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Service Dogs

Man and yellow Lab lie down on the floor and smile for the camera

With the assistance of a service dog, balance dog, hearing dog, facility dog, companion dog or in-home service dog, individuals can lead more independent lives. Instead of relying on assistance appliances, men, women and children can rely on the dog. With the assistance of a service dog, individuals can move about at home and in public with confidence, and doors are opened to opportunities to interact with other people and the environment.

Service dogs are specially trained to enhance their partner’s life, assisting them to become more independent. Susquehanna Service Dogs takes special care to select dogs that require a minimum of maintenance by their partner. SSD typically uses Labrador Retrievers because they known for their calm temperament and willingness to wait patiently for their human partner. Labrador Retrievers also require limited grooming and physical care.

All of our service dogs must display excellent manners and social behavior, follow basic obedience cues and go potty on cue. Each dog is specially trained for each person, depending on their needs and goals. All of the dogs can be trained to respond to voice cues, hand signals and whistles.

For more information about service dogs or to apply for a dog, visit Susquehanna Service Dogs.

The Dogs

Service Dogs
Service dogs are trained to assist children and adults with a wide range of disabilities, including physical and psychiatric disabilities and autism. Each dog receives individualized training, depending on the unique needs of their partner.
Balance Dogs
Balance dogs assist individuals who have a disability that interferes with their ability to walk. Because individuals’ needs vary, each dog is specially trained for the specific needs of their partner. Balance work is just one of many tasks service dogs can be trained to perform.
Hearing Dogs
Hearing dogs assist their partners by alerting to specific sounds in the environment. With the assistance of a hearing dog, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing do not need to rely solely on visual signals and are able to live more independently. For individuals who lost their hearing later in life, it is also helpful to be reminded of everyday sounds by observing the actions of the dog.
Service Dogs for Service Men and Women
SSD trains service dogs or hearing dogs especially for the unique needs of military veterans. We have experience with a wide range of disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans who live in Pennsylvania will receive a dog at no cost due to the generous support of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Eastern Star.
Facility Dogs
Facility dogs assist physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists or social workers supporting adults and children with physical, emotional and behavioral disabilities. Facility dogs have been very effective working with children and adults in a school or therapy setting. These dogs are specially trained for the particular tasks they will be asked to perform. We have had great success placing facility dogs in school settings.
In-home Service Dogs
In-home service dogs provide the same assistance as service dogs do to children and adults with disabilities. However, these dogs to not have public access and only provide assistance in their partner’s home. In-home service dogs are beneficial to individuals who need the assistance of a specially trained dog in their home but do not want to have a dog with them in public.
Companion Dogs
Companion dogs are specially trained dogs that are placed with a family with a child with autism. These dogs are only available to families living within one hundred miles of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, including Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, Lancaster, Lebanon and York Counties.
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