You’ve seen a Can Do Canine proudly walking across the graduation stage or quietly retrieving a dropped item for their person. You understand the training, the time and the resources that go into making them the assistance dog they’ve become. But have you ever wondered how they came to be a puppy in a Can Do Canines training cape?
Assistance dog organizations around the world face the unique challenge of creating confident, healthy, intelligent dogs. In order to address this challenge, Can Do Canines maintains a breeding program, allowing us to better control for breed, temperament, and health. Because of these efforts we have a higher rate of dogs that finish our program and become assistance dogs for people in need.
For a breeding program to be successful it needs to include a level of genetic diversity to prevent inbreeding. In 2013, the organized service dog community collaborated to develop the Assistance Dogs International North America Breeding Cooperative (ABC). ABC connects organizations like Can Do Canines with dogs from other organizations for the purpose of improving genetics and creating the highest quality assistance dogs for people with disabilities. As a result of this program, we have healthier, more confident assistance dogs better equipped to deliver independence and peace of mind to their forever person. In addition to the breeding program, Can Do Canines also receives donated dogs from reputable breeders.
Lastly, Can Do Canines also trains dogs from shelters when possible. Our trainers monitor shelters in the area, keeping an eye out for dogs that are young, healthy, and able to pass a behavior test. At the moment a 14-pound Chihuahua mix named Speck, who was donated by a shelter, is in the final stages of his training to become a Hearing Assist Dog.
As you can see, our dogs can come from a few different places. No matter the breed or size, what makes a Can Do Canine is the confidence and ability it takes to become an assistance dog that will change someone’s life for the better.