Canine Companions for Independence

by on September 29, 2012

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I’m getting a dog! It’s still many months away at the earliest, but I’m extremely excited. It’s going to be a sporting breed, and I’m hoping to train it to do what it will be bred to do. I’ve been reading a few books on training in preparation, and I’m simply amazed by what dogs are capable of. The combination of good breeding and patient training is extremely powerful. And nowhere is that combination put to better use than at Canine Companions for Independence. They are a Santa Rosa, CA based non-profit that “enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.” They have regional training centers across the country, so they’re able to match amazing dogs with the people who will benefit from them most–free of charge.

Help Is a Four-Legged Word

Canine Companions for Independence offers four types of dogs: Service Dogs, Skilled Companion Dogs, Facility Dogs, and Hearing Dogs. A lot of people don’t realize how important breeding can be. A dog with uncertain bloodlines can be a great dog, but if you want to consistently produce dogs that must perform a particular set of tasks at a very high level, good breeding practices are essential. That’s why CCI puts so much emphasis on its breeding program. Still, a well bred dog is only as good as its training, which is why CCI starts with puppy raisers and then puts the dogs through an intensive training and placement program. The end goal is having dogs that are constantly working to improve the quality of life for their owners. It’s pretty awesome. If you’d like to get involved, check out Canine Companions for Independence’s Careers page. They don’t have any internships posted right now, but a lot of colleges have linked to them in reference to internships. I see that there have been past interns in Marketing and Communications, Human Resources, and more, so reach out to them if you’d be interested in interning.

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