Breeding – Tapping our network of highly respected breeders, we plan litters based on the health and temperament of the parents.
Aptitude and Temperament Testing – We test the litter at 5-8 weeks of age to select the puppies with the best chance of graduating our rigorous training program.
Basic Skills and Obedience – Sit. Stay. Down. Loose-leash walking and focus. The same behaviors you would teach your own dog.
Advance Training (Service skills) – Service skills including retrieving items, opening and closing doors, wheelchair or bracing work and similar skills. We also focus on proper public behavior.
Matching – The science – choosing a dog with the right skills and personality for a particular recipient. The art – evaluating the strength of the bond between the dog and the recipient. We always say the dog ultimately chooses his recipient.
Paired Training – We work with the recipient and the dog as a team to develop specific skills needed by the recipient based on his or her condition. We also train the recipient to be a proficient service dog handler.
Ongoing Support – We commit to the dog and recipient for life, reinforcing training as needed and even guaranteeing financial assistance for the care of the dog throughout its life if necessary.
Why Golden Retrievers?
At Golden PAWS Assistance Dogs, we work exclusively with pure-bred golden retrievers. The reasons are two-fold. First, goldens are ideally suited for service work, with an extremely high capacity for emotional intelligence and an innate desire to serve. The second reason is that we believe that social reintegration is one of the most important parts of recovery for a veteran suffering from PTSD or physical injuries. It is also often the most daunting part.
Golden retrievers easily facilitate social interactions, drawing people in with their friendly personalities and unrivaled cuteness. At the same time, their tendency to form deep bonds with their handler, along with their specialized training, gives a veteran the comfort of knowing that his canine companion is always looking out for him as he ventures out into the world outside his home.