NEADS dogs are acquired from animal shelters and are donated or sold to us as puppies by reputable breeders.
Donated and purchased puppies arrive at NEADS at about eight weeks of age. This is an essential time during the dog’s learning process.
Between two and four months old, about 95% of our puppies enter the Prison PUP Partnership in which they are raised by prison inmates at a New England prison. The dogs spend weekends with volunteer weekend puppy raisers in the local community.
NEADS dogs are trained using positive reinforcement methods to encourage good behavior. We guide them into choosing behaviors that we like, in order to reward them.
Clients spend one two weeks at the NEADS campus learning how to work and live with their new assistance dog. Our trainers work closely with the new partners to ensure the match is a strong one.
Twice a year, NEADS celebrates the graduation of each assistance dog team. At these festive, emotional events, clients get to share their story and meet the puppy namers, puppy raisers, staff and trainers that made their new partnership possible.