Getting the right dog for the right situation isn’t a trivial task, and we take every effort to ensure that there is a successful outcome. Understanding the steps that we follow for each case makes it easier to understand what we need from you and how long things will take.
The first step in applying for any of our Dogs is to complete the “Initial Application” form. Further paperwork will then be sent to the applicant, who must complete all additional information required and return it to K9SMD. This must be completed before the application can proceed.
Once the application paperwork is complete and returned to K9SMD, we will then review the material to determine if the application is suitable to proceed. If suitable the applicant is then placed on the Interim Waiting List.
A K9SMD staff member will make contact to arrange a time to meet with the applicant, their family and for in the cases of Facility dog the workplace as well. The interview allows time to discuss the service in more detail and to help both the applicant and K9SMD to decide if receiving a dog would be beneficial and appropriate for the applicant and their situation.
It is important for us to gain a good understanding of the environment in which the dog will live and work. This will help us to get a better understanding of the type of dog best suited to the applicant. Matching the right dog to the right client is critical. Further assessments are often beneficial as this allow K9SMD staff an opportunity to gain further information about the applicant’s specific needs and to answer questions that have arisen since the first interview.
Once the interview and assessments are complete and all information has been received, the applicant is then placed on the waiting list to receive a dog.
It takes approximately 18 months – 2 years to train each dog, although this time can vary depending on each dog and the tasks required. During the training process K9SMD staff are gaining a better understanding of the dog’s personality and begin looking for a suitable team match. The core training is then expanded to include tasks specifically required for that potential team.
The process of team matching involves consideration of the dog’s unique personality and requirements, with the client’s needs, preferences, lifestyle and living/working environment.
Once placed with the client, we train the team and any other people required, to work effectively together. This phase of training can vary in time, as it depends on the individual progress of the team
Regular support and follow-up is provided to each team to ensure they continue working well together. Over time, trained behaviours can breakdown and other inappropriate behaviours or bad habits can surface Therefore, ongoing support is critical to keep each teams’ skills and relationship at its best, throughout their working life.