ICAN dogs in training come from three sources
• ICAN's purpose bred breeding program
• Donated purebred dogs from qualified breeders
• Rescue/shelter dogs.
Nationally, about 50 – 60% of dogs who enter service dog programs go on to become service dog. Much is asked of a service dog in regard to temperament and health.
ICAN is part of Assistance Dogs International Breeding Cooperative. Jamie Young, DVM PhD, a long time ICAN volunteer, consults and helps coordinate ICAN's efforts. Through participation in the Breeding Cooperative, ICAN is able to be part of a large network of service dog organizations' breeding programs. The work of the Cooperative is to help programs breed dogs with the health and temperament needed to become service dogs. About 30 accredited service dog programs are part of the Cooperative. The Cooperative carefully researches earlier generations of dogs to ensure that hip, elbow, and general orthopedic health is predictable and stable and that temperament is suited for service work.
The Cooperative helps programs network to bring together the best possible match of breeder dogs. As an example, ICAN Alpine was bred to a male dog, Sapo who has a history of producing service dogs for the Guide Dog Foundation. Another example is ICAN Desiree. Desiree was purchased from Guide Dogs Queensland because of the long history of her line of Guide Dogs. Desiree is now at Pacific Assistance Dogs in Vancouver waiting to be bred to Brass, a dog from a long line of Guide dogs.
ICAN closely monitors all our dogs in training. As the breeding program develops we will be able to compare success rates of our dogs in relationship to how they were acquired.
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View some more photos of ICAN's puppies below! (Liz Kaye Photography)