Assistance Dogs
Frequently Asked Questions

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Assistance Dog

  • A Pawsitism Inc Assistance service dog can increase confidence and independence for a child with autism.
  • Pawsitism Inc. assistance dogs are highly trained to perform a limited set of practical tasks here toward assisting individuals with physical disabilities with more independent lives. Although our graduates find incredible depth of emotion in the bond between them and their dog beyond just the working tasks, Pawsitism does not place dogs with individuals for the primary benefit of emotional comfort or social support.
  • Tracking
  • Swimming
  • Deep Pressure  therapy
  • Deep gaze therapy
  • Tethering and anchoring
  • Guide work for the blind
  • Seizure or diabetic alert/response
  • To recognize and/or manage undesirable human behavior or provide supervision, navigation, or safety from environmental hazards
  • Mobility assistance, including balance work
  • Respond aggressively or provide personal protection
  • Assist with the management of mental illness as a primary condition

Application Process

  •  People with physical or developmental disabilities, as well as professionals working in healthcare, visitation, educational or criminal justice settings you can demonstrate that in assistance dog will enhance their independence or the quality-of-life in order to qualify to apply
  • Click here to learn more about whether in assistance dog is right for you.
  • The application process, as well as all lectures, individual instruction and written class materials for the parent process(Team Training), are given in English.
  • Individuals applying for an assistant dog must be at least 18 years old with an established, stable home life. We find those 25 years of age and up typically are most suitable for an assistance dog. Children must be at least five years old to be considered for service dog.
  • Pawsitism has a comprehensive and interactive application process. Before we begin, we first exchange basic information to determine whether the program will be a good fit. At each step of the application process, experienced Pawsitism staff review an applicant’s need and qualifications to determine whether or not the applicant will move on. Click on the graphic below for more information on the application process
  • Insert picture of the step-by-step process
  • All inquiring individuals should receive a response from Pawsitism within 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Once on the list, the wait time varies greatly between categories and based on each individual‘s needs. Typically, Service dog candidates have a longest wait, as Dogs has very specific temperaments are needed for these placements.

Training Process

  • Each Pawsitism assistance dog spends 18 months with a volunteer puppy raiser learning basic commands and being socialized in public and private settings. While being with a puppy raiser it also receives training at the Main RUFF Academy Training facility to where it will be trained and learning advance commands that will support the work of an assistant start.

It takes an exceptional dog to graduate as an assistant dog, and not every dog is suitable. All dogs must be highly proficient in the trained skills and tasks. In addition, Pawsitism Dogs receives rigorous medical and temperamental screening to ensure that every dog that graduates will be healthy, happy and appropriate in their role.

Matching and Beyond

  • Once a dog has complete a professional training, and a candidate has reached the top of the waiting list, they are brought together for a two month group class known as “Team Training.” During team training, students learn to manage the assistance dogs behavior, to direct the dogs to respond to commands as it has learned, and to assume responsibility for maintaining health and well-being of the dog.
  • Pawsitism has a comprehensive and participatory program to ensure the ongoing success of its working teams. Throughout the working life of the dogs, graduations periodically return to campus with their dogs for public certification, workshops, seminars and reunions.
  • In addition, Pawsitism instructors and graduates communicate on an ongoing basis for correspondence, records and by providing advice via telephone and email. Instructors also travel into the field to conduct workshops in threes all specific training or behavioral problems in the graduates Home and/or workplace environment.
  • Pawsitism maintains ownership of the assistance dog even after placement. A graduate is personally and financially responsible for the assistance towards care of me, including who is at your service.
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