Service Dog Training Lecture Series – Selecting and Training Service Dogs for Children
When: March 7, 2018
Time: 7:30 PM EST (Midnight UTC)
(To be recorded and available OnDemand after the lecture)
Access to the recording is for 32 days after the webinar and is available for both Live and Recorded attendees.
Cost: $25.00 USD
Speaker(s): Patty Dobbs Gross & Dan Gross
Description: The emerging field of service dogs for children began with children who faced physical challenges, and then branched out to helping children who were faced with social/emotional challenges such as autism presents. At North Star we believed this evolving use of service dogs required a different method of partnership, and that our North Star dogs could be seen as therapeutic tools for not just the child technically served, but to the child’s entire family, neighborhood and surrounding community. Public access brought new challenges to this work, and the community ended up an important part of the equation, for in schools there is no more powerful way to fight intolerance and potential bullying than through the eyes of a puppy being trained to help. North Star’s philosophy of placement is to match our dogs carefully with their children, breeding specifically for qualities such as forgiveness, playfulness and social intelligence. Science is slowly revealing this field’s growing importance: therapy dogs were proven to increase a child on the spectrum’s language and enrich their play,) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12365766) (https://www.pedigree.com/dog-care/training/therapy-dogs-for-autistic-people) and anxiety, as reflected by spiking cortisol levels, was found be brought down by the presence of an autism assistance dog (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150602153350.htm). These are just two studies from a growing body of evidence that service dogs as therapeutic tools can be helpful to a wide range of children with social and emotional challenges.North Star dogs’ ability to alert to their child’s cortisol level to alert to rising anxiety distinguishes these carefully bred and socialized and partnered service teams from emotional support or comfort dogs, although certainly the delivery of comfort is a part of a North Star dog’s job description. Just how and when these gestures appear is a function of the success of the partnership and the specific knowledge of how to use the North Star dog to serve a child.
(We’ll be presenting Dan’s film JOEL’S HERO and speaking in first person about the experience of growing up with an autism assistance dogs.)
Cost: $25.00 USD
Available soon for purchase.
NOTE: When you purchase this webinar, you are purchasing BOTH an invite to the Live webinar AND access to the Recording for 32 days after we publish the Live webinar.
Speakers: Patty Dobbs Gross is the executive director of North Star Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization she founded whose mission is to place high quality assistance and therapy dogs with children who face social and emotional challenges. Patty earned her BA from the University of Massachusetts in Psychology and her MA from the University of Connecticut in Educational Psychology; she is also the author of THE GOLDEN BRIDGE: A Guide to Assistance Dogs for Children Challenged by Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities (Purdue University Press, 2006).
Patty has been married for thirty-three years to a man on the autism spectrum, and she is the mother of four children who are all an integral part of North Star’s work. Over a quarter century ago her son Danny received an assistance dog named Madison from Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) to work with his challenges from autism, and from that experience, North Star was born. What Patty has learned about raising a child with a social/emotional challenge with the help of an assistance dog forms the very heart of North Star’s work.
That son, Dan Gross, recently graduated from USC’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in filmmaking and has created North Star’s extensive video library. He is now working with as an editorial assistant in Connecticut and doing freelance film work in Los Angeles and New York City.