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Cedar Creek Inmate Training Brigadoon Service Dogs Give Report by Darin Armstrong (2018)

I asked Cedar Creek inmate trainers “What have you gotten out of Brigadoon Service Dogs’ program?” And here’s what they said.

I have been in the program since March 13th, 2016, and have realized how alike we are to dogs' behaviors. The way we react to others through the energy and body language. Dogs feel our energy and will act according to how we behave. If I am feeling low or agitated, the dog will behave that way. He/she won't listen or will be hesitant to react to my commands. Those are the worst times to train. It can and will set the dog back.

The best training I can give is when I am being animated with a high-pitched voice. The dog will respond better with enthusiasm. I have learned that by working with others and communicating how many different approaches there are in training you find what best suits you to get the most out of a dog.

All of this has helped me to be able to read others as well.

Being in this program has allowed me to grow and pay attention to my feelings and energy, and now better to manage them.

It is a huge success when I have a dog that I teach from beginning to end and know confidently he/she will pass. It really builds up my self-esteem and confidence in ways I never imagined.

Knowing that what I do in here can make such a difference to many people's lives that need the help that can only come from the love a dog can give is a reward in itself.

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