The Kinkeades and puppy Kinkeade’s puppy raiser, Jennifer.

Canine Companions dog Kinkeade has just started professional training at the South Central training center in Texas. Both Kinkeade and the training center are named for U.S. Federal District Judge Ed Kinkeade, who played a key role in the formation of a Canine Companions center in Texas and the partnership with Baylor Scott & White Health.

Kinkeade and 11 other puppies matriculated into professional training on May 5, 2017 and are starting their next steps to becoming Canine Companions assistance dogs.

He will work with his trainer every day, for six months, to perfect approximately 50 commands! He may learn the commands “tug” to open doors, “pull” to assist someone in a manual wheelchair, “up” to pay a cashier, as well as other commands. Some commands are taught in sequences that ultimately help with one task, such as the retrieving an item. This task will require that Kinkeade learns to pick up an item, hold that item and deliver it to the individual.

There’s a lot to learn in six months but at the end, with the early support from his puppy raiser and the continued support from his namesake, it is the goal that Kinkeade will go on to enhance the life of a person with a disability.

Keep an eye out for future blog posts to learn what Kinkeade is up to as he continues his journey to become an assistance dog!

Click here to learn more about Canine Companions assistance dogs.