CPL Stories

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Jackie and Wallace

Jackie was described by one of CPL’s staff as the most positive, enthusiastic, and gracious student of all time.  Another commented that every time she …

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About Us

Our Programs

Service dogs

CPL takes each dog through a two-year, comprehensive and customized training program to meet the specific needs of its human partner. They then train the dog and its partner to work together as a team. The key to success is to get the right dog with the right partner, and to nurture them. CPL has one of the strongest follow-up programs in the industry that ensures the success of each team throughout the lifetime of their partnership. Dogs entering the service dog program move into the CPL kennel on their first birthday (having finished their first year in a volunteer puppy home learning basic obedience and socialization) and will remain there until they are two. During this second year of training they will perfect and expand the obedience skills that the puppy homes have begun, increase the intensity of environments in which they are expected to work, and learn the particular skills needed to assist a person who has a disability.

In addition to the traditional service dog partner, CPL places the following:

Seizure alert dogs are service dogs which have the ability to warn of impending seizure activity up to an hour in advance—allowing their partners to move to a safe environment. CPL is one of a few organizations worldwide to place seizure alert dogs. This ability to alert to upcoming seizures is an innate ability.  CPL determines a dog’s ability to sense impending seizures and then supports that behavior with positive click and treat training methods.

Cardiac alert dogs are service dogs that warn their partners of abrupt and serious changes in blood pressure levels, also known as cardiac syncope. Being forewarned of upcoming dangerous blood pressure levels allows an individual to take precautions such as taking essential medication, lying down, resting and elevating their legs.  The ability to detect changes in blood pressure levels is also an innate ability, as with seizure alert activity.  Once a dog has been determined to have this innate ability, their alert behavior is supported with positive click and treat training methods.

Diabetes alert dogs are trained using their sense of smell to alert to a specific individual’s scent at a blood sugar level of 70. At this level, a person’s blood sugar is dropping but they are not yet in a crisis situation. They are able to take action, test and use medication before the sugar level drops further. Applicants for the diabetes alert dog program must have a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes which is well controlled.

Applicant requirements for our Diabetes alert dogs differ from our other service dog programs. We are currently accepting applications from interested individuals that meet the following criteria:

  • Have a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes which is well controlled.
  • Are compliant to prescribed medications and testing protocols.
  • Are over the age of 16.
  • Live within 100 miles of Cochranville, PA.
  • Must have at least 2–4 episodes of daytime low blood sugar monthly without warning or awareness.
  • Are willing and able to participate regularly in the training sessions to be held in Cochranville, PA during business hours.
  • Are willing to commit to a full time service dog partnership, utilizing their dog 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Companion dogs

These dogs are trained to provide companionship and emotional support but usually do not provide physical assistance. Because they are not service dogs, they do not have public access rights.

Home companion dogs usually serve as well trained companions in the home environment for people with neurological or cognitive impairments or other health issues. Often they are placed with children with autism.

Courthouse companion dogs provide comfort and emotional support to children and adults who are victims of crime throughout the legal process, all the way to trial.

Residential companion dogs are trained and placed in group and retirement homes or other similar communities to provide daily pet therapy.