Social Dog Program:
- Social dogs are specially trained to work with a professional in the field of education, counseling, medicine, rehabilitation, retirement and specialty agencies.
- Social dogs must complete and pass the health and temperament testing just like guide and service dogs. The social dog will work many hours on obedience, mostly off lead, and will work with a variety of handlers. The dog must be calm, friendly and easily controlled by voice commands. The dogs are trained on how to approach and behave with children, adults, elderly and people in wheelchairs or with other forms of mobility.
- Social dogs adhere to the same high training standards as service dogs. They may retrieve items, carry objects, tug doors and clothing and manipulate light switches and buttons. When these dogs work in a school setting, they can model appropriate behavior, teach positive interaction, interrupt hyperactivity and perform many other tasks. Dogs provide non-judgmental companionship, stimulation and physical affection to those persons not in an environment or situation that is able to meet those needs.
- Social dogs work wearing a bandana that identifies them as a social dog during the day then they return home with their handler/owner at the end of the day. The social dog does not have public access, like guide and service dogs, but their training also includes how to behave around food, other animals, in stores and large crowds.
- People who receive social dogs attend team training at the KSDS facility in Washington, Kansas for five full days. Lodging and noon meals are provided.
- Before filling out the initial application for the Social Program, please take time to read the brochure attached by clicking here. To begin the process of receiving a Social Dog, please click here. The application has several phases and includes requests for a video and an interview. If you have any questions about applying for a dog and want to contact a staff member, click here.