a Service Dog.
Autism Service Dogs are not only a living miracle to the disabled child, but also to the entire family. These special dogs are trained to assist the child, and the parents of the child, in a variety of ways.
Types of Assistance
Tether Training: If your child has a tendency to dart away from you, or if you have trouble holding on to your child for guidance, our dogs can be trained to assist in a form of guidance themselves.
Alert: Some children with autism demonstrate repetitive behaviors such as flailing their arms, hitting various surfaces, stomping their feet, etc. Parents often say that just a simple touch to their child’s arm will interrupt these behaviors so the child is redirected. Our dogs can be trained to recognize these signs from the child, and paw at their leg to interrupt the behavior.
Social Bridge: Children with autism have shown enormous improvement with social skills, communication, and even facial recognition when placed with an assistance dog. Our dogs wear a special identifying vest when out in public with the child, which labels the dog as an Autism Service Dog. When individuals notice the “ask to pet me” inscribed on the vest, the child is invited to communicate about their dog. In the beginning the descriptions are simple, such as the name of the dog, the color of the dog, etc., but over time, discussions become more complex as the child explains how the dog helps him, and what they like about their dog.
Friendship: Dogs are not judgmental, and they accept us for who we are. They are a constant companion offering unconditional love and devotion. Above all the other ways a service dog can help, this is perhaps the most beneficial.
Is an Autism Assistance Dog Right for My Child?
In order to receive an Autism Service Dog from Dawgs 2 Heal, you must:
Handler Training: Handler training is where the parent of the autistic child learns how to work with the dog as a team. This generally takes 14 days, with training every day. This is when the dog learns to respond to the commands of the handler, and when the handler learns how to reinforce the training that the dog has already received. We cover practical, day-to-day life experiences so you will feel confident taking the dog into your care.
After the completion of Handler Training, we work together on a series of field tests, which are administered by the trainer. After graduation, you and your dog will be certified as a working team. In order for your dog to be granted legal public access, the dog must be accompanied by your autistic child, and yourself. A certification card will be provided to the handler, as well as a service dog vest and identification tag for your dog, which labels him or her as a service animal.
We have a lifetime commitment to each recipient and each dog that we place. Once you and your dog have graduated, we maintain contact to ensure your dog’s training and assistance remains intact, that the dog remains healthy and happy, and that the dog is improving your quality of life.
We believe that Labrador and Golden Retrievers make the best Service Dogs. We rely on only the best breeders for puppies in our program. That means puppies coming from parents with hip, eye and heart certifications. And from breeders we know and trust.
We also breed dogs as well and provide puppies from our breeding program that have the meet our standards.
All dogs and puppies in our program are raised in the home and are not left in kennels. Our Foster Home program ensures each dog gets the individual attention they deserve.
Being a non-profit, we rely heavily on the generosity of others. If you have interest in becoming a sponsor, please contact us; we'd love to have your help an support.
We are always looking for long-term fosters who help us socialize and train puppies. We provide all supplies; you supply the love, care and socialization.
Our mission is to help others lead a more productive and fulfilling life. Your donations support this effort! Please see the following page for donation support.
Corey is an outgoing and eager-to-please puppy that is now in our public access training program.
Ever is a beautiful puppy with a sweet disposition. She has started our public access training and will be entering our autism program in the coming months.
Gamora is a quite soul. She has started public access training and will be advancing into our autism program soon!
Marg is a very curious and outgoing puppy; very eager to learn new things. She starts our public access training shortly.
We are working to establish a non-profit under the name North American Service Dog Foundation. Once complete, your support and gifts to help fund training, feeding and care for the dogs in training will be most appreciated. Look to this space in the near future. However you can help, know that all donations go to our efforts to provide the highest trained service dogs possible.
EVERY NEEDY CHILD DESERVES THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXCEL. WON'T YOU JOIN US IN THIS IMPORTANT EFFORT?
CURRENTLY, WE ARE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS !
If accepted, we will contact you to schedule a phone consultation: The consultation is an average of 30 minutes during which we discuss realistic expectations of how a service dog can assist you, and to make sure you are a good fit for one of our dogs.
The agreement: If we believe one of our service dogs can assist you, we will write out a customized agreement and ask you to review your final decision with friends and family.
Return your agreement with your $500.00 minimum deposit, to be added to our waiting list: The deposit is your sign to us that you are committed to the program.
Fundraising: Organizations nationwide spend an average of $50,000 on each service dog trained. The average service dog graduates with over 600 hours of training, and with that expense also comes veterinary care, boarding, grooming and training supplies.
Because of the commitment of all our wonderful volunteers, Dawgs 2 Heal spends $30,000 per dog. This is an expense covered through fundraising. We ask our recipients to be responsible for the first 1/3 of the expense, which is $10,000. This is usually covered through fundraising, and we are happy to help guide you through that process.
Dog Selection and Specialized Training: Once the funds are met, regardless of how the funds were raised, we move you to the second part of our waiting list where you are a priority for dog placement. This is when we choose a dog from our training program that has the natural propensities to assist in the ways needed for your disability, and we continue any additional specialized training needed specifically for your needs.
Handler Training: During handler training we work with you, one-on-one and show you how to reinforce the training your dog has already had. Once you and your dog graduate from our program we stay in daily contact for the first month, followed by monthly, and bi-yearly consultations for reports on your dog’s ability to continuously provide assistance to you and your child. This is a long form text area designed for your content that you can fill up with as many words as your heart desires. You can write articles, long mission statements, company policies, executive profiles, company awards/distinctions, office locations, shareholder reports, whitepapers, media mentions and other pieces of content that don’t fit into a shorter, more succinct space.
Email us at: DawgsToHeal@gmail.com
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