Year of the NEADS Dog Month 2 – Off to Prison

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Our Year of the NEADS Dog series, in which we highlight the transition our Service Dogs in Training make during their first year with us, continues with the next big step for most puppies – off to one of seven correctional facilities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for task work and obedience training. There, each puppy is assigned to an inmate handler, who works with him or her for the next 12 to 18 months.

It’s a big move for the young pups to go from our Early Learning Center to their new homes, and they spend the first two weeks settling in and learning about their environment. They get to know their inmate handlers, who are with them 24/7. This early bond between puppy and handler sets the team up for a successful training experience. Play is still important, and each puppy has daily play sessions with its handler and also with one or two other dogs. Housebreaking work begins during this first two-week period, too.

Once the puppies have settled in, training begins in earnest. But that’s a story for another month.

Follow our Year of the NEADS Dog series here.