Imagine walking through the doors of a theatre and seeing the chairs filled not with an audience of children or adults. Rather, you see the furry heads of dogs sticking up through the seats. It is enough to make you take a second look, but this is not your normal pet’s day out. These are service dogs and they are here to learn.
The Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada held a special showing of a musical to help train service dogs.
K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs partnered with The Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada to create a special training session for these service dogs in training. These intelligent canines go through this specialized training to be able to help and comfort their handlers in a variety of settings.
Since every situation will be entirely unique, it is good exposure for the dogs to be able to handle different kinds of situations with varying degrees of stimulation. They need to be able to cope under the pressure of being out in public while remaining focused on their handler.
Their innate intuition helps them be able to anticipate changes in their handlers physical or mental status which allows them to help provide the support and care that they need.
The dogs were told sit quietly in their seats while the musical “Billy Elliot – The Musical” was performed on stage.
To aid in this training, The Stratford Festival often puts on “Relaxed Performances” which are geared towards those with “sensory processing conditions or autism”. The event was held so that the dogs could learn and practice sitting quietly while attending events for their new owners. This unique training helped the dogs learn to ignore certain stimuli such as lights, loud noises, other animals, an overabundance of smells, and large crowds.
These sweet pups are being trained for a very special cause.
K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs is an organization that trains service dogs for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Although the training site was established in 2013, head trainer, Laura MacKenzie has been working with dogs for over 30 years. It is evident that her care and passion go hand-in-hand with her work.
“My goal as a trainer is to help you become a great trainer, so your dog can become the friend, companion and family member, you want him or her to be.” says Laura.
The training facility also partners with initiatives to help support first responders and veterans.
The dogs are trained to help sense when their handles are feeling stressed or ill and help provide immediate support and comfort. These dogs provide support and care for those who would otherwise have a tough time making it through different activities. K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs’s work has helped many individuals and families find new normality in their lives with the love of these animals.
After their training, these sweet canines will go on to help their owners through various aspects of their lives.
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