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Service Dogs of DCS Montessori

By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Denise Glenn, DCS Montessori

Photo of DCS Montessori service dog

DCSM’s newest member, Rooney, is a 20-month-old labrador retriever. Rooney benefits from an active community full of children and adults, and of course, long naps after practicing his cues.

Canine Partners of the Rockies raises and trains service dogs for mobility assistance, autism support and intervention facilities. DCS Montessori (DCSM) is one of many proud partners that assist in training and raising these dogs to go on to do great things outside the classroom walls.

In the classroom, the service dogs practice different cues and relaxation protocols, where the students provide distractions while the dog remains in a down position. Students enjoy teaching the dogs the “visit” cue, inviting the dog to rest its head on their lap. Another student favorite is when the dogs practice the “under” cue, where they lie under a student’s desk while the student completes schoolwork.

Photo of DCS Montessori dog Yampa

Yampa spent a full year at DCSM learning and practicing his “visit,” “get” and “under” cues with the students. He was also involved during carpool, activating the handicap door button to allow students to exit the building as their names were called. Today, Yampa is a proud partner to a Marine veteran who became a quadriplegic in a diving accident.

Not only are the service dogs learning new skills, they receive positive reinforcement from DCSM students. The students show their furry friends patience, compassion and grace when they make mistakes, and encouragement to keep trying to learn new skills. The students have learned the importance of a service dog’s responsibility and how they need to be respected while they are working. All DCSM service dogs have touched the lives of students and families leaving them all with full hearts.



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