Assistance Dogs of the West provides trained service dogs to people with disabilities in order to increase self-reliance and independence. We teach students to train dogs to help people.
Since 1995, ADW has taught elementary, middle and high school students, juvenile detention center students and developmentally and physically disabled students to train assistance dogs. All student trainers learn from professional ADW instructor/trainers through structured classes, using a continually improving curriculum, and emerge from the program with increased leadership skills, compassion and self-esteem. Assistance Dogs of the West uses the Assistance Dog Student Trainer Program to enhance the lives and opportunities for mainstream and at-risk students in New Mexico, to train our dogs most effectively and to keep our costs low.
ADW service dogs learn a minimum of 90 commands and successful graduates are placed with clients to help overcome physical mobility, emotional and psychiatric challenges caused by disease, trauma or environment. Seizure dogs alert and respond to the needs of clients with seizure disorders, and psychiatric support and social therapy dogs work with individuals or groups offering avenues for increased socialization to lives with challenges. ADW client/recipients have diverse ethnic backgrounds.
My personal Bio:
Jodie Backensto (Back-en-stow) has been with ADW for 10 years as an Instructor/Trainer. She gained her knowledge from an intense internship with ADW and continues her education through forums, conferences and workshops. Learning about communication styles, learning styles, human and animal behavior as well as teaching dogs, students and clients are her greatest motivations. She spends most of her down time on her small homestead growing and canning heirloom vegetables.
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