We enable Coloradans with disabilities to lead more independent and gratifying lives through training and partnering them with highly skilled service dogs.
Why we do what we do
There are more than 275,000 people in Colorado who live with disabilities and face significant barriers every day – barriers most people don’t think twice about. Simple tasks like opening doors and drawers, picking up dropped objects, doing the laundry – even going outside for a bit of fresh air or to get the newspaper – represent challenges that can often seem insurmountable. Without a way to live more independently, those with disabilities can find themselves isolated from friends, family and everyday life. Canine Partners of the Rockies envisions a world where that never happens. Established in 2002 by four individuals with a passion for the human/canine connection, Canine Partners calling is to provide life-changing partnerships that enable Coloradans with disabilities to lead more fulfilling and independent lives.
What we do
Canine Partners of the Rockies raises, trains and places highly skilled service dogs with Coloradans with a variety of disabilities. But we don’t stop there. To ensure that both the human and canine partner have a happy, fulfilling experience throughout the life of their partnership, Canine Partners stays in touch to provide hands-on support, encouragement and ongoing training when it’s needed. Focusing exclusively on Colorado lets us to be there for our partnerships.
**WE DO NOT PLACE DOGS SOLELY FOR: stability and balance.
**WE DO NOT TRAIN: medical alert, seizure response, PTSD-only diagnosis, emotional support or personal dogs for service.
Our partnerships make us proud
We’re proud of the impact we’ve had on the lives of Coloradans with disabilities, but we think our human partners tell our story much better than we can. Here’s what Dale Coski has to say about how CaPR changed her life:
“CaPR (Canine Partners of the Rockies) allows me to be independent. The greatest gift that CaPR’s volunteers, puppy raisers and trainers have given me is to train my dog to conform to me and do all the things I need him to do. And for someone like me, who’s had so much independence taken away, just the ability to get a drink – something you take for granted until you can’t do it anymore – is a really big thing.”
How we do it
We approach our work respecting that every person has unique needs, and every dog has its own distinctive temperament, approach and special skills. Our experience has shown us that the key to a successful lifetime partnership is to pair the right dog with the right person. In fact, we won’t place a dog unless we’re convinced it’s the right match-up. That means you may have to wait a little longer to get a dog, but once you’re paired up you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have exactly the right dog for you. If you’re looking for the perfect service dog, we can help you determine whether Canine Partners of the Rockies is the right solution for you.
Our approach makes a difference
Our puppies are specifically bred to become service dogs. Because quality is so important, we make it a point to know our breeders, to know their lines and to carefully monitor puppies from the time they’re born. And we only train using positive reinforcement. We use clicker training, which allows our puppies to learn in a highly rewarding atmosphere that encourages them to try new things and learn quickly. Our puppies are raised and trained in the homes of volunteer puppy raisers/trainers and professional trainers. They spend their impressionable young lives in loving homes preparing to go to someone else’s home where they can put their skills to use providing a life-changing experience for their human partner.
As a non-profit organization with limited paid staff, Canine Partners relies heavily on passionate and enthusiastic volunteers to raise and train our puppies. Volunteer puppy raisers start the training process, teaching manners and basic commands until the puppies are 18-20 months old. Our dogs will then come into Advanced Training where they polish their basics and learn advanced service dog skills with our professional trainers on staff. At 2 – 2.5 years old, our dogs are placed with a human partner carefully chosen to be a perfect match.