1. Community
  2. /
  3. Pets
  4. /
  5. Pet behavior & discipline

Cuteness Alert: Watch These Service Dogs Graduate

Michelle Washmuth
Oct. 26, 2017

Canine Companions for Independence trains dogs for adults, children with disabilities — at no cost.

Canine Companions for Independence dogs graduate at a ceremony at Universal Orlando. Image via CCI.
Canine Companions for Independence dogs graduate at a ceremony at Universal Orlando. Image via CCI.
Canine Companions for Independence dogs graduate at a ceremony at Universal Orlando. Image via CCI.

What’s better than cute pups? Cute pups walking across a stage and donning medals in a graduation ceremony!

And not only are these dogs adorable, they also help others! They're assistance dogs, and they graduated from their Canine Companions for Independence programs across the nation just this month.

CCI is a nonprofit organization that pairs specially trained dogs with people with disabilities nationwide. According to CCI’s website, dogs are trained in four categories — dogs that help adults with physical disabilities, dogs who help the deaf and hearing-impaired, facility dogs that visit with people with special needs people at schools, prisons, and hospitals, and dogs that help children and adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities. They also have a program for assistance dogs who help disabled veterans transition into civilian life.

CCI says they breeds their own Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers solely to be assistance dogs. The breeding dogs and their puppies are cared for by volunteers until the puppies are old enough for training.

As part of the training, the dogs learn more than 40 commands in 6 to 9 months. Then they're matched with a partner — an adult or child with disabilities — for free.

The graduation ceremonies mark"the end of an assistance dog’s professional training and the beginning of a partnership between a human in need and a canine that will provide endless service and companionship," CCI said.

Several ceremonies were held across the country, including one at Universal Orlando, where 20 dogs graduated, and one in Oceanside, California, where 15 dogs graduated.

Want to the see the cuteness for yourself? Canine Companions posted the full graduation ceremonies on its website.

Leave a comment

Create a free account with Care.com and join our community today.

Sign up
Related content

How much should you pay for a babysitter?