CPL’s service dogs go through an intense two-year training program. In addition to learning advanced obedience and social skills, they learn techniques to help people with disabilities meet the challenges of daily living. During their second year of training, each dog is paired with a human partner. At that point, each dog’s training is tailored to meet the needs of their future partner. Service dogs are considered for people 12 years and older and who are functioning on a 6th grade level or above.
Full service dogs provide physical assistance to individuals who have a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities.
Seizure alert dogs are service dogs that have the innate ability to sense impending seizure activity up to an hour in advance. This allows them to warn their partners to move to a safe environment, notify a family member/friend, and take medication if needed. CPL is one of only a few organizations worldwide to place seizure alert dogs.
Cardiac alert dogs are service dogs that have the innate ability to warn of impending drops in blood pressure (typically seen in individuals with cardiac syncope conditions) which often cause loss of consciousness. Advance warning allows the individual to take essential medication, lie down, rest, and elevate their legs if needed.
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.
Home companion dogs are placed with individuals who CPL feels would benefit from a well-trained companion, but would have difficulty raising and training a dog on their own. Although not usually providing physical assistance, the job of a home companion dog is extremely special. These dogs bring comfort, encouragement, and joy to their human partners in the home environment. Home companion dogs are considered for individuals of all ages. Because they are not service dogs, they do not have public access rights.
Courthouse companion dogs provide comfort and emotional support to children and adults who are victims of crime.
Residential companion dogs are trained and placed within group homes and residential/retirement facilities to provide daily pet therapy.