Sign In

Autism Companion Dog

August 31, 2020

In May, Good Dog! Autism Companions expanded services to help more children and families – they are now providing programs for autism and other related disabilities – and they are now doing business as Good Dog! Service Canines.

In an emotional and unique graduation ceremony, four families with special needs children received service dogs trained and placed by Good Dog! Service Canines Friday, Aug. 14. The graduates are the first to don the new name and logo on their service vests.

The celebration was restricted to graduating families and members of the Good Dog! staff due to the social mandate restrictions. Good Dog! was also able to share the event online with friends, families, donors and volunteers via Zoom. The rebrand was the first step in the organization’s plan to serve more of those in need. The plan is to one day have a facility in Fallbrook where team trainings can be held; but primarily be a location where persons with disabilities can help train dogs while learning about the canine/human bond. The graduation was the culmination of a two-year process that starts with Good Dog! identifying pups that have the intelligence, compassion and energy for service work. The pups are trained to respond to over 50 commands, After about 16 months, they are carefully matched with their forever families. In the final week leading up to graduation, a parent from each family is required to attend Good Dog! Team Training Week. The students learn approximately 10 commands per day of team training. The commands lists are taped to the wall after each lesson so they can be viewed by the students. In this graduate class, four mothers were taught everything they need to know to be the dog’s leader and handler. Helping fund this year’s Team Training Week for Good Dog! was the Elizabeth Wilson Endowment of the Legacy Endowment.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Former Victoria man’s diabetic alert dog helps him get back to life

    When Luke Hengen’s diabetes worsened in his early twenties, it stripped him of the outdoor activities where the country kid felt at home. Countless wilderness adventures and years of hard-fought football games took a toll on his body, to the point where he could no longer sense when his blood sugar was too high or […]

    Read more

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more