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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.

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