Comfort Dog Program Is Looking For People To Become Apprentice Trainers
There is a comfort dog training center in Grand Island that will be looking for some help in about two months. It is then that some eight-week-old puppies will arrive. Don Moeller says that when they arrive, they will need some comfort dog training.
The dogs are owned by Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs and they are being sent to churches where teams will begin to care for their dogs. Before that happens, the training must be completed, and Moeller said that community members are needed for training on a volunteer basis.
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“We train them on how to train the dogs,” he said.
According to Moeller, the apprentice trainers will have a dog in their home every other week and there will be two trainers responsible for each puppy.
Training classes must be attended by the trainers on Thursday nights and that is when the transfer takes place.
“LCC will provide everything – food, a crate, toys, anything the pup needs. The only thing they can’t provide is the apprentice trainers and their love and patience for the dogs,” he said.
Moeller says that a year of training is necessary for each comfort dog and once training is complete, they will go to a church in the United States.
The dogs trained by this program are the only official comfort dogs and they will be deployed to respond in the United States for various tragedies.
An example of this is the school shooting at Sandy Hook. Lutheran Church Charities’ dogs have been at every school shooting to help comfort those in the area.
There is often a multi-year wait when a church requests a dog because the program is only able to train so many dogs at one time.
Moeller would like anyone who is seriously thinking about becoming an apprentice trainer for one of these puppies to give him a call at (308) 380-9875 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can learn more about the experience of becoming an apprentice in this video: