Schein is a Canine Companions for Independence puppy, which means he is no ordinary dog.
Through Canine Companions, he is learning to help a child or adult with disabilities increase their independence by being a friend and lending a helping
Schein is being raised by Sallie, a volunteer puppy raiser, who will care for him and train him for 18 months. He’ll then go through Professional Training and ultimately find his “furever home” with a human companion who needs his help.
Read our “Pupdates” every month to learn more about Schein’s adventures!
As a Puppy Raiser for Canine Companions for Independence ®, I will be working on 30 basic commands to prepare Schein for Professional Training.
He’s become quite a natural at “sit,” “shake,” “down,” and getting the hang of “side.” Encouraging him with treats helps tackle some of the more advanced commands.
While many dogs are trained for similar behaviors, it’s important that Schein masters these basic commands, because these skills will be the foundation for subsequent training and his future as an assistance dog.
Take a look at what Schein has been up to, and learn about our training together!
Schein is demonstrating “side,” as he sits beside me. He is also keeping great eye contact. He is paying close attention so that he is ready for the next command. Plus, I have treats! We start with rewarding the puppies for keeping eye contact for up to five seconds when they are this small.
Nice to meet you, Schein! “Shake” is an important beginning step towards more advanced tasks in his future. When a Canine Companions for Independence puppy reaches Professional Training, “shake” will turn into learning how to turn on light switches, pressing elevator buttons, and opening automatic doors.
Here, I’ve given Schein the command, “down.” I’ve led him there by putting a piece of kibble just in front of him so all he had to do was follow his nose. He will get better at this with lots of practice in the coming months and will no longer need kibble to follow.
Schein is demonstrating how he walks nicely right beside me on his leash. He is watching me so that he will be ready for me to perhaps give him another command. We don’t require that the puppies always keep eye contact but they must check in frequently.
Teaching Schein to remain in a “down” while I walk around him, step over him, walk to the end of leash and swing his leash are ways to prepare him for his future as a Service Dog. He must learn to remain down no matter what is going on around him.
Many times, service dogs are pressed to remain calm and right by their teammate’s side in circumstances that are less than relaxing.
That’s why we work on socializing puppies with lots of people and other dogs as they grow up.
Here are some photos of Schein’s recent outings!
Bonus: Schein learns to swim!