Great Danes – Service Dog Project


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    Great Danes – Service Dog Project

    Welcome to the main house cam at the Service Dog Project (SDP) in Ipswich, Massachusetts, where Great Danes are trained as service dogs for people living with disabilities. Here you can watch the comings and goings of SDP staff, volunteers, service dogs and puppies as they go about their day!

    The main house at the Service Dog Project is the perfect place to watch the comings and goings of Great Danes–including current service dogs and future service dogs (also known as puppies)–and the staff and volunteers who train and care for them. Find out the best time to watch live and learn more about the Service Dog Project and its Great Danes on @

    The Service Dog Project trains and donates service dogs to individuals with balance and mobility limitations (possibly due to Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, CP, etc.). By providing the dogs at no cost to approved applicants, The Service Dog Project extends a valuable service to suitable individuals. Preference is given to veterans and their families.

    All of the Great Danes are born, raised and trained on the farm and for the first month are watched 24/7 by staff and/or volunteers. Once the dogs are fully trained (usually a year or older) they are matched with a recipient and are then trained to meet the individual’s exact needs.

    Great Danes Service Dog

    The Great Dane is a perfect breed to train as a service dog because of their giant size and gentle personality. Any dog that’s used to help give balance support for their owner needs to be at least 45 percent of the person’s height and 65 percent of their weight. It takes a strong, tall dog to give confidence to someone who needs support to walk and help to regain their balance if they start to fall.

    Because Great Danes don’t require a lot of exercise – just a few walks each day is all he needs – this intelligent breed is a good match for a person with limited mobility. The dogs have a short coat that doesn’t require a lot of grooming, and their large size gives someone more confidence when walking. The dogs are also trained to do specific tasks such as pick up dropped objects, pull wheelchairs, hold open doors, turn on light switches, and even work with people who need crutches to get around.

    People with Parkinson’s have periods where they just stop and freeze while walking, and it can cause them to fall. It was discovered that dogs can help break the freeze just by touching the foot or ankle of the Parkinson’s patient, which allows them to move their foot and continue walking. These dogs give physical and emotional support.

    The Service Dog Project trains Great Dane dogs with the unique needs of the person in mind. The training is pretty straightforward for a walker or balance dog. They have to learn how to match the walking speed of their owner and how to stand still if their person falls and needs their assistance to use the harness on the dog to help them stand up. A dog is trained to position themselves to help keep their owner from falling, allowing their owner to lean on them for support.


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