\'NEADS\' puppies to be lifesavers
7 Healthcast: 'NEADS' puppies to be lifesavers
PRINCETON, Mass. -- Some puppies will grow up to be lifesavers. The dogs are being specially trained to assist people in need.
A pack of pups from “NEADS” (Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans), located in Princeton.
“What we find is that puppies at a really young age take in a lot,” said Lisa Brown, “NEADS.”
They're bouncy and playful now, but they've got a serious mission ahead - they're future service dogs.
“It’s a dog that’s going to help them pick things up off the floor and put them in their lap. Or if they’re in an emergency situation and they need a phone, the dog can go get the phone for them,” said Brown.
Training for those types of skills takes a lot of time - usually well over a year.
Saint is one of many pups going through the program. Trainers say it’s impossible to tell exactly what she’ll specialize in as a service dog at this point - that’s to be determined later. First, there is one important step that happens.
“The main goal for me with the puppies is socialization,” said Cindy Lopez, “NEADS” puppy trainer.
Cindy Lopez is the puppy trainer. Along with teaching basic obedience and manners, she's making the pups fearless.
“We can teach them to sit down anytime, but it’s making sure the puppy is not afraid of people, of sounds, traffic, other animals,” said Lopez.
They then head to another program where local inmates take over training, spending months with the dogs, teaching them more specialized skills like opening doors or picking up telephones.
“When that training is finished they're brought back here to NEADS and they are matched with a client and then from there the client comes here, lives for two weeks on the grounds, and they are taught how to use their service dog,” said Lopez.
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