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Old 07-17-2012, 12:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Researching breeders in MI for service dog

I am researching GSD breeders in MI of dogs suitable for service dog training. We have a trainer picked out and they have some ideas of breeders but I am doing my own research as well.

I am looking for a puppy suitable to be trained as a service dog for my son with autism. He is a "runner" and our primary concern is his safety. His service dog will be tether trained, trained to track him should he run away and to alert when he attempts to escape. He also has "meltdowns" typical of children with autism that are calmed by deep pressure. On command, the dog will be trained to lay on him to provide this sensory input.

My son is non-verbal and I and his aide at school will act as handlers for the dog. We are a dog loving household and my son responds very positively to dogs. This dog will be a life changer not only for my son, but for our whole family.

Please let me know if you know of reputable breeders in MI that may be able to provide a puppy that would fit the bill. After much research into the GSD's natural abilities, we are sure this is the breed for my son. We need a dog that is comfortable around people, especially children, as the dog will be going to school with my son, but focused on his or her job.

We (and our trainer) are located in mid-Michigan.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Getting a puppy and raising it up to two years before it is mentally mature enough to be a service dog can be a daunting experience. You may want to consider an older puppy or young dog tht can be xrayed and tested beofre training starts.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I believe this may be your best route - contact Sterling Dog Services in Michigan Main

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Old 07-17-2012, 07:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andaka View Post
Getting a puppy and raising it up to two years before it is mentally mature enough to be a service dog can be a daunting experience. You may want to consider an older puppy or young dog tht can be xrayed and tested beofre training starts.
Most definately. I am looking for older puppies and young adults preferably.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I guess I should mention that there are two schools of thought and we have not decided which way to go.

1. A foster will raise an older puppy (4-6 months) and begin with basic obedience. During this time, the puppy will come home with us on the weekends to get to know my son and family.

2. An older dog who has been tested as appropriate and already obedience trained will begin more advanced training.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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By co-incidence in our local paper (which I will get out of recycling tomorrow) had a front page article about "Winter" the lab provided for one of the children in our community , a youngster with autism. They mentioned the charitable group which provided the dog . Perhaps you have something similiar , or can contact this organization to give you direction AutismCanada.org | Treatments: Other Therapy

Autism Dog Services FAQ

going out and buying a pup is not the best way to go about this -- first of all you need to work with a breeder who works dogs outside of a training format , who can be very critical in selection ,
then you would need a program from a skilled raiser who does not obedience the dog to death -- the dog must have the freedom to think for itself , you teach , not train.

then there is the danger that you get too close , too personal , think with your heart , not your brain. If a dog can not play the role then the dog has to be rejected - and this is something that most people , investing hope , can not do .

Hope this is of some assistance .
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