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