Make a Difference
We train service dogs to help those with disabilities unleash their ability.
Our service dog training program begins as soon as the puppies are born — and it’s not long before they’re changing the lives of our clients, inmates, and volunteers.
We take the responsibility of training a service dog seriously.
It takes a lot of resources to properly train a service dog. And someone with a disability often has to wait one to three years before bringing a dog home with them.
We know that’s a long time to wait for a service dog. That’s why we keep our puppies active, healthy, and well-trained: to prepare them to impact our clients’ lives for years to come.
Our dogs and clients are our top priority.
As the only ADI-accredited service dog training program in Indiana, we follow rigorous standards to not only comply with regulations, but also to take the best possible care of our dogs and clients. We do this by:
We're all capable of giving back, so we partner with Indiana correctional facilities to train and place our service dogs.
Although we must hold inmates responsible, we also need to give them opportunities to learn skills that can help them become productive, responsible citizens.
ICAN provides job training and skills, which reduce the inmates' likelihood of recidivism while helping them transition back into our community. We carefully screen and select Indiana inmates (handlers) to train ICAN dogs for up to two years.
Participating in a co-op helps us choose moms and dads that will breed great service dogs.
We’re part of the American Breeding Cooperative (ABC) with other accredited service dog organizations. This ensures that we know the history, temperament, and health of our dams and sires (moms and dads) — and anticipate their puppies’ personalities and potential to become service dogs.
With the co-op’s support, we can increase our training success rate, maximize our investment in breeding females (and their puppies), and best meet the needs of those who qualify for service dogs.
Our dogs love being active, helpful, and around people.
As soon as the puppies are born, their training begins!
BirthOnce the puppies are born, our Litter Hosts encourage their eagerness to learn while ensuring that the mama dog and her puppies get proper nutrition and exercise.
8 weeksAt eight weeks, the puppies go to live with Puppy Raisers (some of our furlough volunteers) for socialization in new settings.
16 WeeksAt 16 weeks, our puppies move to one of our Indiana training facilities, where inmate handlers begin training them on basic skills. As the dogs progress through their training they’ll learn more advanced skills and cues. (You can see some of the skills we teach them below.)
Every 6 WeeksEvery six weeks, a dog will leave the prison for three weeks at a time to live in the community with a furlough volunteer. This volunteer will practice skills and cues with the dog, as well as socialize them in the outside world.
24+ MonthsICAN provides support and follow up for the lifetime of the partnership.
Career Change Dogs
Not all dogs have the temperament or health required to become an assistance dog. But dogs with useful skill sets are available for use as career change dogs. In that case, we partner with other working dog programs for those dogs.