Our Autism Service Dogs

JakeOur autism assistance dogs are specifically trained to perform tasks to assist individuals with autism and accompany them in public. Our dogs have passed a very thorough shelter assessment prior to becoming a service dog candidate. Once selected, the dogs undergo intensive basic training to earn The American Kennel Clubs Canine Good Citizen award.

Next, the dogs undergo advanced individualized task training from experienced trainers. They are trained with a minimum of three specific tasks to assist the individual with autism. They are taught the public access training and must pass the Assistance Dogs International Public Access Test prior to becoming a certified service dog.

Any recipient family that cannot successfully complete the qualification training and pass the certification test has the option of taking the dog home as a companion dog or staying with Blessings Unleashed for further training until the test can be completed successfully.

IAADP maintains the highest standards in training service dogs and Blessings Unleashed is proud to be a member of this wonderful organization. IAADP’s mission is to:

  • provide assistance dog partners with a voice in the assistance dog field
  • enable those partnered with guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs to work together on issues of mutual concern
  • to foster the disabled person/assistance dog partnership

BUF-addie-in-kmartAs an additional benefit, all of our recipient families will be given a one year Gift Membership from Blessings Unleashed Foundation to IAADP. The membership will entitle the recipient to free monthly flea and tick preventatives, heart worm preventatives and joint supplements along with many other free and/or discounted products to help ensure the well-being and success of the service dog’s placement.

Since our autism assistance dogs are individually trained for each recipient that we serve, we ask for a $500 deposit once the application is approved to secure a spot on our waiting list for a dog. The deposit is fully refundable upon successful completion of the annual re-recertification test. The family may also choose to donate the $500 to Blessings Unleashed Foundation as a tax deductible charitable donation.

Autism Companion Dogs

Even though companion dogs are trained for one specific task to assist the person, they undergo the same intense shelter assessment as our service dogs do. The also earn the AKC Canine Good Citizen Award. The companion dogs are not trained for public access and therefore only allowed to go anywhere that a “pet” dog would be allowed to go.