Autism Dog Services is a unique program that differs from other service dog providers. We provide all of our dogs with training in natural home environments, support all of our placements in our client’s homes, and we provide focused service to all of our client families.
Home-Trained Service Dogs
ADS does not house any of its dogs in training in a kennel environment. All dogs are raised in homes beginning from birth through the puppy program, advanced training program to placement in a family’s home. This prevents unnecessary stress for the dogs that is often attributed to living in a kennel. The trainer-instructors get to know each dog in a very personal way. This allows staff to occasionally train a dog in a shorter period of time because staff live with each dog and can practice training techniques on an ongoing basis. The close personal connection staff develop with each dog can also help to make the best match possible when deciding on a placement family for a dog. Our team works together to keep up to date on training practices and are always trying to better the process and produce dogs that are of a very high quality and standard. There are always things to learn and our training staff enjoys improving our program and our dogs in every way possible.
We also have a strong puppy program and we strive to support each volunteer puppy raiser as much as possible to get each dog to reach their full potential and grow up to be a wise and mature service dog!
Support For Our Families
ADS provides local placements in the most parts of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and parts of Southwestern Ontario in order to be able to stay closely connected with all of our client families. Staff are regularly out in the community training service dogs, visiting clients, and instructing educators and are available for support when required. Our goal is to have our service dog teams be as successful as possible and ADS is available to facilitate that process.
We provide families with mandatory specialized workshops throughout the wait time for parents on their own and for the entire family unit to prepare and educate them on the function, role, care and maintenance of the service dog. Families on our wait list are required to attend all workshops prior to receiving their dog.
ADS does not require parents to attend a week long training session at a location away from their home. This alleviates the stress of a parent having to leave home for intensive training when they receive their Service Dog. Service dog placements are home based and take place in each family home and community. Parents are required to travel to locations determined by their training instructor during the initial placement of the service dog.
ADS welcomes a close working relationship with all the families who are waiting to receive a dog as soon as they are accepted onto our waitlist. Staff aim to build a strong partnership with each family during their wait time and our goal is to have that continue when each family receives their dog.
Autism Specific Resources
ADS provides autism specific Educational manuals to families and educators upon the service dog placement. Other resouces provided are social narrative samples, task strips and training videography along with video modeling to help children with autism work on daily tasks with their service dogs.
ADS places dogs with children in between the ages of 3-18. ADS does not require an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis to be considered for our program. If a child has challenges which present in a similar manner to Autism we will evaluate the child’s needs to determine if one of our dogs could provide beneficial support to the child.