Generally, yes. If the cabin is in Minnesota or Wisconsin, this may be allowed. Please contact Puppy Program beforehand with the dates of travel, location of the cabin, and the closest emergency veterinarian in order to gain approval.
Program dogs can visit pet-friendly hotels with their foster handlers but must not be left in the room unattended at any point, for any length of time. You will also need to bring a kennel for overnight. We highly recommend requesting a foster if you have a busy weekend planned. It's unlikely that every activity you want to do will be appropriate for a dog—we wouldn't want you to miss out!
Program dogs are not allowed to cross state lines without permission and are never allowed to cross international borders. They are not allowed on cruises or on a flight while in training.
Yes! Swimming can be great exercise. Please use a long line if you take the dog swimming at a lake. If you have access, the dog is allowed to swim in a personal pool. They are not allowed in public pools or splash pads. Be mindful that the body of water is safe (no scum or algae or notices posted advising against swimming) and that the dog takes breaks and does not over-consume water while swimming. Please do not allow program dogs to jump into the water from a dock. After swimming, make sure to clean their ears.
Yes! Our vehicle safety rules apply—make sure the dog is secured via a tether. Please do not allow the dog to jump from the boat at any time.
Maybe. In general, dogs in cape should build the expectation of not greeting people, including friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers. If the program dog is out of cape, enjoying "down time," and are being well-behaved, they may meet and greet people. Please make sure anyone greeting the dog is aware of program rules and that you are ready to help enforce good manners.
Sometimes! Program dogs are NEVER allowed to greet other dogs when on leash or in cape. They are, however, allowed to play with other program dogs, as well as dogs living in their foster homes (all dogs interacting with program dogs must be approved by Puppy Program). Remember to keep play groups small, and not to mix genders if dogs are over 6 months and intact.
That's great! If you are welcoming a new pet into your household, please let us know. We want to meet your new pet and temperament test them with a Can Do Canines dog to make sure they will be happy sharing you. It's also important that we give your new pet time to settle in, so if you have a Can Do Canine, we will help arrange a foster for two weeks to give you time to adjust.
Anyone who helps care for the program dog must meet and be approved by Puppy Program. They should also join you in classes to make sure they understand program expectation.
Sort of. It's important to remember that when we talk about socialization, we don't mean physical or even proximal interactions.
A dog is considered well-socialized if they have been positively exposed to a wide variety of people and animals. A positive exposure describes the dog noticing something new, observing it (even at a large distance) and receiving rewards for remaining neutral. Program dogs do not need to come nose-to-nose with a cow or cat in order to be introduced to one for socialization purposes, but it is great if they are allowed to positively experience them.
Maybe. Please contact Puppy Program if you are interested in having a program dog attend work with you. We want to ensure this is the right fit for the dog in your care. We can also give guidance on navigating the workplace with a service dog-in-training.
Per the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs in training are not guaranteed access to federal buildings, churches, public pools, or casinos.
Can Do Canines does not allow program dogs to visit dog parks, zoos, or firework shows. We do not advise any all-day excursions like visiting the State Fair, amusement parks, or going to your cousin's wedding (for example). We need the focus to be on the training of the dog and not the event itself. The dog can either take a day off in their kennel or a foster "vacation" if you have an event or long day away planned.
Program dogs who have not been vaccinated against rabies are not allowed in pet stores.
We do require that program dogs receive the majority of their rewards from their daily allotment of kibble. This means if a dog needs 3 cups of food per day to maintain a healthy weight, you can feed breakfast (1.5 cups) and then measure the remaining 1.5 cups into a treat bag and use this to train throughout the day. Anything left can be fed as dinner.
For the purposes of downtime or crate training, dogs may have a small amount (.5-1 tablespoon) of plain yogurt or peanut butter frozen in a Kong toy. Make sure the peanut butter does not contain xylitol. You may use a peanut butter powder such as PB2 reconstituted with water if the dog needs to watch caloric or fat intake.
No. Program dogs should not be left unattended with children, even when kenneled. It's OK for program dogs to kennel in bedrooms with their approved primary handler, but not required. They may be kenneled in other common rooms in the home, such as a family room.
Name-A-Puppy is a Can Do Canines fundraising program. Donors reaching a certain level of funding are able to name a Can Do Canine program puppy. If you are raising or providing long-term care for a named puppy, you may occasionally be contacted by someone in our Development Department for updates on the dog's progress and pictures of the dog in their cape for the donor to receive.
Can Do Canines is a member of the ADI (Assistance Dogs International) Breeding Cooperative. As members, we share dogs and puppies through breeding in order to keep our lines genetically diverse.
Many dogs in our program are a part of this breeding co-op. It does not mean that the dog in your care will absolutely become a breeding dog, but they may be selected by ABC. Having an ABC dog just means they will be asking us for updates on the dog, so we might ask you extra questions. Health clearances will be extra critical as well.
Even if the dog is released by ABC, our Director of Training may still use them within the Can Do Canines breeding program.
Once they are in final training, the next steps may include a visit to one of our prison programs, some time in a new foster home, a stay with the college students in the FETCH program, or the initial work with a program trainer. It all depends on what the dog needs to round out their training before placement with a client.
After we get to know the dog and their personality and preference, we will decide which "career" the dog is best suited for. Once the dog is ready, we will match them with an ideal client and begin team training once the dog's skills have been tailored to the client's needs. If all goes as planned, the dog and client will certify and graduate as a team. Everyone will be welcomed to help celebrate the new teams at their official graduation ceremony.
Not every dog wants to be a service dog—we respect that and are happy that our dogs have a say in what they do. Other dogs have medical conditions, like severe allergies or hip dysplasia, which preclude them from service work.
In the event that a dog is not a candidate for service work, they may be career-changed and placed in a loving pet home. Once a decision to career-change a dog has been made, Puppy Program notifies the volunteers who helped care for the dog. The volunteers who cared for the dog the longest may be offered the opportunity to adopt the dog, if this is in the best interest of the dog and the volunteer. No matter what, our dogs are always placed in a home that will love and care for them.