Types of Dogs We Train

paws4people trains three types of dogs: Assistance Dogs, Facility Dogs, and Emotional Support Dogs.

Assistance Dogs

Dogs that are trained to perform a minimum of three (3) tasks to mitigate the effects of an individual’s physical, neurological, psychological, or other medical related disability or disabilities. The Assistance Dog provides help in conducting everyday life skills, thus enabling the Private Placement Client (PPC) to perform more independently than they otherwise would without their Assistance Dog.

Facility Dogs

Dogs that are trained, certified and placed with a specific individual who will use the Facility Dog within his/her profession and/or volunteer activities to provide educational instruction or therapeutic interventions, medical or environmental aid, methodologies to students with “special needs”, or support to individuals with a physical, neurological, psychological, or other medical related disability or disabilities.

Emotional Support Dogs

Dogs that are specially trained to provide comfort to their handler(s) within their own home and other dog-friendly environments.

Learn more about the types of dogs we train below:

Assistance Dogs

Types of Assistance Dogs: Physical and/or Neurological Assistance Dog (PND) (Primary Certification)

The following are Classifications of Physical and/or Neurological Assistance Dogs (PND):

Mobility Assistance (MAD) – A Physical and/or Neurological Assistance Dog specially trained to enable individuals with equilibrium or vertigo, or mobility limitation related disabilities to lead a more independent life by providing balance, stability, and wheelchair support. In some instances, these dogs are trained for Laser Designated Retrieval work so the handler can point a laser pen at an item and thereby queue the dog to retrieve that item.

Sensory Development / Tactile Pressure (STP) – A Physical and/or Neurological Assistance Dog specially trained for individuals with developmental disabilities. These dogs are specifically trained to convey pressure, receive pressure, alert/distract from their handler’s vocal, movement, or motor tics, and alert someone nearby if their handler leaves a designated area. SPECIAL NOTE: paws4people does not tether-train dogs for Autism where dogs are actually bound to their handler, nor do we train personalized tracking and search capabilities.

Medical Alert Assistance Dog (MED) (Primary Certification)

The following are Classifications of Medical Alert Assistance Dogs (MED):

Psychiatric (PSY) – A Medical Alert Assistance Dog specially trained to enable individuals with psychiatric disabilities to lead more independent lives by performing tasks that the person otherwise could not do, or would have extreme difficulty doing for him/herself. The Private Placement Clients (PPC) for these dogs are generally under medical care or have been diagnosed with a psychological condition, with the most common diagnosis being: Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Complex-Post-Traumatic Stress (CPTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and/or Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and various personality disorders. These dogs are trained to perform tasks such as search specific rooms before their handler enters, interrupt nightmares, alert their handler to someone approaching from behind, and detect changes in their handler’s cortisol levels, and physically interrupt disruptive episodes.

Allergen Detection (ALG) – A Medical Alert Assistance Dog specially trained to sniff out a particular substance based on an individual’s allergies. Once the dog detects the allergy substance, they are trained to alert their handler, or someone nearby, to notify them of the presence of the scent.

Incident Response (IRD) – A Medical Alert Assistance Dog trained to respond to an emergency situation, and then perform a pre-defined set of commands to provide notification of the individual’s condition. They may alert a family member or caregiver, retrieve emergency medications, or press a medical alert button. When assistance arrives the dog can be trained to open the door and direct the responder to the handler. These dogs are trained specifically to mitigate symptoms of numerous disabilities including seizures, brain aneurisms, or heart conditions. SPECIAL NOTE:These dogs are not specifically trained to pre-alert or sense an episode before it happens. However, in many instances, the dogs will learn to pre-alert over time although the PPC should not anticipate this to happen in every case.

Diabetes Alert (DAD) – A Medical Alert Assistance Dog specially trained to identify changes in scent as a result of hypoglycemia or abnormally low blood sugar and to alert the handler or a caretaker. Diabetes Alert Dogs are taught to recognize changes in the handler’s blood sugar level and alert the handler to check the level or take medication.

Hearing Alert (HRG) – A Medical Alert Assistance Dog trained to assist people with hearing disabilities by alerting them to everyday sounds – a ringing doorbell or a knock on the door, a telephone, an alarm clock, or a smoke detector. Outside, they may alert the handler to a siren sound, a vehicle’s back-up beep, or someone calling the handler’s name. Hearing Alert Dogs are trained to get the handler’s attention and lead the handler to the source of the sound.

Ambassador Dog (AMB) (Primary Certification)

The following is the Classification of Ambassador Assistance Dog (AMB)

Ambassador Dog (AMB) – These dogs are primarily used as Demonstration Dogs. Demonstration Dogs are “teachers,” who show our clients/handlers, trainers, staff, students, and volunteers, specific tasks, how each task should look when done correctly, and allow us to break down each task into teachable components. AD-AMBs are assigned to certified paws4people trainers.

Facility Dogs

A paws4people Facility Dog is specially trained to work with a volunteer or professional who is trained to work with the dog. Facility Dogs are assigned to experienced handlers or professionals of a given facility, who control and utilize these dogs as they work within the environment.

Types of Facility Dogs:

Rehabilitative Facility Dog (RFD) (Primary Certification)
A paws4people Rehabilitative Facility Dog (RFD) is specially trained to work within the confines of a physical rehabilitative treatment facility (inside or outside a hospital environment) to work with Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists, etc., providing therapeutic interventions, methodologies or protocols to patients with physical and/or neurological disabilities. These dogs are assigned to work with individual patients as part of their treatment team, and work under the orders of a medical doctor or other licensed medical health care provider. These dogs are specifically trained and highly experienced enabling them to establish and maintain a working relationship with multiple patients while working in very high stress environments.

Psychiatric Facility Dog (PFD) (Primary Certification)
A paws4people Psychiatric Facility Dog (PFD) is specially trained to work within the confines of a psychiatric treatment facility, to work with psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, therapists, or social workers assisting in the psychoanalysis and/or psychotherapy for patients who have been diagnosed with a wide spectrum of physiological conditions/illnesses. These dogs provide therapeutic interventions, methodologies or protocols to patients with psychological and/or emotional disabilities. These dogs are assigned to work with individual patients as part of their psychological treatment team, and work under the orders of a medical doctor or other licensed mental health care provider. These dogs are specifically trained and highly experienced enabling them to establish and maintain a working relationship with multiple patients while working in very high stress environments.

Scent Detection (SCT) (Primary Certification)
A paws4people Scent Detection Facility Dog is specifically trained to provide medical and/or environmental aid by being trained to detect specific smells within their surrounding area. These dogs assist their handler in detecting a scent that the handler would otherwise not be able to locate on their own (i.e. bed bug detection, arson accelerant detection, etc.).

Crisis Response Dog (CRD) (Primary Certification)
A paws4people Crisis Response Dog (CRD) is trained to work with first responders such as firefighters, police officers, or EMTs. The dogs are trained to provide comfort in emergency situations both at the department/hospital or at the scene of the emergency. They are trained to ride in the vehicle with the first responder and to ease the distress of anyone affected by the trauma.

Canine-Assisted Education (CAE) (Primary Certification)
A paws4people Canine-Assisted Education Facility Dog is specially trained to perform inside the special and/or regular education classrooms or learning settings. These dogs assist teachers in performing their duties using a new educational tool – the dog. SPECIAL NOTE: The handler of a CAE Facility Dog must be a teacher or otherwise working within the scope of their profession within the school environment.

There are three Classifications for Canine-Assisted Education (CAE) dogs:

General Education – These dog/handler teams are trained to work within classrooms that contain a 90% or higher composition of non-IEP (special education) students.

Special Education – These dogs must be able to handle classroom and special education environments, as well as be able to work with students having all types of physical, neurological, psychiatric, emotional disabilities and/or behavioral problems.

R.E.A.D. – This is a secondary classification level and dog/handler team must be certified in either General or Special Education training. Visits are conducted in a classroom or library in which a reading-based literacy program is being conducted. SPECIAL NOTE: The handler and dog MUST be R.E.A.D. certified.

Emotional Support Dogs

Emotional Support Dogs are not trained for public access or any travel training protocol. They are extensively trained with basic obedience, advanced obedience and, in some instances, disability skills, commands and behaviors. They are trained to provide comfort to their handler(s) while in their home and other dog-friendly environments.