North Central’s Green Team 4-H Club and its Dog Project members got together with canine-and-handler teams from Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) on Feb. 11 at Living Streams Church, Central and Glendale avenues.
The purpose of the get-together was to help train and expose the CCI puppies with different handlers. It was a win-win experience as the 4-H kids were able to practice their dog training skills, and the CCI dogs experienced a younger and different handler.
It is the CCI’s goal to expose the dogs to as many different experiences as possible to prepare them for their future as service dogs.
The three Green Team 4-H Dog Project members—Kyle Bismore, Eamond Cates and Una Borders—worked with the dogs on skills such as walking by your side, stay, finish, table, down, sit, down-stay, and sit-stay. Through their 4-H program, the youth are learning how to train dogs and care for them. Kyle and Eamond currently have dogs, and Una is hopeful to get one in the future. She is considering one day becoming a service dog trainer/raiser.
When the CCI dogs reach 14-16 months old, they will leave their puppy raiser and move on to a six- to nine-month training program at the Regional Training Center. Not all dogs will complete the program. Those that do not qualify are released as house pets. To find out more about Canine Companions for Independence, go to www.CCI.org.
The Green Team 4-H Club meets near 16th Street and Northern Avenue, and has several ongoing projects and focus areas in addition to the dog project, including sewing, gardening, leadership, community service, cooking and entrepreneurism. For more information about 4-H, visit http://extension.arizona.edu/4h/maricopa. For more information about the Green Team’s dog project, contact parent project leader Denise Bismore at firstname.lastname@example.org.