A Demonstration With A Difference

By Albert Jefferson

A demonstration with a difference is going to be held in Edmonton on Sunday; and the contributors are four legged, smart, adorable as well as friendly. Dogs with Wings, a federally registered non profit agency that provides support dogs to those with disabilities will be performing the demonstration. During the demonstration, several animals trained by this organization are going to be displaying to spectators exactly what they are able to do. Based on an article in Edmonton Journal, these canines are most popular with young people who've been diagnosed with autism.

About the Dogs with Wings Program

The Dogs with Wings program was initially launched here in Edmonton in 1996 for the purpose of training canines so they could aid Albertans with disabilities. The animals are highly trained with the program to satisfy an increasing need for support dogs here. During the training curriculum each dog is taught some special skills which will help it to enhance the life of a disabled individual and to make him/ her more self-sufficient. The program initially commenced as a guide dog training plan to help blind people get around without having to be dependent on friends and family. These days Dogs with Wings trains dogs to carry out several other very important functions too. Public demand led the society to commence service dog training and in 2007, Autism service dogs were put into the program.

There are more than twenty-five dogs in the program at any time, states John Wheelwright, the Executive Director of the organization. Only Labrador retrievers or cross breeds with retrievers are picked for the program, he states. He offers an amazing list of features that make these canines the ideal breed for assisting disabled people. Enthusiasm to work and learn, undisputable loyalty and also durability top the list of desirable characteristics in these dogs. According to Wheelwright, the majority of the top service dog training courses work with Labrador retrievers due to the numerous characteristics that they display.

Service Dogs for Autistic Children

Service dogs are trained to carry out several routine tasks for their masters but dogs which are taught to accompany autistic children are given some special training as well. This additional training enables these dogs to respond to circumstances where the child may react abruptly in a fashion that can cause harm to himself. Autism support dogs 'anchor' these youngsters and function as a soothing influence on them so they stay safe in circumstances that would induce an abrupt, potentially dangerous response in them. These canines could also be used by the parents to watch over the kids when they are busy and towards this end, the dogs are trained to respond promptly to parental instruction. Parents will also pass out a lab gifts for the kids like a labrador t shirt as well as hats.

The Demo at Edmonton

At the exhibition of Dogs with Wings in the Callingwood Farmers Market in Edmonton, spectators are able to catch sight of the most recent 'graduates' from the training program. Young Labrador retrievers like Brooksie, a 2 year old retriever mix, will be showing the crowds their skills at this function. The society hopes that these kinds of demos will raise awareness about how much these canines are able to help disabled individuals as well as educate such folks about how they could become more self-sufficient with the help of these four legged friends.

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