Personal Support Service Dogs

A Personal Support Service dog is trained to meet the specific needs of the individual. A dog can learn to mitigate a child or youths debilitating fears and anxieties. Youth with diagnoses such as Sensory Processing Disorder (PSD), Autism (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Mild Intellectual Disorder (MID), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Selective Mutism and Developmental Trauma can learn to meet their challenges with the support of their trained canine.

Who Qualifies?

Families supported by a service agency or  supporting medical team working with the child on challenges such as impulse control problems, social anxiety, poor social skills, poor self-regulation and inappropriate behaviour, and attachment issues may qualify.

Candidates for the Personal Support Service Dog program must be between the ages of 5 and 25 years.

Preference for a service dog is a puppy that is assessed and chosen to meet the individual needs of the applicant. Sweet Charity trainers will support the family is obtaining the appropriate breed from a reputable breeder.

Consideration can be given to a pet dog. The trainers would assess this dog for suitability as a service dog. The dog must have passed an advanced level for obedience and show no signs of fear, aggression or inappropriate barking.

If interested, we invite you to submit the application below. Once reviewed and accepted by the application committee, Sweet Charity will meet with the family and the process of finding an appropriate dog for their child will be established.

Contact programs@sweetcharity.ca for more information about the program.

Choosing A Dog And Training

Choosing the appropriate dog for the child is essential. Sweet Charity’s Lead Trainer will work with the family to identify and assess the dog for training.

Service Dog training requires two years. This training includes socialization, obedience and public access training as well as a minimum of three specific tasks that will mitigate the individual’s challenges. The obedience training will be coordinated with our Canine Ambassador Program. All training will be lead by a Sweet Charity trainer with involvement of the family. The family will keep a training log provided by Sweet Charity to monitor progress of the dog and bonding with the youth.

Funding Sources

Federal law allows you to deduct expenses for buying, training, and maintaining a service dog. Please follow this link for more information about service dog funding: Consumer Reports Medical Deductions 

Additional Reading

Here are a couple of trusted sites to give you more information:
1) Living With A Service Dog
2) 5 Questions To Ask Before Partnering With A Service Dog

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